The Power of Globalization Will Continue to Propel M&A Growth

Nearly a year has passed since the British voted to leave the EU. That big surprise was rapidly followed by another one - the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

These elections showed us that many voters, in both the US and the UK, believe that globalization – and the free trade and immigration that comes with it – have had a negative influence on their lives.

The march of protectionism has continued. While Marine Le Pen was not victorious in France, she championed the views of a vocal nationalist movement there. And polls relating to the elections coming up in Germany suggest that the allure of populist sentiment cannot be entirely ignored in Germany.

Against this backdrop, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the rise of populism and growth of nationalism have somehow brought an end to globalization. Globalization, however, remains as strong as ever. And, just as globalization has been a predominant driver of M&A activity during the last 20 years, I’m convinced that continued globalization will spur global M&A in 2017 and beyond. In fact, global M&A activity during the first few months of 2017 was some of the strongest on record. As reported by Dealogic, global M&A had reached over $705 billion through the first quarter of 2017 – the first time that volume has surpassed $700 billion since 2007. This increase was driven by $317.6 billion in cross-border transactions.

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