The best in Asian corporate finance รป a peers' poll

A new piece of research uncovers the trends in Asian M&A and equity capital markets.

A report from The Consulting Partnership Group – exclusively obtained by – contains some interesting insights on Asian corporate finance. The executive search firm interviewed 21 senior figures in corporate finance at 21 investment banks in Asia to gauge the trends in M&A and equity capital markets.

One key findings was that: “Of those wishing to be recognized as leaders in Asia, respondents generally felt it would be vital to develop a stronger US presence in investment banking even though there are few remaining acquisition targets.” Clearly this is a trend ING Barings wishes to buck, as the firm has put its US arm on the block.

Another interesting point: “A clear message from respondents was that those banks currently occupying the middle ground will find it increasingly difficult to compete with the major investment banks.”

The Consulting Partnership Group polled those it interviewed. The best at corporate finance were:

Best at Originating

  1. Goldman Sachs  
  2. Chase  
  3. Morgan Stanley

Best at Execution:

  1. Goldman Sachs  
  2. Morgan Stanley  
  3. Merrill Lynch

Best Overall:

  1. Goldman Sachs  
  2. Morgan Stanley  
  3. Salomon Smith Barney

A special mention went to UBS Warburg, which was cited for its research product.

Asked where they thought the corporate finance business in Asia had the best prospects, 95% said China, 80% said Korea and 50% said Taiwan. And by sector, 100% said Telecoms-Media-Technology, and 35% financial services.

Another interesting point is that “most of those interviewed felt that the profitability of corporate finance in Asia is questionable. The general fee structure was reported to be lower than those achievable in Western Europe and the US. It was generally felt that the growing M&A business would be the saviour of profitability.”

The Consulting Partnership Group's web address is