Global M&A activity hit an all-time high in 2015 and shows no sign of relenting. This is strange as we are at the top of the market, so shareholder value is limited compared with just a few years ago, leaving City pundits puzzled why CEOs continue to do so many deals.

Is it the phenomenon of ‘ego-merger’, where they build CVs, egged-on by eager advisers? Or is it because too many businesses simply lack the skill and culture to develop sufficient growth via sales, rather than eating each other? Either way, there are substantial and immediate opportunities for all manner of marketing services and creative agencies.

The Pearlfinders Global Index 2016 reports a 20% increase in the number of agency briefs directly resulting from this phenomenon, and with no end in sight. Professional services and FMCG lead the charge, 3.5% and 3.3% up respectively.

These numbers are particularly reliable, as when we launched Pearlfinders in 2002, it was specifically to enable us to identify organisations going through M&A and fundraising transactions, and then investigate them for interest in a wide range of marketing services. Rainmaker has an exclusive access to Pearlfinders, along with other sources of information, to keep a finger firmly on the pulse of the busy M&A scene for all of our clients, and to great effect.