Anu Aiyengar, JPMorgan global co-head of M&A
Anu Aiyengar, JPMorgan global co-head of M&A, said: ‘In times of dislocated markets, JPMorgan wants to invest and grow as opposed to shrink’ © Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase has poached one of Credit Suisse’s most prolific rainmakers as the bank expands its mergers and acquisition team in an effort to dethrone Goldman Sachs from its position as top deal adviser.

Andy Lipsky, who has been a key adviser on mega deals to industrial giants such as General Electric, 3M, ABB and Ingersoll Rand, will become vice-chairman of investment banking at JPMorgan, according to an internal memo seen by the Financial Times. 

He is the latest senior hire made over the past few months by the US bank, led by chief executive Jamie Dimon, as it views the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to acquire new talent and challenge its traditional M&A rivals Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Bank of America.

“In times of dislocated markets, JPMorgan wants to invest and grow as opposed to shrink,” said Anu Aiyengar, global co-head of M&A at JPMorgan. “The message comes from the top of the house.”

For the past several years, JPMorgan has come runner-up to Goldman in terms of overall deals and fees generated by M&A. “We want to hit the number one spot,” said Ms Aiyengar.

The decision to hire Mr Lipsky comes after JPMorgan poached Maja Torun from Citigroup to bolster its M&A team in France and Celia Murray from Goldman to lead its UK deals team. 

These hires have come despite global deal activity dropping to its lowest levels in more than a decade during the second quarter of 2020 due to the fallout of coronavirus. However, since the start of the summer M&A activity has picked up again as companies try to take advantage of attractive valuations and lending conditions.

Despite the disruption caused by coronavirus, JPMorgan has worked on 133 transactions worth $270bn so far this year, including advising Liberty Global to combine its UK business Virgin Media with Telefonica’s O2 in a landmark £31.4bn deal in the midst of the pandemic.*

JPMorgan also advised US chipmaker Maxim Integrated Products in its $20bn sale to Analog Devices and online trading platform ETrade in its $13bn sale to Morgan Stanley — two rare mega deals in 2020. 

M&A fees have generated about $1.1bn in fees so far this year for JPMorgan, just behind Goldman, which has generated $1.3bn worth in fees, according to Dealogic data.

The hiring of Mr Lipsky, who advised GE on 15 deals over the years, including its $14bn acquisition of Alstom’s energy assets, is aimed at bolstering the industrial teams, which just over a year ago added Charlie Dupree, who was Deutsche Bank’s head of mergers and acquisitions in the Americas, and Charles Bouckaert, who joined from Goldman Sachs.

JPMorgan’s industrial team advised in recent years Danaher in its $21bn acquisition of GE’s biopharma business and Rockwell Collins in its $30bn sale to United Technologies.

*This article has been amended to correct the details of the Virgin Media deal and JPMorgan’s role 

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