In the world of dealmaking and shareholder activism, an annual conference in New Orleans has become the staple event.
This year, the optimism over the mergers and acquisitions environment is about as free-flowing as the Ramos Gin Fizzes.
Kurt Simon, global chairman of M&A at JPMorgan, gave the keynote address at the 29th annual Corporate Law Institute conference hosted by Tulane University Law School, which draws everyone from deal advisers to Delaware judges. He said there are upsides for M&A, stemming from the White House, Congress and rising talk about infrastructure spending and tax cuts.
He even said that JPMorgan believes the market is not far away from seeing its first $100 billion all-cash deal.
Simon's optimism was echoed in a survey by the public relations firm Brunswick Group, which found that 44 percent of 120 dealmakers surveyed expect merger activity to increase this year. That compares with only 13 percent last year.
Brunswick attributed dealmakers' confidence to policies expected from the Trump administration.