CEOs and boards are feeling more "offensive minded" with the expected tax reform and infrastructure spending package under President-elect Donald Trump, Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division Co-Head John Waldron said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday morning.
"We're pretty optimistic about the deal environment," and 2017 should bring in "more big deals," he claimed.
The "forces of consolidation" in many industries can't be stopped, Waldron said. "There are forces of companies that need to come together, taking costs out, creating synergy and creating growth and opportunity to expand whether its overseas or deepening their penetration in certain markets."
Those forces were very active in 2015, but dropped by 20% in 2016 because of increased volatility in equity markets, he noted. But deals are already picking up in the second half of this year, both before and after the election.
Plus, with the election over, animal spirits are coming out more, indicating that the deals will keep coming, Waldron explained. AT&T's (T) - Get Report $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner (TWX) is just one example of what's to come in 2017.
"There are bigger transactions that have happened and there are more on the runway, and we expect to see a continuation of that trend," he said.
(AT&T stock is held in the Dividend Stock Advisor portfolio. See all of the holdings with a free trial.)