Global M&A activity in the third-quarter hit levels not seen since the third quarter of 2008, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters that found that 27% of all transactions involved companies in emerging markets.

In the first three-quarters of the year, Goldman Sachs was the top ranked advisor of corporate M&A, displacing Morgan Stanley, which was the top adviser of M&A deals in the first nine months of 2009. JP Morgan was the third most active M&A adviser, Credit Suisse fourth and Bank of America Merrill Lynch fifth.

Citigroup, meanwhile, fell to No. 10 when it comes to advising corporate marriages in the first nine months of the year, down from No. 3 in the first three quarters of 2009.

Goldman has, to date, been the leading advisor in industries such as energy and power, healthcare and high technology. It was the third-ranked advisor of financial company mergers. It has completed nearly $400 billion worth of deals and has a market share of 22.8%

Thomson Reuters said that in the third quarter, M&A activity rose 21% from the second quarter to $676.9 billion. The value of worldwide M&A totaled $1.75 trillion in the first 9 months of 2010 - a 21% increase from comparable 2009 levels.

This year there have been 29,000 announced deals, up 3.8% from 2009. Fees, meanwhile, are up 38% in 2010 to $19.9 billion.