NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC) is the top underwriter of US IPOs so far in 2009, providing the latest evidence of the success of its investment banking unit following its acquisition of Merrill Lynch at the start of the year. BofA has helped companies raise $4.4 billion in 17 IPOs this year through Tuesday, according to data provider Dealogic. Goldman Sachs ( GS) was second, serving as underwriter for companies raising a total $3.3 billion in 12 deals, while third place went to Morgan Stanley ( MS), which was part of 17 deals, but only raised $2.8 billion. BofA was in fourth place at the same point last year, with just seven deals to its credit. On a standalone basis, Merrill Lynch was in second place at this time last year, participating in 12 deals that raised a total of $4.37 billion.
Despite its dominance in investment banking as a whole, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is fairly far down the list in 2009 when comes to IPOs. It's in sixth place, down a notch from last year. Citigroup, the top IPO underwriter at this point in 2008, has fallen to eighth place this year. Making an impressive move higher was Credit Suisse ( CS), going to fourth place by underwriting 13 deals raising a total of $2.81 billion in 2009 from ninth place with nine deals raising $863.1 million last year; and
Overall in 2009, there have been 49 IPOs listed in the U.S. worth $22.88 billion, compared to 50 IPOs worth $30.55 billion at this point last year. Private equity is one factor expected to drive IPO activity going forward, as buyout giant Blackstone Group ( BX) has indicated it has several portfolio companies it wants to take public. -- Written by Dan Freed in New York.