Our investment bankers publish timely updates on activity and trends in the advisory and financing markets. These publications provide statistical analysis and interpretation of activity in a variety of sectors.

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In an M&A environment where robust valuations are virtually a given for high-quality companies, speed and certainty of close have become increasingly important tools that bidders can use to differentiate themselves in hypercompetitive deal processes.

Conversations at October's PACK EXPO International focused on the trends driving heightened dealmaking in the packaging industry. The $40.9 billion of transaction value in the first half of the year puts 2018 on pace to exceed 2017's record level.

Based on our conversations at this year's Money20/20 with corporate development executives, business owners, and investors—as well as insights from the 16 FinTech M&A transactions we have completed in the last 18 months—we analyze the forces that are driving dealmaking activity in four high-growth areas of FinTech.

Borrowers remained able to drive favorable terms in the third quarter, but lenders increasingly looked to buck aggressive underwriting trends.

Equity capital markets remained active during the usually slow summer months. In the third quarter, 49 IPOs priced—the most active third quarter in four years—generating proceeds of $12.2 billion. This includes four $1 billion-plus IPOs, matching 2016's and 2017's full-year totals.

A strong economic backdrop and the need to respond to the threat posed by Amazon and other digital disrupters have led to an uptick in M&A activity among specialty distributors.

Evolving trends in the workplace and the learning ecosystem are changing how companies invest in talent.

Strategic acquirers and financial sponsors are aggressively targeting companies that can convert imagery and data into actionable insights for military, governmental, and commercial users.

Conversion to differentiated, highly engineered products has led to heightened M&A activity across the building technologies sector, including LED lighting and flooring.

Faced with an unprecedented and growing pilot shortage, the U.S. military is expanding its outsourcing of aggressor support training and other forms of pilot training, transport, ISR, and other services, leading to intense M&A interest in these companies from potential acquirers.

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