The first quarter was the weakest for Wall Street dealmakers since the dark post-financial-crisis days of 2009.
But according to Bank of America’s top executives, that will soon change.
“The simple thing to think about in the investment banking capital market side is: The work is ready to go,” said CEO Brian Moynihan in a call following the bank’s first-quarter earnings release.
“If we continue to see the stability, you’ll see it come through … But there’s still a few more weeks of stability that you have to see for people to actually pull the trigger on financings,” he said.
Following an extremely volatile start to the year, both initial public offering and mergers and acquisitions revenues saw their lowest quarterly totals since the first quarter of 2009, according to Dealogic.
Bank of America’s own investment banking revenues were down 22% from last year.
But CFO Paul Donofrio said the deal pipeline “looks great.”
“People need to transact — they just didn’t do it in the first quarter — so it’s building up,” Donofrio said on the call.
“In periods where there’s volatility like this, the best thing our bankers can do is to be in front of CEOs, boards, and CFOs — they’re doing that,” he added.
Donofrio said the firm hasn’t seen any dramatic increase in capital markets activity in the first few weeks of April, but noted there is “certainly lots of dialogue.”
“There is going to have to be financing activity at some point because clients need to finance, and so our pipeline looks good,” Donofrio said.