Are social networks a threat to Wall Street’s M&A business?

At a time when the markets are approaching lofty valuations, it is no surprise to see increased M&A activity, that good, old contra indicator. What is surprising, however, that a small shop I had never heard of before has advised on USD 152bn in Deals in the past two years alone. From the FT,

Michael and Yoel Zaoui, collectively Zaoui & Co, are sitting in their swanky Mayfair office discussing 12th-century philosophy. The deal-doing brothers may have advised on takeovers worth more than $152bn in the two years they’ve worked together (…)

Although I have always found classic merchant boutiques charming, it still surprised me to see them take that much business  from the big and well-connected Wall Street banks. Not bad.

The article also hinted at a possible explanation for the return of boutique M&A,

(..)”It’s the return of the consiglieri in high-stakes M&A,” says Yoel. Old-fashioned merchant bankers, superseded in the 1990s by rivals at big Wall Street investment banks, are back in fashion. Their tight-lipped services are in demand at a time when proliferating gossip networks, such as Twitter, increase the chances of deal news leaking (…)

Makes sense.

How many people think social networks could disrupt the universal banking model in favour of traditional alternatives…

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