NEW YORK—Perennial leader Sard Verbinnen handled more merger and acquisition assignments than any other communications firm during the first half of 2020, providing PR support to 75 deals. But Finsbury Glover Hering—created by a merger of its own earlier this month—was number one in terms of value of deals worked in the first six months, according to industry publication mergermarket.

Sard Verbinnen, which has led the global ranking of M&A advisors in each of the past three years, finished ahead of Kekst CNC, Brunswick, Finsbury Glover Hering, and Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, with deal volume for all of those firms down considerably, with the Covid-19 pandemic reducing M&A activity by a third or more around the world.

FGH, meanwhile, led the value ranking ahead of Joele Frank, Brunswick, Sard Verbinnen, and Kekst.

Sard also led the US league table in terms of volume, beating out Kekst, Joele Frank, FHG and Brunswick, while FHG was tops in terms of value, ahead of Sard, Brunswick, Joele Frank, and Kekst.

In Europe, however, Brunswick took the number one spot in terms of deal value, ahead of FHG, FTI Consulting, Kekst and Maitland. FHG led the way in value of deals handled, with Joele Frank, Brunswick, Community Group and Kekst rounding out the top five.

In the UK, Brunswick led the volume ranking, with Joele Frank atop the value league table. FHG was number one in Germany, where its Hering Schuppener partner is a longtime market leader, in both value and volume. In France, local powerhouse Image Sept led the rankings on both metrics. In Italy, Barabino & Partners was number one in volume with Brunswick leading in value of deals. In Spain, Kreab led in volume, while newcomer Corporate Communications was number one in value. And in the Nordics, Fogel & Partners was number one in volume, with FGH tops of the value rankings.

Sard Verbinnen was the volume leader in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan), ahead of FTI, Brunswick, Indian firm Christensen Investor Relations, and Australia’s Citadel Magnus. In terms of value of deals, Christensen was number one, beating out Sard, Edelman, Citadel Magnus, and Australian firm Domestique Consulting.

In Japan, Sard Verbinnen was number one in terms of volume (though with just five deals in the half, down from 24 last year), while New York-based Gagnier Communications led in value of deals, despite working on just two transactions.