Goldman Sachs was the leading financial adviser globally for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Q1 2020 in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector by value and volume, according to GlobalData.

The US-based investment bank advised on 21 deals worth $24.38bn during the quarter.  It also topped the GlobalData’s Q1 2020 ranking of top 20 financial advisers for global M&A.

GlobalData has published a top ten league table of financial advisers ranked according to the value and volume of announced M&A deals globally. If value remains same for multiple advisers, deal volume is given weightage.

Morgan Stanley came a distant second with 15 deals worth $19.38bn, while JP Morgan stood at third position, advising on nine deals worth a total of $13.83bn.

Ravi Tokala, Financial Deals Analyst at GlobalData, said: “The absence of megadeals (>$10bn) and that there are less than 25 deals crossing $1bn value in Q1 2020, led to a drop in overall deal value in the ICT sector, which could be attributed to market turmoil caused by COVID-19. With respect to value, only Goldman Sachs was able to cross the $20bn mark, topping the financial adviser category.

“M&A activities in the sector started on a slow note in 2020, with Q1 witnessing a drop in deal activity, as compared with the same quarter last year. Almost all of the top ten advisers by volume advised less than 15 deals – except Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which managed to work on 21 and 15 deals, respectively.”

The ICT sector witnessed a decline of 35.56% in deal value from $173bn in Q1 2019 to $111.5bn in Q1 2020. Deal volume decreased by 11.52% from 4,914 in Q1 2019 to 4,348 in Q1 2020.

GlobalData’s league tables are based on the real-time tracking of thousands of company websites, advisory firm websites and other reliable sources available on the secondary domain. A dedicated team of analysts monitors all these sources to gather in-depth details for each deal, including adviser names. All announced deals count towards the totals.

To ensure further robustness to the data, the company also seeks submissions from leading advisers, through adviser submission forms on GlobalData’s website