Year: 2022

Winner: Bank of America

Investment bankers like to point out that making money is never easy – and it’s a truism that
was especially true in 2022, when markets effectively fell off a cliff.
Yet against this troubling backdrop, Bank of America was one firm that stood out for having
excelled across market segments. While its performance in Latin America’s M&A markets –
where it won M&A House of the Year – was exceptional, the bank also took on leading roles
in a number of the region’s most significant transactions across asset classes, while also
managing to maintain competitive league table positions. In doing so, it wins the award for
Investment Bank of the Year.
BofA ended the 12 months to October 2022 at the top of the investment banking net revenue
league tables, having earned an estimated $190 million, and having increased its market share
from 9.4% to 11.7%, according to Dealogic. The lion’s share of this result was a function of its
performance in M&A, where BofA led the field by a significant margin. The bank was also in
the top five for bond and loan markets in the region, where earnings overall were much lower
than for M&A.
The bank was also a key player in some of the region’s most important deals in the period,
including the privatization of Eletrobras (Equity Follow-on of the Year), Mexico’s liability
management program (Sovereign Bond of the Year) and the sustainability-linked bond issued
by Mexico’s CFE (Quasi-Sovereign Bond of the Year).
Although the bank was the best performer in the region, its total revenue for investment
banking dropped almost 9% in the period compared to the year prior, per Dealogic data.
Augusto Urmeneta, BofA’s head of global corporate banking and investment banking for Latin
America, says the market will continue to pose significant challenges in 2023, especially in the
first half of the year. A meaningful recovery won’t happen until volatility subsides; but once
that happens, Urmeneta expects equity markets to recover.
“Defensive sectors are likely to be the first ones to return to the equity market, the likes of
utilities and power, and then we will start seeing those who have good cash flow stories,” he
says. “Investors will be less enticed by growth for a while.” LF