coin stacks with letter dice - fees

Thanks to a surge in financing activity in response to the economic fallout from Covid-19, investment bankers are enjoying a record year.

According to new data from Refinitiv, through the first nine months of 2020, global investment banking fees are up 14% from the same period last year to US$91.2 billion.

The report noted that this year’s total represents a record for global investment banking fees since tracking began in 2000.

The record-setting year comes thanks to debt and equity offering activity, both of which generated record fees so far this year. At the same time, M&A fees are down 16% from last year and syndicated lending is down 11%, Refinitiv reported.

“Powered by record corporate debt issuance, [debt] underwriting totaled US$34.3 billion during the first nine months of 2020,” it said, noting that this represents a 29% increase compared with the same period last year.

At the same time, equity underwriting fees rose by 70% year over year. Refinitiv said the fees were “bolstered by a resurgent market for IPOs and record follow-on and convertible bond issuance.”

The financial sector itself was the leading source of investment banking fees, accounting for 28% of global fees (US$25.4 billion)   a 5% increase from a year ago.

The industrials sector generated US$10.0 billion in fees, up 31% from last year, and the tech sector produced US$8.2 billion worth, up 23%.

JP Morgan led the global league tables with US$6.8 billion in fees during the first nine months. Goldman Sachs ranked second, with BofA Securities in third place. Morgan Stanley and Citi made up the rest of the top five.

RBC Capital Markets was the top ranked Canadian bank, taking 13th place in the global league tables.

TD Securities Inc. was the only other Canadian firm in the top 25, holding on to 25th spot.