Investment bankers enjoy £4.5bn fees bonanza in City takeover frenzy

Investment bankers enjoy a £4.5bn fees bonanza as takeover frenzy grips the City

Investment bankers who worked on takeovers of British businesses raked in a fees bonanza this year.

Firms from Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs to London-based financier Robey Warshaw – which employs former chancellor George Osborne – earned £4.5billion for their work, according to analysis by data firm Refinitiv.

UK banks alone scooped £2.7billion, the most since Refinitiv’s records began in 2000.

Cashing in: Firms from Goldman Sachs to London-based Robey Warshaw – which employs former Chancellor George Osborne (pictured) – have earned £4.5bn from buyout deals

Morrisons forked out £47.9million for financial and corporate broking advice during its takeover. Its buyers, US private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice, paid £42million.

Bankers are now set to trouser their fattest bonus cheques since before the financial crisis.

Luke Hildyard, of the High Pay Centre, said: ‘This is hardly a golden economic era, so very high bankers’ pay awards only serve to strengthen the idea that the financial services industry does little to benefit wider society.’

The bumper fees came amid a bidding frenzy for British firms, as private equity buyers and overseas predators looked to snap up pandemic-struck companies on the cheap. More than 4,400 UK firms were bought last year – the highest number on record.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband voiced concern about what was dubbed a ‘pandemic plundering’ of British plc, while Lord Heseltine, former deputy prime minister under John Major, said private equity firms and their advisers were ‘marauders’ looking for a ‘quick profit’.