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Expand chart
Data: GlobalData Financial Deals Database; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Half of the top investment banks advised on fewer deals in the first quarter than the prior year period, but the deals were bigger.

The big picture: Research from analytics firm GlobalData shows the usual suspects again topped the list of advisers on the biggest M&A deals in the first quarter, but it was their participation in just 2 deals that made the difference: Bristol-Myers Squibb's purchase of Celgene, and Saudia Aramco's deal to acquire a majority stake in Saudi petrochemical company SABIC.

  • JP Morgan, Evercore, Morgan Stanley and Citi advised on the Bristol-Celgene deal, while Citi, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley advised the Saudi-SABIC deal.

Between the lines: Advisers typically pocket M&A advisory fees that are based on the total transaction value.

  • These fees aren't reflected in the banks' Q1 results since the deals haven't closed yet. But M&A advisory fees for Goldman Sachs, for example, helped offset sluggish trading revenues.

Go deeper: In 2019's M&A market, less is more

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel almost resigned over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel almost resigned in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelations stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.