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Boom times for healthcare mergers bring bankers 59 percent rise in fees

LONDON (Reuters) - A surge in mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare sector has been a windfall for investment bankers, with fees from activity in the sector up 59 percent in the first half of 2015, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Goldman Sachs (GS.N) commanded 11.8 percent of all healthcare fees, followed by JP Morgan (JPM.N) with 11.2 percent and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) with 6.9 percent.

Healthcare has seen a record wave of deal-making since the start of 2014, stretching from large drugmakers buying up smaller rivals to consolidation among makers of generic medicines to tie-ups between insurers.

The buoyant healthcare market contrasts with an 8 percent fall in overall first-half global investment banking fees, which cover services ranging from M&A advisory work to capital markets underwriting.

JP Morgan topped the overall global investment banking league table during the first six months of 2015, with Goldman Sachs in second place.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)