Sard Verbinnen continued its streak at the top of Mergermarket’s rankings of PR advisors in the global merger market for 2019, both in terms of the number of deals and total deal value.

In the U.S., SVC was #1 when ranked by deal count, but Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher took over the top spot in the total deal value column (up from #4 last year), fueled by a 51.7 percent hike in that category.

SVC’s strong performance came in spite of a reduction in the number of deals it worked on—down from 268 to 251 globally. Joele Frank, on the other hand, saw its global deal count rise from 146 to 180, with a deal-value boost of 50.2 percent.

In global deal value, Joele Frank rose from #4 to #2, Brunswick Group went from #2 to #3, Kekst CNC was up from #8 to #4, Finsbury dropped from #3 to #5, Abernathy MacGregor Group held steady at #6, and Maitland did the same at #7. FTI Consulting slid from #5 to #8, and Edelman cracked the top 10, up to #9 from last year’s 15th place finish.

After SVC, the top firms in global deal count were Kekst CNC, Finsbury, Joele Frank, FTI Consulting, Brunswick Group, Maitland and Barabino & Partner. Lambert & Co. had a banner year in the category, rising from 2 deals in 2018 to 83 in 2019, and coming in at #9.

In the U.S. SVC was joined in the deal count top five by Kekst CNC, Joele Frank, Finsbury and Lambert & Co. As regards total value, following Joele Frank in the top five were SVC, Kekst CNC, Brunswick Group and Abernathy MacGregor Group.

Kekst CNC was another big gainer in 2019, seeing a 200.3 percent jump in global deal value and rising from 190 deals to 235.

Mergermarket’s rankings measured deals with a value of over $5 million or deals with an undisclosed value where the target’s turnover exceeds $10 million. If the deal is for a stake of less than 30%, the value must be greater than $100 million.

Mergermarket, an Acuris company, employs correspondents across 67 locations worldwide to assemble a database of information about the M&A market.