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LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - Global investment banking fees reached a 10-year high in the first quarter of 2017 with more than half of the $24 billion in total takings coming from North America, Thomson Reuters data showed on Tuesday.
The rebound in fees to pre-crisis highs will be good news for global advisors who complain they are being squeezed by regulatory requirements amid competition from boutique players.
Wall Street banks took the top five places last quarter, led by JP Morgan which earned $1.7 billion in fees, followed by Goldman Sachs with $1.5 billion.
Fees from equity issuance almost doubled although bonds were the biggest contributor to fees globally. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) was the only sector not to improve on last year's dismal first quarter, with fees falling 2.5 percent in the first three months of this year.
Uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union, the election in the Netherlands and upcoming polls in France and Germany dampened European activity but fees still rose almost 20 percent last quarter.
The biggest fee payer was U.S. telecoms operator Charter Communications which has been exploring a tie-up with Verizon and has issued a series of bonds.
Investment banking fees generated by financial sponsors and their portfolio companies increased by 50 percent on a year earlier to $2.7 billion for the first quarter of 2017.
Fees paid by private equity giant Blackstone more than tripled to $230 million.
Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Susan Fenton