Altman Sees M&A ‘Buoyancy’ as Evercore Has Record Half Year

  • Brexit hasn’t stunted dealmaking, Altman tells analysts
  • Low interest rates, rising stock market fuel deals, he says

Evercore Partners Inc. Chairman Roger Altman said the investment bank had its best half year in the firm’s two-decade history as clients pursue mergers and acquisitions even amid turmoil in global markets.

“We couldn’t be doing this well if the environment wasn’t a pretty good one,” Altman said Wednesday during a conference call discussing second-quarter results. The key ingredients for “buoyancy in M&A” are in place, he said.

Low interest rates, credit availability and record-high stock prices are driving dealmaking, according to Altman. He said there’s no evidence that the U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union has significantly stunted transactions among corporations. The referendum sent shares of Evercore down at least 12 percent for two straight trading days last month, but the company and its boutique rivals later erased most of those losses. The firm said health care, technology and energy have been among the most active sectors for dealmaking.

“There isn’t currently the type of hesitation or uncertainty from a confidence point of view that would cause hesitation in M&A,” Altman said, citing his firm’s backlog of deals. “We should see continuation of strong transaction volumes.”

Evercore is slowing down the pace of adding talent, having brought on four senior managing directors this year and expecting maybe one or two more walk-ins, Altman said. That’s after a record pace of hiring in 2015. This year’s additions include ex-Deutsche Bank Group AG dealmaker Dan Ward for energy and Jim Renwick, who joined from Barclays Plc to lead an equity capital markets team in Europe.

Evercore slipped 1.2 percent to $50.20 at 11:21 a.m. in New York.

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