2021 a record year for investment banking

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Stock market underwriting fees rose 25% in 2021 to a record $40.0 billion, Refinitiv said.

A strong initial public offering (IPO) market, including SPACs, was a key driver of the increase.

Meanwhile, M&A fees jumped 46% last year to US$48.2 billion, marking the strongest annual period on record for advisory fees.

Debt underwriting fees were more or less flat year-over-year, but syndicated lending activity fees hit a record $26.7 billion, up 26% from compared to a year ago, according to the report.

The financial sector was the main driver of global investment banking fees in 2021, Refinitiv reported, accounting for nearly a third of the total.

The technology sector saw the biggest jump in activity, with fees rising 45% year-over-year.

While the global fees group hit record highs last year, it has also become increasingly concentrated: the top three banks increased their combined share from 2.2% to 21%.

JP Morgan remained the top company, with investment banking fees totaling US$12.9 billion, or 8.1% market share.

Goldman Sachs ranked second, with around 7.2% of the global share, and Morgan Stanley was third.

BofA Securities and Citi complete the top five.

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