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Inside a wild year for Wall Street's 'deal toy' makers: Business is rebounding as M&A jumps but raw materials like crystal are tough to find

Inside a wild year for Wall Street's 'deal toy' makers: Business is rebounding as M&A jumps but raw materials like crystal are tough to find

The deal toy industry has been impacted by worldwide shipping delays and material shortages.
Samantha Lee/Business Insider




Business is booming for deal toy makers, who create awards for Wall Street transactions.




After M&A activity slowed last year, it picked back up and has been record-breaking in 2021.




Deal toy makers also said they've adjusted to dropshipping and material shortages.




See more stories on Insider's business page.


Alligators with sapphire collars, statues with moving pieces, and pythons made from precious metals: dealmaking is back on Wall Street, and with it has returned the demand for so-called deal toys to commemorate blockbuster transactions. M&A activity hit some speed bumps in 2020 but came surging back towards the end of the year. That momentum has carried into 2021, and the first half of the year hit an all-time high with more than $2.8 trillion in announced deals, according to Refinitiv. Activity for U.S. targets was $1.3 billion, and the strong M&A market was driven by the technology, financial, and energy sectors. There were more than 29,000 deals announced in the first half of 2021, and megadeals - those totaling between $5 and $10 billion - also increased.It's good news for deal toy makers, who make the customized mementos such as plaques or statues that financial advisors and law firms present to clients when big deals close. Deal toys have been Wall Street staples for decades, but suppliers left in the lurch last year have only recently started to see firms once again budgeting for tchotchkes.
Inside a wild year for Wall Street's 'deal toy' makers: Business is rebounding as M&A jumps but raw materials like crystal are tough to find

Deal toys are custom statuettes that investment banks gift to clients when big transactions close.
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