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RBC has not headed up the largest equity deals so far, but it exceeds the rest of the banks in number of issues. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
RBC has not headed up the largest equity deals so far, but it exceeds the rest of the banks in number of issues. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

THE STREET

RBC dominates deal-making tables Add to ...

(Editor's note: A previous version of this article contained an inaccurate figure. This has been corrected.)

The investment bankers at RBC Dominion Securities propelled their firm to the zenith of the 2012 league tables through the first nine months of this year. The bank raised $3.4-billion in equity for other companies, and came out ahead in debt underwriting and mergers and acquisitions through to the end of the third quarter, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

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RBC has not headed up the largest equity deals so far – primarily energy-related plays for companies such as Enbridge Inc., Crescent Point Energy Corp. and Fortis Inc. – but it exceeds the rest of the banks in number of issues. The bankers at TD Securities Inc. came in second with $3.06-billion in new equity. BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and CIBC World Markets Inc. fell in line after that with $2.76-billion and $2.24-billion respectively.

Notably, Scotia Capital Inc. at first appeared to pop out ahead on equity deals, but the $4.84-billion in capital raised involves large, self-funded, or self-led, deals. Removing the self-funded figures provides a better indicator of ability to score business, since banks typically lead their own deals. While Scotia Capital’s bankers raised more than $3-billion in two big equity deals so far this year, without their employer’s help they came fifth at $1.55-billion.

With or without its own business, RBC continued to dominate debt underwriting, leaving its competitors behind with $28.79-billion raised. National Bank Financial Inc. and TD Securities Inc. were neck-and-neck for second and third, with over $19-billion in funds for clients at each.

In mergers and acquisitions, the $15.1-billion Nexen deal propelled RBC, as its advisers worked with Goldman Sachs on what was easily the biggest deal of the year. Other banks led deals such as Glencore International’s acquisition of grain handler Viterra Inc., and Petronas Carigali Canada Ltd.’s bid to buy Progress Energy Resources Corp., each worth several billion dollars.

Those M&A deals also proved profitable for lawyers, with Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP pocketing $36.63-billion on 76 deals. Coming in a close second and third were Stikeman Elliott LLP and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, with Stikeman edging out Osler by one deal and roughly $2-billion.

Given the marketplace’s weak pulse on initial public offerings, proceeds are so far significantly less than in 2011, but Canadian firms TD and RBC bookend the top five. In between, were international players Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Bank of China Ltd. All pulled in less than $200-million each. In comparison, TD’s 2011 figure for the first three months of the year was close to $350-billion.

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