In total, RSM advised on 53 completed deals in 2021 Q1, including 19 in the South East, 18 in London and 18 in the Midlands – taking third place in the national league table.
Overall, Experian – a multinational consumer credit reporting company – recorded 1712 transactions in the first quarter of 2021, 52% higher than the number of transactions during the Covid-hit middle of 2020.
RSM said the activity recorded “sits more in line” with the volume expected pre-pandemic, “cautiously suggesting” a “return in business confidence”.
Kirsty Sandwell, partner and head of corporate finance at RSM, said: “After the initial shock of Covid-19, the deals market has recovered well; and in some ways exceeded expectations with the levels of activity.
“Technology, infrastructure and businesses who have benefited from government spend exceeded expectations, private equity liquidity and the threat of capital gains tax increases has also driven activity.”
She added: “‘Looking ahead to the year, we expect to see an uplift in real estate deals due to changes in the commercial market, but values will be down. In addition, once the pressure of Covid-19 recedes, we expect to see a recovery in the health sector; but info comms is likely to remain a key driver of activity in 2021.
“There will also be an increase in distress activity with key sectors keenly hit by the pandemic, including retail and travel. Looking at the transactional activity as a predictor of business sentiment, the data is encouraging.”