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17 Biggest M&A Firms in the World (2024 Updated)

Kison Patel
Kison Patel

Kison Patel is the Founder and CEO of DealRoom, a Chicago-based diligence management software that uses Agile principles to innovate and modernize the finance industry. As a former M&A advisor with over a decade of experience, Kison developed DealRoom after seeing first hand a number of deep-seated, industry-wide structural issues and inefficiencies.

CEO and Founder of M&A Science and FirmRoom

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) refers to the process of purchasing companies or their major assets to create a larger, more profitable entity.

This is done to gain a strategic advantage, increase market share, or enter new markets. Keep up with the latest news and techniques about the M&A industry via the industry’s leading podcast, M&A Science.

Top M&A Investment Banks

M&A investment banks are financial institutions that provide advisory services to companies interested in buying, selling, or merging with other companies.

Much like M&A firms, the top M&A investment banks assist their clients in navigating the complex process of a merger or acquisition. They are important in the deal process as they often bring in the expertise needed to exercise a deal efficiently, such as providing valuable information into market trends, valuation methods, and potential risks and challenges.

In addition to providing strategic advice throughout the M&A process, M&A investment banks play a crucial role in helping their clients by utilizing their networks to identify potential acquisition targets or buyers.

Following is a list of the top M&A investment banks for 2024.

1. UBS

Founded in 1998, UBS is a Switzerland-based, global investment bank that provides financial services in over 50 countries. Being one of the top mergers and acquisitions investment banks, they offer services such as wealth and asset management in addition to being one of the best M&A investment banks.

UBS’s strengths lie in its multitude of awards as the leading retail and commercial bank. However, UBS’s involvement in numerous fraud scandals has negatively affected its reputation. Despite this, UBS is one of the biggest M&A investment banks, being the 3rd largest bank in Europe.

AUM: USD $3.1T

Notable Deals: Credit Suisse; Daphne Technology; European Loc Pool

Areas Operated: Zürich, Switzerland

2. BofA Securities

BofA Securities, formerly known as Bank of America Merrill Lynch is among the top mergers and acquisitions investment banks in the world. Founded in 2009, BofA Securities is the result of its parent company, Bank of America, acquiring Merrill Lynch.

In 2014, BofA was involved in the largest settlement cases in American history after it was ordered to pay $16.65B for financial fraud leading up to and during the 2008 financial crisis. However, BofA still remains a top M&A investment bank, with Fortune magazine naming the company the “Most Inventive Bank in North America” in 2020.

AUM: USD $2.9T

Notable Deals: Axia Technologies

Areas Operated: New York, New York

3. JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase was founded in 2000, after the merging of JP Morgan & Co. and Chase National Bank. JP Morgan is among the world leaders in M&A investment banks and maintains its spot as a world-renowned brand. Though it has a strong financial position, 53% of the company’s total revenue comes from the North American region alone.

The firm’s reputation was stained in 2021 after having to pay $200M in fines after employees were found messaging on personal devices to evade regulations. Currently, JP Morgan and Deutsche are facing lawsuits for their ties to the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case. Despite this, JP Morgan remains as the top mergers and acquisitions investment banks, being the 5th largest banking company in the world.

AUM: USD $2.76T

Notable Deals: Zagat; Bear Stearns Companies; InstaMed

Areas Operated: New York, New York

4. Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs is one of the top M&A investment banks and was founded in 1869 in New York City.

The bank offers a wide range of services such as asset management, investment research, and consumer financing and has a strong, worldwide presence. That being said, the firm was criticized for its involvement in the 2008 financial crisis, after allegations of misleading investors and profiting from the collapse. This resulted in the bank paying a $550 million settlement.

AUM: USD $2.55T

Notable Deals: EPC Power; Norgine; The Belfry

Area Operated: New York, New York

5. Barclays

Founded in 1690, Barclays is a multinational universal bank, headquartered in London.

As one of the top M&A investment banks, they offer services in corporate banking, insurance, and wealth management. Barclays is the first bank to be fined for attempting to rig and manipulate the Libor and Euribor interest rates.

However, Barclays remains consistently profitable as one of the world’s top mergers and acquisitions investment banks.

AUM: USD $1.872T

Notable Deals: Tesla UK; USP Hospitales; Rollalong

Area Operated: London, UK

6. Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse is a Switzerland-based international investment banking company founded in 1856.

The company has a strong emphasis on sustainability and has strong franchises within its core business. However, the firm has a low performance in investment banking and weak brand recognition when compared to top mergers and acquisitions investment banks. Credit Suisse collapsed in March 2023 after its share price dropped 25% and was subsequently acquired by UBS.

AUM: USD $1.639T

Notable Deals: Tradeplus24; North Point Technology; Founder Securities

Area Operated: Zürich, Switzerland

7. Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is an American multinational investment management and financial services company.

As one of the largest M&A investment banks, Morgan Stanley benefits from strong brand recognition, diverse business lines, and secure global presence. However, a sizable portion of Morgan Stanley's revenue derives from investment banking and trading, leaving the company vulnerable to volatile market conditions.

AUM: USD $1,310,000,000,000

Notable Deals: Etrade; Eaton Vance Management; Molnlycke Health Care

Area Operated: New York, New York

8. Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is a German, multinational investment bank that was founded in 1870.

As one of the top M&A investment banks, the company has a strong investment banking franchise, with Europe generating a significant portion of its revenue. Currently, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan are facing lawsuits for their ties to the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case.

AUM: USD $883.9B

Notable Deals: Norisbank, Carron Energy, Better Payment

Area Operated: Frankfurt, Germany 

9. RBC Capital Markets

Founded in 1864, RBC Capital Markets is a global investment bank operating out of Canada.

With a strong business line and global presence, it is one of the best M&A investment banks in the world. RBC Capital Markets has a diverse range of business lines, such as investment banking, trading, and research, which helps stabilize the company in uncertain market conditions. That being said, the bank has a limited presence in key markets like Asia.

AUM: USD $735.5B

Notable Deals: Manulife Financial; Corus Entertainment; Thrasio

Area Operated: Toronto, Canada

10. Nomura

Founded in 1925, Nomura is the largest financial holding company in Japan and among the top M&A investment banks in the world. Nomura has strong brand recognition in Asia and a global presence in over 30 countries worldwide.

Despite its diverse business lines in investment banking, trading, and asset management, Nomura is heavily dependent on the Japanese market, making it vulnerable to changes in the Japanese economy.

AUM: USD $488.6B

Notable Deals: Instinet, Saudi Pak Industrial And Agricultural Investment Company; Silkbank

Area Operated: Tokyo, Japan

11. Stifel

Founded in 1890 as the Altheimer and Rawlings Investment Company, Stifel is an American multinational independent investment bank and among the top M&A investment banks in the world. Stifel’s long history in financial services has helped it build a good reputation among its clients.

The investment bank offers a broad range of services, including investment banking, institutional trading, wealth management, and research. However, Stifel’s strong regional presence in the United States leaves its global presence lacking, which can hinder Stifel’s ability to serve clients with international operations and access new markets.

AUM: USD $436B

Notable Deals: Sterne Agee Group; Eaton Partners; The Business Bank of St. Louis

Area Operated: St. Louis, Missouri

12. Lazard

Lazard was founded in 1848 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lazard is among the world’s top financial advisory and asset management firms and is the world’s largest independent investment bank. As one of the best mergers and acquisitions investment banks, Lazard offers a broad range of services, including restructuring and asset management.

Lazard’s trusted reputation makes it attractive to new clients, however its business is heavily reliant on the expertise and reputation of key personnel, which makes it vulnerable to succession and retention risks.

AUM: USD $227B

Notable Deals: Verus Partners; MBA Lazard

Area Operated: New York, New York

13. William Blair & Company

William Blair & Company is an American multinational independent investment bank that was first opened in 1935. As one of the best M&A investment banks in the USA, they have a variety of revenue streams including investment banking, institutional trading, and wealth management.

William Blair & Company’s long history helped it develop a reputation as a trusted and reliable advisor. However, the firm’s focus on the American market limits its global presence and makes the bank vulnerable to the volatile conditions of the American economy. 

AUM: USD $123B

Notable Deals: Freshpet; Cellipont; Hillman

Areas Operated: Chicago, IL

14. Rothschild & Co

Rothschild & Co is a multinational investment bank and the flagship of the Rothschild banking group founded by the French and British branches of the Rothschild family in 1811. With offices in over 40 countries, Rothschild & Co has a strong international presence. Additionally, the bank faces fierce competition from top investment banks, particularly in mergers and acquisitions. However, the bank is not free of scandal.

Rothschild & Co is most notably tied to The 1MDB scandal, which saw billions of dollars disappear in a serious violation of anti-money laundering regulations.


Notable Deals: The Stepping Stones Group; A2Mac1

Area Operated: Paris, France

15. Citigroup

Citigroup is an American multinational investment bank founded in 1998 following the Citicorp and Travelers Group merger, becoming the world’s largest financial service organization.

Citigroup’s global presence in over 160 countries makes it among the top M&A investment banks in the world. The firm’s size gives it a diverse portfolio of revenue streams including investment banking, wealth management, and consumer banking. As a large organization, Citigroup has faced its share of scandals such as its $400M fine for failing to establish effective risk management and a $25 million fine for market manipulation.

AUM: USD $71.9B

Notable Deals: Bisys; NCI; Payquik

Area Operated: New York, New York

16. Canaccord Genuity

Founded in 1950, Canaccord Genuity is among the top M&A investment banks and Canada’s largest independent investment dealer. Canaccord Genuity has operations in 10 countries, and offices in the Americas, the UK, and Europe, and Asia, allowing for a variety of clients and revenue streams. 

AUM: USD $69.9B

Notable Deals: Petsky Prunier; Eden Financial; Thomas Miller Investment

Area Operated: Vancouver, Canada

17. Jefferies

Jefferies is an American multinational independent investment bank founded in 1962. Jefferies has a strong global presence with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, and a diverse portfolio of revenue streams spanning from Aerospace, Real Estate, Healthcare, Retail, and more.

However, the M&A investment bank only has a few key clients driving a significant portion of its revenue streams and has limited diversification outside of North America, Europe, and Asia.

AUM: USD $56.1B

Notable Deals: Toms; Faros Trading; HomeFed

Area Operated: New York, New York

Top M&A Consulting Firms

Definition of M&A firms and why they are important

M&A consulting firms, also referred to as MA advisory firms, aid their clients in all aspects of the transaction process, including identifying potential targets, conducting due diligence, negotiating deal terms, and closing the transaction. Mergers and acquisitions firms play a crucial role in the deal process, as they offer their specialized knowledge and leverage their networks in the industry to aid businesses in the complex process of mergers and acquisitions.

1. Deloitte

Founded in 1845 in London, Deloitte remains one of the largest accountancy and audit firms in the world as well as one of the best M&A consulting firms. Deloitte’s success can be attributed to its dominance in the Americas as it generated nearly $7B more in the region than the second largest M&A consulting firm, PwC. Deloitte's expertise, global network, comprehensive services, and innovative approach make them the top mergers and acquisitions consulting firms in the world.

Revenue: $59.3B

Notable Clients: Walmart; IBM; Verizon; Johnson & Johnson

Area Operated: London, UK

2. PwC

PwC’s origins can be traced back to the 1800s with its predecessors, Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse. PwC was formed in 1998, when the Coopers & Lybrand merged with Price Waterhouse. The firm is now the second-largest professional services network in the world and among the best M&A iconsulting firms.  With offices in over 150 countries, PwC has a strong global reach and serves a variety of clients with their comprehensive range of services.

Revenue: $50.3B

Notable Clients: 

Area Operated: London, UK

3. Ernst & Young

Headquartered in London, Ernst & Young (EY) is a multinational professional services partnership and one of the biggest M&A companies in the world. EY was formed in 1989 through the merger of Arthur Young & Co. and Ernst & Whinney, though the firm’s origins can be traced back to 1849 through several mergers of its ancestor firms. EY has a strong presence in the Middle East, India and Africa, where a majority of its revenue is generated. The firm’s focus and investment in sustainability ensures its position as one of the best M&A consulting firms.

Revenue: $45.2B

Notable Clients: Otterbox; Samsonite; Red Robin; Kellogg

Area Operated: London, UK


KPMG can trace its origins back to 1897, but was officially created in 1987 through a long history of mergers and acquisitions. Despite earning just over half of the revenue than the top firm, Deloitte, KPMG remains a powerhouse on the global M&A stage. KPMG holds a strong presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa, with over half of its employees working there and nearly 14% of their revenue generated from that region alone. 

Revenue: $34.6B

Notable Clients: Apple; Microsoft; American Airlines; Chrysler

Area Operated: Amstelveen, Netherlands

5. McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm founded in 1926. The firm is the oldest and largest of the Big Three, a group of the world’s largest and most prestigious strategy consulting firms. Despite the firm’s prestige, it has been heavily criticized for its involvement in the opioid epidemic, their role in the 2008 financial crisis, and their support for authoritarian regimes in China and Russia.

That being said, McKinsey & Company remains one of the top mergers and acquisitions consulting firms and serves nearly two-thirds of the Fortune 1000.

Revenue: $10.5B

Notable Clients: Pfizer; AT&T; AmericanExpress; General Motors

Area Operated: New York, New York

Comparison of the Top M&A Firms and Banks

While both M&A firms and M&A investment banks play crucial roles in advising their clients on how to navigate the complex process of a merger and acquisition, they each provide a different focus in the services they provide. 


M&A firms and M&A investment banks both provide advisory services to companies that wish to buy or sell companies, looking to raise capital, or restructure their current operations.

They each specialize in corporate finance and have expertise in mergers and acquisitions, aiding their clients throughout the due diligence process, which involves analyzing financial statements, conducting market research, and identifying potential risks and opportunities for their clients


M&A firms are often smaller firms with a specialization, referred to as “boutique firms”. In this case, M&A firms specialize in advising clients throughout the mergers and acquisitions process. On the other hand, M&A investment banks are typically large financial institutions that offer M&A advisory services as part of their larger investment banking platform.

As a result, M&A firms have a narrower focus and would typically specialize in a specific sector or a certain type of transaction, whereas M&A investment banks would have a broader range of services and work across multiple sectors.

This leaves M&A firms to have a more flexible fee structure compared to M&A investment banks. They are typically more willing to advise smaller deals and provide customized services to their clients. As part of a larger platform, M&A investment banks typically have a standardized fee structure and often prefer to focus on high value, high-profile deals.


As we conclude our examination of these top-tier organizations, recognizing the significant role that virtual data rooms play in facilitating their success is essential. The accomplishments of the 17 biggest M&A firms in the world are a testament to the importance of leveraging the right tools and resources in the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A reliable and secure VDR, like FirmRoom, is a crucial tool in ensuring the efficient completion of M&A transactions while maintaining the utmost confidentiality and data protection.

With FirmRoom as a discreet yet powerful ally, organizations can focus on the strategic aspects of their transactions, confident that their data is secure and the due diligence process is optimized for success.

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Key takeaways

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