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How JPMorgan Is Crushing Rivals in a Tough Market for Dealmakers

JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) reigned supreme among the biggest U.S. banks in a soft M&A market at the start of 2016.

The New York company, which traces its roots to Aaron Burr, known for serving as the third vice president, provided financial advice on 25 deals, according to M&A league tables for the first quarter compiled by The Deal, a subsidiary of TheStreet.

Barclays (BCS) came in second with 23 deals, followed by Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) with 19. The Deal's ranking includes transactions valued at $100 million or more, in which at least one of the companies involved is U.S.-based, so its findings may be different than the worldwide gauges in which Goldman came out on top.

The number of deals on which JPMorgan was adviser was the same as a year earlier. Goldman Sachs, however, saw a decline of nearly 50% and Barclays was the only one of the three to report an increase in volume, a gain of 27%.

The rankings don't mean as much for revenue as they might ordinarily, since deal volume as a whole is down considerably. Rafferty Capital analyst Richard Bove said the M&A market was dealt a dramatic setback by volatility in January and February related to low oil prices, slower Chinese growth and fears that another recession was developing.

In order for dealmaking to flourish, CEOs will "have to feel confident that if they buy...