If you work in an investment banking division (IBD) at most any bank, it's been a mixed year. Some banks like Royal Bank of Canada boosted their market share. Others such as J.P. Morgan and Bank of America have seen their market share slip away. Businesses like debt capital markets (DCM) have boomed. Businesses like equity capital markets (ECM) have belly-flopped.
The top investment banks to work for in 2012
New data from Dealogic puts the year in perspective. Dealogic puts J.P. Morgan in the top slot for investment banking revenues in 2012. The US bank accounted for 7.6% of combined investment banking wallet share (revenues from M&A, DCM, ECM and syndicated loans) in 2012 according to Dealogic. This was great, except JPMorgan's revenue share is waning, and was down from 8.2% last year. In the first nine months of this year, revenues in J. P. Morgan's M&A and ECM businesses fell 26% and 25% respectively.
Ranking behind J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche occupied the remaining top five slots. It was a bad year for Bank of America, whose market share dropped 14%. It was a good year for Deutsche Bank and Barclays Investment Bank. But most of all, it was a good year for Royal Bank of Canada, whose market share rose an impressive 37%.
Goldman Sachs had been losing market share ever since its heyday as a trusted bank in the depths of the financial crisis. It managed to reverse this trend, just, in 2012.
The top business areas to work in during 2012
This year was also the year of the debt capital markets banker. As bond financing became the preferred method for companies to raise cash, banks' global revenues from issuing bonds rose to their second-highest level ever.
As the charts below show, the biggest increases in bond issuance this year were in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific. The fastest growing business area within DCM was corporate bond issuance. Investment grade bond issuance rose 46% on last year. High yield bond issuance in the US rose to its highest level ever. Fundamentally, 2012 was the year of the debt capital markets banker - unless you worked in securitisation.
Aside from DCM, 2012 was a great year to work as an oil and gas, professional services, or food and beverage M&A banker. However, it was a disastrous year if you had the misfortune to work in utilities or healthcare M&A.