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Friday's Headlines: Goldman Drops to Lowest M&A Ranking in 20 Years

Onlookers were surprised to find that Goldman Sach's dropped to 10th place in Thomson Reuter's M&A ranking for the first quarter, the lowest spot since the news agency began monitoring deals in the United States in 1990, according to The Telegraph. The bank has usually ranked in the top three.

Goldman advised on just $71 billion in U.S. deals for the quarter, compared with $170 billion for JPMorgan Chase. Experts attribute the backslide to its absence on the leading deals of recent months: the AT&T / T-Mobile merger and the AIG restructuring. The past couple of years were tough for Goldman which last year paid out $550 million in a settlement for subprime mortgage fraud charges, and suffered PR fallout of the leak accusations against former Goldman director Rajat Gupta.

"If I were at Goldman Sachs, I'd be concerned that the bad press the firm has received for the last two years will have affected our reputation," The Telegraph quotes Roy Smith, a professor of finance at New York University's Stern School of Business and a former Goldman Sachs partner.

Other News

The wealthy are working with at least five advisers to get second and third opinions since the market crash. [Investment News]

United Capital Financial Advisers bought financial planning firm Vantage Point Advisors as part of a plan to open offices in Atlanta, Denver, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis and Portland, Ore. [Investment News]

Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are competing with AIG's $15.7 billion bid for a pool of Fed-backed mortgage bonds. [FT]

Fund manager Citadel will sell its $70 billion fund administration unit to Northern Trust. [Dow Jones]

The SEC sued Petters Connecticut feeder fund and its manager over alleged fraud. [Bloomberg]

American investors poured $1.2 billion into Japanese equity ETFs, the largest weekly inflow on record. [DealBook]

The IMF is activating its crisis lending pool to stabilize the global economy. [BusinessWeek]

Bankers say that the strong 1Q M&A in Asia is expected to carry through the rest of 2011. [Reuters]

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