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Evening Leaders – Sarona Opens EU Office, Highland Capital Lawsuit Dismissed

Sarona Asset Opens European Office (FINAlternatives)

Sarona Asset Management, a specialist in private equity and impact investing funds, has opened a European office and appointed Vivina Berla as a senior partner and European managing director. Berla has over 15 years of experience in institutional and alternative asset management, previously working at Merrill Lynch and Gartmore Investment Management in London.

Future Capital Unveils Its Second Renewable Energy Fund (FINAlternatives)

Alternative investment boutique Future Capital Partners has launched a new EIS fund that will give investors a chance to capitalise on the firm’s green energy strategy.
The new fund, Elara II, targets targets an average gross equivalent annual rate of return of 29.28% and will be adopting a conservative investment strategy focused on lower risk opportunities in the renewable energy sector. Following Elara I Fund’s raise of £2 million, the new fund will aim to raise at least £4 million, and is expected to close in December.
Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)
Oracle to Buy RightNow for $1.43B (NYTimes)
In a move that will vastly expand Oracle’s footprint in the cloud, the enterprise technology giant announced on Monday that it would acquire RightNow Technologies, a provider of Web-based customer service software, for $1.43 billion. The acquisition, Oracle’s largest to date since its $7.4 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems in 2009, is part of a larger push by the company to build out its so-called cloud-based software services, which are available remotely via the Web.

Nettle Capital Launches One Of First UCITS IV Funds (FINAlternatives)

Boutique asset manager Nettle Capital Management will launch one of the first UCITS IV vehicles—the TB Nettle European Micro Cap fund. Nettle was founded earlier this year by former Baillie Gifford manager David Walton and ex-F&C Asset Management manager Frank Rushbrook. The fund will invest in European micro cap stocks with a market capitalization of less than €250 m (£200 million) and aims to raise £20 million.

Sara Lee Sells Food Service to J.M. Smucker for $350M Cash (WSJ)

Sara Lee Corp. sold the majority of its North American foodservice coffee and tea operations to J.M. Smucker Co. for $350 million in cash. The move underscores Sara Lee’s continuing efforts to slim down the packaged-foods company, while it is in the process of splitting apart, into an international coffee and tea business and a North American business that includes the Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farms brands. Sara Lee has been selling off non-core businesses in order to narrow its focus for the past few years. “This falls in line with those efforts,” Morningstar analyst Erin Lash said. “It’s one more aspect that they’re trying to trim before the split.”

Highland Capital Lawsuit Dismissed (FINAlternatives)

A lawsuit brought against Dallas-based investment advisor Highland Capital Management by the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System has been dismissed by a Delaware court. The Houston pension fund launched the suit after Highland announced three years ago it would shutter its flagship Highland Crusader Fund. The pension accused the money manager of looting the fund.

Kimberly-Clark Lowers Forecast (WSJ)

Kimberly-Clark Corp. cut its sales outlook as the maker of Huggies diapers continues to be hampered by weak demand for baby products in the U.S. and other developed markets. The outlook for the diaper sales, which make up nearly 24% of Kimberly-Clark’s sales, remains dim, as the prolonged economic recovery has delayed a rebound in the birth rate, which has been declining for three years. “The birth rate has been down for three years and that is flowing into the child-care category,” Chief Executive Tom Falk said on Monday’s earnings call. In an interview, Mr. Falk said that sales for the diaper category will likely slip 1% in 2012, following a 3% decline this year.

Schroders to Launch Clean Fee Z Share Class (FINAlternatives)
Schroders will launch a Z share class for its UK-domiciled funds, which will carry a management charge but no fees for platforms or adviser rebates. James Rainbow, head of UK marketing at Schroders, told Citywire the firm is “responding to demand with a clean-fee class.” The new policy will apply to all UK-domiciled funds with the exception of a few, mostly those that have been soft closed like the Schroder US Mid Cap fund run by Jenny Jones.
Man Group Says Investors Likely to Pull Out of Hedge Funds in the 4th Qtr (Reuters)
Investors are likely to pull money out of hedge funds in the fourth quarter, said Man Group’s head of multi-manager Luke Ellis, after many funds suffered big losses this summer amidst the euro zone’s deepening debt crisis. Ellis, who oversees $14.5 billion in assets at the world’s biggest listed hedge fund manager, said that while redemptions across the $2 trillion industry have so far been muted despite poor returns, clients considering changing their portfolios may yet pull out.

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