Our investment banking league tables rank sell-side M&A advisors based on their Axial activity, incorporating three core M&A advisory attributes: client quality, buy-side targeting, and deal process effectiveness (for detailed methodology, see the end of this feature).
For CEOs and dealmakers in the lower middle market, these league tables are a useful barometer to measure how an investment bank ranks against its peers, and how effective they are in financing and selling lower middle market businesses in various sectors.
League Table Methodology
Unlike traditional league table structures that have remained the same for years, where firms are assessed against deal volume and deal dollar volume, Axial league tables surface data on investment banks that reveal their selectivity, the relative attractiveness of their client’s businesses, and their overall sell-side process efficacy.
The investment banks at the top of the Axial League Table are leaders across the following categories:
- Client Quality: Buy-side demand for engagements represented by the advisor.
- Buy-Side Targeting: The advisor’s ability to balance selectivity, accuracy, and breadth when identifying potential buyers.
- Process Effectiveness: The advisor’s ability to generate positive outcomes for their client.
- Overall Deal Relevance: How many buy-side mandates (financial and strategic) align with the advisor’s engagements.
- Process Selectivity: How broad or narrow are the advisors’ sell-side processes relative to their peers?
- Signed NDAs: How many buyers indicate interest in each of the advisor’s engagements, measured by the number of signed NDAs.
- Buyer Referrals: Feedback we receive from buyers regarding the manner in which the advisor manages their processes.
- Closed Deals: How many deals has the advisor closed where they involved one or more Axial buyers in the process?
Together, the top 20 investment banks are those who work with the most in-demand clients; balance breadth, selectivity, and accuracy in the buyers they engage; and generate the largest number of positive outcomes for their clients.