RSM's corporate finance team has topped the M&A advisory league table, moving up from second place in the 2019 list of the most active M&A financial advisers in the UK.
RSM advised on 45 completed deals in H1 2020, according to the latest Experian data. Overall, Experian recorded 2,539 deals for the first half of 2020, down 36 per cent on H1 2019, and the lowest first-half figures since 2011.
After a strong first quarter, the impact of lockdown meant that volumes dropped significantly in Q2, as coronavirus uncertainty put growth plans on hold. Despite difficulties caused by the pandemic, the total value of UK M&A deals in H1 2020 was up 23 per cent to £107 billion, bolstered by a multi-billion telecoms merger.
Kirsty Sandwell, partner and head of corporate finance at RSM comments: ‘The market has been hampered by a range of factors, not least the practicalities of completing deals during lockdown. Political wranglings over Brexit remain a concern for our middle market clients, as do rising global geopolitical tensions. Amid all this uncertainty our corporate finance business managed to rise to the top of the rankings for advisory deals by volume, which is testament to our strength in capability and hard work on behalf of our clients. I believe our success is our continued focus in the mid-market delivering deal flow into and providing services to the PE community within the UK and Europe. We have found that whilst deal volumes are down overall our multi-disciplined approach utilising the resource and expertise of our wider firm, coupled with our brand, gives our clients comfort during these uncertain times.
‘As we start to unlock, we may see an active private equity sector addressing pent up demand, as well as a flight to quality as is often the case in challenging market conditions. We are also likely to see refinancings and corporate divestments surge as companies look to shore up their balance sheets.’
Regionally, RSM ranked top in London rising from 6th place by volume, and in the North West RSM also rose from sixth to first place. In Scotland RSM held second place again for volume, and in Northern Ireland the company came equal second by volume along with KPMG and KBS Corporate. In the South East RSM retained its position in third place by volume with 10 deals.