The News: Broadening Merger Activity Boosts Bankers' Career Prospects

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Strategic corporate deals continue to expand in scope, signaling growth in career opportunities for M&A bankers.

Corporate buyers are making bolder forays into less traditional areas such as cross-border deals and unsolicited bids, the New York Times reports. Barclays Capital global M&A chief Paul Parker envisions the next six months as "a very aggressive period of speed-dating, where companies will try out different combinations to see if they make strategic sense and are actionable."

Strategic deals this year are ranging over a wide swath of industries, unlike last year when health care and financial services dominated merger activity.

In the just-ended first quarter, worldwide deal volumes grew 18.4 percent from a year ago to $564 billion, the Times says, citing Thomson Reuters data. Still, that's down nearly 50 percent from the near-record levels posted in the same period of 2007.

International deals accounted for 36.6 percent, twice last year's share. Emerging markets accounted for 32.2 percent of worldwide volume.

Healthy stock and credit markets grease the rebound by making it possible for buyers to get financing. "The debt markets are wide open," Citigroup global M&A head Mark Shafir told the Times. "There's a lot of capacity in the marketplace."

The Pace of Deal-Making Picks Up [NY Times]

European IPOs Outpace U.S. by Most Since Stocks Peaked in 2007 [Bloomberg News]

Citi's Covert Makeover [RegisteredRep]

Pay of Hedge Fund Managers Roared Back Last Year [NY Times]

Extreme Makeover, Wall Street Edition [NY Times]

Frank: New Financial Regulations Could Be Signed By Late May [Reuters]

UBS Layoffs Spark Hope Among Advisers [WSJ]

While laying off some 200 U.S.-based marketing and support staffers in recent weeks, the bank pledged to funnel the savings into upgrading broker technology and other support for advisors.

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