The three largest deals for the quarter were in the healthcare and utility and energy sectors. They included Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.'s acquisition of Life Technologies Corp. for $15.7 billion, Pfizer Inc.'s offer of a share exchange to reduce its 80.2% stake in animal health business Zoetis Inc. for around $14.7 billion, and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. acquiring NV Energy Inc. for $10.4 billion.
These were overshadowed by megadeals in the first quarter that included the $27.5 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz Co. by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital and the $20.7 billion privatization bid for Dell Inc. by Silver Lake and the company's CEO.
Boutique advisers -- such as Evercore Partners Inc., Houlihan Lokey and Moelis & Co. LLC -- were somewhat better-positioned in the current market than bulge-bracket houses given the dearth of large deals, Feinstein said.
His colleague, senior vice president Darren Novak, also noted that M&A teams at larger law firms were being squeezed by the lack of large-cap deal activity.
Deal activity for the second quarter represents a 27% drop on the first quarter, or a 35% fall on the prior corresponding period.
Written by Jane Searle in New York