Dealmaking opportunities expected to improve throughout remainder of 2023

Bolstered by activity in TMT and other growth sectors, reveals a survey by Acuity Knowledge Partners.

Findings from Acuity’s inaugural survey of investment bankers highlight cautious optimism, cushioned by dealmaking opportunities underpinning growth sectors.

London, 3rd August 2023Acuity Knowledge Partners (Acuity), a leading provider of bespoke research, analytics, staffing and technology solutions to the financial services sector, today released findings from its inaugural Investment Banking and Advisory Survey.

The results show that investment banks and advisory firms are cautiously optimistic that markets will modestly revive through the second half of 2023, despite the current economic uncertainty. High inflation, tightening of fiscal and monetary policy and energy supply disruptions due to the war in Ukraine are the key factors hindering a fast economic recovery. However, 58% of the senior executives of leading investment banks and advisory firms surveyed expect only a mild dip in business opportunities.

Around 71% of the respondents expect private equity firms and their large reserves of unallocated dry powder will drive deal activity throughout the remainder of 2023. Reasonable valuations and an increase in market consolidation are likely to generate additional deal volumes. Digital transformations, corporate restructuring, increased cross-border activity and ESG considerations are also key factors expected to keep dealmaking buoyant this year.

“The past few quarters have posed challenges for dealmakers worldwide, with tighter monetary policy, persistent inflation and geopolitical tensions weighing on dealmaking activity. The M&A market is heavily influenced by credit trends, and the current tightened credit conditions have made debt scarce and more expensive, impacting both valuations and activity levels,” said Anish Ailawadi, Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Acuity. “Although the multiples for strategic M&A dipped across sectors in 2022, firms are optimistic that the technology, media and telecom (TMT) sector will generate higher deal volumes this year, given the evolving artificial intelligence (AI) and big data technology landscape.”

Key Findings from Investment Banking and Advisory Survey:

• While geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainty have created headwinds, they have also generated ample dealmaking opportunities. With record levels of private equity dry powder, lower valuations, less competition for deals and new assets coming to market, 77% of the respondents expect M&A to drive revenue for investment banking firms, followed by restructuring and debt advisory. The TMT, healthcare and pharma sectors are expected to generate the most opportunities for investment banks and advisory firms, with particularly elevated interest in AI and machine learning, virtualisation and cleantech deals.

• Around 55% of the firms surveyed expect increased cost pressure this year, compared to 2022. To mitigate costs, improve the customer experience and boost the deal pipeline, firms are deploying productivity-enhancement and automation tools, leveraging AI, employing offshoring services across the deal lifecycle and conducting strategic portfolio reviews.

• Firms are placing increased importance on operational efficiency and cost optimisation to achieve long-term business success. More than 40% cited that strategic initiatives such as process re-engineering and workforce strategies are among the top three activities that their firms are currently spending time on.

Pankaj Bukalsaria, Director, Investment Banking at Acuity, added, “There are many voices in the market trying to predict the future. While there’s a lot of speculation about soft landings or recessions, what bankers are telling us is that there’s still value in growth companies. Some of the changing economic conditions are prompting a renewed focus on innovation within investment banks but overall the broad macro picture is less bleak than some headlines might suggest.”

About Acuity Knowledge Partners

Acuity Knowledge Partners (Acuity) is a leading provider of bespoke research, analytics and technology solutions to the financial services sector, including asset managers, corporate and investment banks, private equity and venture capital firms, hedge funds and consulting firms. Its global network of over 6,000 analysts and industry experts, combined with proprietary technology, supports more than 500 financial institutions and consulting companies to operate more efficiently and unlock their human capital, driving revenue higher and transforming operations. Acuity is headquartered in London and operates from 10 locations worldwide.

Acuity was established as a separate business from Moody’s Corporation in 2019, following its acquisition by Equistone Partners Europe (Equistone). In January 2023, funds advised by global private equity firm Permira acquired a majority stake in the business from Equistone, which remains invested as a minority shareholder.

For more information, visit

Media contact:
Stuti Das
Global Head of Communications and PR
Acuity Knowledge Partners

Latest News

BEAT Studio by Acuity Knowledge Partners recognized as Best In-house Design Studio 2023 by Design India

Best design award, best inhouse design studio, customer research

Read More
Acuity Knowledge Partners wins ‘Best Supporting Institution of 2023’ at GIFA 2023

Award win, Best supporting institute, client support

Read More
Acuity Knowledge Partners Wins 2023 HFM US Services Award for Best Outsourced ManCo

Read More
Acuity Knowledge Partners offers undergraduates access to Capital Markets Webinar Series

Read More
Private Equity and Venture Capital investment expectations decline sharply reveals survey

Read More
Acuity Knowledge Partners tops 5,500 staff as demand for bespoke research and analytics continues

Read More