World’s Best Investment Banks 2022: Equities

Sector-wise, finance and technology outpaced all others in a record-setting year overall.

Worldwide supportive central banks, low interest rates, governmental economic stimulus and the full reopening of economies from the Covid crisis were the main ingredients behind the record-breaking year for global equity capital market activity in 2021. The figures are astonishing. According to Dealogic, global equity market activity rose 25% on the year to a record $1.46 trillion in proceeds.

By region, the greatest winners were Africa and the Middle East, with a 102% rise in activity. They are followed by Europe (40%), Asia (24%), Canada (27%), Latin America (21%) and the US (20%). Despite those figures, US markets vastly outpaced the rest of the world in volume—a total of $540 billion.

The finance and technology sectors saw the biggest year-on-year growth—a stunning 69.3% in finance and 38.7% in technology—the leading sector by total volume, a record $385 billion. —TM


Goldman Sachs

In addition to its other wins, Goldman Sachs takes Best Equity Bank for 2022. The firm retained its top positions in issuance volume, raising approximately $140 billion in over 700 deals for a 10% volume share, and in equity underwriting fees, which grew 17%, says Refinitiv. The firm is active across a broad range of sectors and consistently demonstrates an exceptional ability to win underwriting mandates. Goldman was a player in some of the largest and most notable transactions of 2021, including the IPO for electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive and the $2.5 billion IPO for online dating site Bumble. In fintech, Goldman was a bookrunner on a $2.4 billion offering by Fiserv, a leader in payment and financial technology. —TM



Absa Group is our winner for Best Equity Bank in Africa. In a landmark transaction in the TMT sector, Absa executed a $378 million initial public offering for IHS Holding that will accelerate the growth of the company’s telecommunications tower infrastructure and creates the largest independent tower company in South Africa. Notably, the IPO is among the largest for an African business on the New York Stock Exchange, with Absa being the only African bank acting as a joint bookrunner on the issuance. Absa is committed to Africa’s growth. “The IPO provides IHS access to capital from a broad base of international investors and elevates the company’s profile,” Hasnen Varawalla, managing director and co-head of Investment Banking Origination for Absa Securities UK, said at the time of the transaction, “acting as a catalyst for long-term growth in a sector that is essential to unlocking economic development.”  —DS



It was a bittersweet year in Asian equity capital markets. After a record-breaking start to the year, sentiment turned sour as Chinese regulators cracked down on some of the region’s most prominent technology groups, halting valuations and freezing most of the country’s planned IPOs. China’s property-developer crisis further deepened the broad selloff.

In this challenging scenario, our Best Equity Bank in the region, CICC, excelled by adding its consolidated Chinese position to its cross-border capabilities, strengthening its market share in the region to a total of 9.6%, according to Refinitiv. “CICC’s advantage is that we are one of the very few banks on the street that can help clients in various markets,” explains Xu Jia, head of International Investment Banking for CICC. CICC was behind the $7.5 billion Shanghai listings of China Telecom and the $7.7 billion listing of China Mobile, two of the country’s largest in 10 years. It also participated in the cross-border Shanghai Star IPO, the largest in 2021 on the Nasdaq-style board. —TM


Sber Asset Management

Although now under tremendous pressure from the international financial community due to the invasion of Ukraine, Sberbank is an established regional powerhouse—holding roughly a third of Russian banking-sector assets. Over the course of the judging year, Sber Asset Management acted as joint bookrunner on the $249 million IPO of Renaissance Insurance Group, the first financial-services sector IPO on the Moscow Exchange since 2015. Sber was also joint bookrunner on the $400 million IPO of digital-transformation and cybersecurity provider Softline, in the first Russian software IPO since 2013. The investment bank acted as joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner on the $150 million FM SPO of Cyprus-headquartered residential real estate company Etalon Group, as well as joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner on the $500 million FM SPO of Moscow-based construction company PIK Group—the largest real estate SPO in the Russian markets since the global financial crisis. —DR


Itaú BBA

With an overall 21% surge in Latin America’s equity capital markets, Itaú BBA leveraged its established leadership to secure 71 deals worth $5.2 billion—a 0.5% growth in the bank’s equity offerings that pushed its market share to 11%—the largest in the region. Itaú coordinated some of the region’s major offerings, such as the ClearSale and Armac IPOs, and was lead coordinator of one of the most successful IPOs of the year, for gym group SmartFit. It was a key player in major follow-on offerings as well, including Lojas Renner, Meliuz and the $2 billion follow-on sale of Petrobras subsidiary BR Distribuidora, the most extensive equity offering of the region for the year. —TM


SNB Capital

With the 2021 merger of Samba Financial Group and National Commercial Bank, the newly formed entity, Saudi National Bank, combined the capital markets divisions, Samba Capital and NCB Capital, to form SNB Capital—the largest investment bank in Saudi Arabia. SNB Capital is recognized as the Best Equity Bank in the Middle East Equity investment bank based on its range of equity capital markets capabilities with strong local, regional and global expertise, and its top-three franchise in equity capital markets in Saudi Arabia, with a 10% market share. SNB’s scale allowed it to successfully execute on several sizable mandates in the past year, including underwriting a $3 billion issuance for Saudi Telecom and acting as financial adviser and global coordinator on a $1 billion IPO for the Saudi stock exchange, Saudi Tadawul Group, representing 30% of the company’s shares. In technology, SNB participated in the $1 billion IPO for Arabian Internet and Communications. —DS


Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley participated in many of the largest equity capital markets transactions in 2021 and was a standout in North America. Competition for mandates is fierce, and the bank maintained its top-tier status both in US equity underwriting with proceeds of over $55 billion, and in US IPOs with over $18 billion in proceeds, according to Refinitiv. The bank reported record equity underwriting revenue for 2021, propelled by its involvement in several high-profile transactions in a range of sectors, including electric vehicles, where the bank was a lead underwriter on Rivian Automotive’s $13.7 billion IPO. Additional IPO underwriting mandates included Bumble ($2.5 billion), silicon-wafer manufacturer Global Foundries ($2.9 billion) and mobile apps and gaming company AppLovin ($2 billion). Morgan Stanley was also a bookrunner in follow-on equity offerings for VICI Properties ($3.4 billion) and American Tower Corporation ($2.2 billion). —DS



Equity capital market activity in Europe was up 40% in 2021, according to Dealogic, and while UBS is only in ninth in the bookrunner ranking—47 deals worth $7.52 billion—the powerful equity house acted on landmark transactions across the full spectrum of ECM products, notably as joint global coordinator on the €2.2 billion IPO of leading European telecom company Vantage Towers. In Switzerland—where the bank has acted as joint global coordinator on the highest number of ECM deals for the past two years—UBS had a 12.7% share of the ECM market, according to Refinitiv, with nine issues, the proceeds of which were $1.38 billion.

Other key UBS deals in 2021: joint global coordinator on the €220 million IPO of REVO; joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner on the €2.3 billion offering of new shares via a primary accelerated bookbuild in Siemens Healthineers; joint global coordinator on the €1.4 billion primary offering of Piraeus; and joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner on the 247 million Swiss franc rights issue of Swiss Steel Group. —DR