LONDON (Reuters) - Buoyed by a recovery in equity issuance, global investment banking fees rose 16 percent to an estimated $104 billion in 2017, Thomson Reuters data shows, the highest level since its records began in 2000.
The rebound in fees to above pre-crisis highs will be welcome news for global advisors who complain they are being squeezed by regulatory requirements amid competition from boutique players.
Following a downbeat 2016, investment banking fees for equity products rose 41.5 percent to $22 billion (£16.23 billion) on an issuance recovery. Fees for bonds beat mergers and acquisitions as the number one product, rising almost 15 percent to $31 billion.
Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd (6178.T), the biggest follow-on offering of the year, and Japanese SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), which agreed to buy a large number of shares of Uber Technologies Inc in late December, were the biggest corporate clients of 2017 - paying out $382 and $378 million respectively.
Japan saw a 50 percent rise in total fees to $5.5 billion.
Blackstone Group (BX.N) was the biggest financial sponsor fee payer, shelling out $679 million, an increase of 87 percent on the previous year.
JP Morgan (JPM.N) was the biggest global investment banking earner of the year once again, racking up an estimated $6.7 billion in fees, or 6 percent of the total.
Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Adrian Croft