The two biggest deals of the first half broke out of the pattern of geographic proximity that has marked financial services mergers in past years. In fact, the biggest deal, combining Citicorp and Travelers Group, is not only national but international in scope.
And the No. 2 deal, joining Charlotte, N.C.'s NationsBank and San Francisco's Bank of America, was a dramatic example of the linking of East Coast and West Coast titans.
After that, though, the regional pattern again prevails, with Norwest's deal for Wells Fargo concentrated in the western half of ;the country, Banc One's deal for First Chicago NBD within the Midwest, and Washington Mutual's takeover of H.F. Ahmanson focused on the West Coast.
The Western region proved to be the hottest in the country for mergers of all sizes, accounting for four of the $1 billion-plus bank deals and 16 of the smallest deals-those for less than $100 million.
The financial and legal advisers for mergers and acquisitions, however, were quite concentrated. The biggest financial advisers in terms of the value of the deals were all based in the East Coast, mostly in New York. Goldman Sachs led the list with $132 billion of deals and Merrill Lynch ran second with $95 billion. Advising the largest number of deals was New York- based Sandler O'Neill & Partners with 17 worth $7.4 billion.
Goldman was somewhat limited geographically, however, doing deals in just three of the nation's six regions-the Northeast, the West, and the Midwest. Merrill Lynch did deals in four regions, while Sandler's 17 deals were also scattered over four regions.
Running neck and neck for top legal adviser by value of the deals were Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, with $141.9 billion, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, with $134.5 billion. Both are based in New York, as is third- place Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom with $81.1 billion. Simpson Thacher was involved in deals in five of the six regions of the country, as was Wachtell Lipton. Skadden Arps did deals in four regions.
Noteworthy among the arrangers of smaller deals were Carson Medlin & Co., Alex Sheshunoff & Co., and Professional Bank Services, each of which advised nine deals with a cumulative value of under $1 billion.