Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

BNP Paribas might actually be Europe’s best investment bank

Over a year ago, BNP Paribas dramatically announced its plan, with all the pomp of corporate communications training can bring, to be “"the first European corporate and investment bank among global tier one players.” It might have just reached its target.

That’s what the data suggests, at least. Dealogic, the market intelligence provider, has revealed its investment banking revenue rankings for the first half of the year around the world, including EMEA.

In EMEA at least, BNP is the biggest European bank, having leapfrogged Barclays, its last rival. It ranks fourth overall, behind JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Citi.

How did BNP achieve this? It helped that while total IB revenues in the region fell by some 14% and other investment banks’ revenues fell accordingly, BNP’s rose by 11%. That’s pretty good in a normal year, but when market leader JPMorgan falls by 23%, it’s better than “pretty good”. BNP’s market share rose from 3.8% to 4.8% between the two periods.

Globally, things also went quite well. BNP rose from 12th to 9th in the global investment bank rankings. However, it came in sixth on a global basis, behind the top North American banks, plus Barclays and UBS.

Debt capital markets (DCM) revenues were a key contributor to BNP’s performance; the bank was EMEA’s top DCM player in the first half of 2023, up from second in 2022. DCM has been a lot more resilient than both M&A and equity capital markets (ECM) – whilst DCM revenues rose by 18% in H1 2023 compared to H1 2022, M&A and ECM fell by 11% and 25% respectively. As Mediobanca analyst Matthew Clark told Bloomberg, “BNP is the last man standing in European investment banking.”

What’s made the difference for BNP’s people this year over last? It’s hard to say. A 14% increase in the bonus pool for senior bankers (as Bloomberg reported) almost certainly didn’t hurt. The bank has had a somewhat stingy reputation for a long time, which it doesn’t help by giving vouchers for Christmas to its traders.

The bank has also brought in some new faces this year, but it hasn’t yet taken advantage of huge swathes of Credit Suisse bankers joining the market like Deutsche Bank has. Still, it’s picked up a few MDs here and there; Jacqueline Taylor, an investment banker, from JPMorgan, and Josh Farber, a credit trader, from Credit Suisse.

It benefited from Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in other ways. In particular, it took over Deutsche’s prime brokerage business back in 2019.

Much of BNP’s growth is organic. As BNP’s CFO Lars Machenil told Bloomberg, most of the bank’s investments will be retail focused, whilst “The remainder will be allocated to bolt-on deals, either to take over units or portfolios that our competitors want to dispose of, should they complement our offer, or to acquire some technology.”

Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers. Make yourself visible to recruiters hiring for top jobs in technology and finance.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: +44 7537 182250 (SMS, Whatsapp or voicemail). Telegram: @SarahButcher. Click here to fill in our anonymous form, or email editortips@efinancialcareers.com. Signal also available.

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

author-card-avatar
AUTHORZeno Toulon Reporter

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Articles
Recommended Jobs
Edgworth Partners
Senior Investment Analyst, Infrastructure Private Equity
Edgworth Partners
London, United Kingdom
Investment Manager / Associate - Private Equity
C C Consortium Management Limited
London, United Kingdom
Deutsche Bank
Investment Manager, Private Equity
Deutsche Bank
London, United Kingdom
Edgworth Partners
Senior Associate, Infrastructure M&A and Debt Advisory
Edgworth Partners
London, United Kingdom
Edgworth Partners
Hedge Fund Research Analyst - Asset Management
Edgworth Partners
London, United Kingdom

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.