2022 was another busy year for Murray & Co and our clients. In 2022 we advised on some key transactions, expanded our team, entered an exciting Trans-Tasman alliance and moved premises in Auckland and Christchurch.
How was it in 2022?
While some offshore markets saw a marked decrease in M&A activity during 2022, especially in the second half of the year, transaction volumes remained robust in New Zealand. This was driven by continued strength of financial sponsor activity backed by record fundraising volumes over the past 24 months, ongoing elevated levels of infrastructure investment, the continuation of succession motivated transactions and the relative perceived strength of the New Zealand economy.
What's to come?
2023 promises to be an interesting year, both economically and in M&A terms. We expect to see a continuation of the current economic headwinds as relatively high interest rates, inflation and tighter labour markets predominate, at least for the first half of the year. However, high levels of “cash on the sidelines”, including several financial sponsors seeking to invest recently raised funds, robust corporate balance sheets and a number of cashed-up family offices should drive substantial deal volumes as opportunities arise.
On the sell side, we expect succession to continue to be a theme alongside the natural cycle of financial sponsor exits. Given adverse conditions in certain sectors, some companies may seek to exit non-core operations or investments. Other companies may find themselves in challenging territory as the impact of higher rates and restrained consumer sentiment is felt, resulting in increased restructuring activity, including some accelerated transactions. By contrast, we expect stronger performance from New Zealand’s rejuvenated tourism sector and increasing economic stimulus from the re-opening of China, the positive impact of which could be underestimated.
In July 2022 we welcomed Cameron Baudinet as a Partner at Murray & Co. Cameron heads our Auckland office and has over 20 years’ experience in investment banking and corporate finance. Since joining Murray & Co in 2020, Cameron has been at the forefront of several significant transactions, including two of our notable 2022 transactions Jucy and ICT.
Sarah Unwin joined us in February 2022 as an Analyst. In May 2022 Ben Leith joined as a Director, to build our restructuring practice. In August 2022 Melissa McCosh joined as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer and Marcel Kampman also joined us as an Analyst.
In 2022 we launched our successful internship programme, with the objective to foster interest and awareness in the investment banking sector in New Zealand. In February 2023, in collaboration with Universities across New Zealand, we commence recruitment for our next intake of students for our 2023/2024 summer internship as well as our annual graduate recruitment.
In October 2022 Murray & Co entered into a partnership with leading Australian financial advisory firm Gresham Partners, a trusted source of corporate and financial advice in the Australian market. The alliance with Gresham will facilitate cross border capital raising and enhance the respective firms’ offerings in trans-Tasman mergers and acquisitions.
In February 2022 we moved into new Christchurch premises, in the heart of the Christchurch CBD, in the Awly Building at 293 Durham Street North. This is an exciting step for the firm and an ideal location from which to support our growing client base. Due to the expansion of our Auckland-based team, in January 2023 we moved to new premises in Auckland, located on Level 17 of HSBC Tower, 188 Quay Street. The office is well located, adjacent to the Commercial Bay precinct on Auckland’s waterfront. We look forward to welcoming clients to our new Auckland space.