Nuveen, the investment manager of US pension fund TIAA, is folding its private equity and junior capital group into Churchill Asset Management, its middle-market senior loan and unitranche financing business, to create a direct access platform with more than $21bn (€18.9bn) in committed capital.

The combined platform will operate as Churchill.

Ken Kencel, president and chief executive officer of Churchill, said the combination of the two businesses “creates one of the largest, most differentiated middle market private capital investment platforms” in the US.

The combined platform manages more than 250 portfolio investments and has more than 150 limited partner investments in middle market private equity funds. Collectively, the combined businesses invest more than $5bn annually in over 100 middle market companies, led by highly experienced investment teams.

The new platform will provide customised financing solutions across the capital structure including first lien, unitranche, second lien and mezzanine debt and equity co-investments, in addition to private equity fund investments.

DWS takes AI stake via Arabesque

DWS Group has acquired a minority stake of 24.9% in Arabesque AI, asset manager Arabesque’s artificial intelligence company. 

The companies also agreed on a strategic partnership to enhance the capabilities of the AI engine, and to develop sophisticated AI-based investment solutions. Both parties have agreed to establish an expert working group for ongoing collaboration.

They said that as part of the cooperation they intend to work exclusively on new projects together.

Asoka Woehrmann, CEO of DWS, said: “The strategic partnership with Arabesque AI is the next step towards the digitalisation of DWS. It will clearly strengthen our digital capabilities and, in particular, our artificial intelligence know-how.”

“[I]n the future, the AI engine will deliver innovative signals that will help us identify additional alpha sources, and will enable us to make smarter decisions,” he said.

The firms said they had agreed to maintain confidentiality on the price of the transaction and further financial details. The transaction has already closed. 

Last year DWS took in a minority stake in Arabesque S-Ray GmbH, an ESG data provider, and entered into a strategic partnership for the development of new ESG data products and services.

“With this suite of investments, DWS is following through in strengthening its ESG and digital capabilities, as announced at last year’s annual general meeting,” the German asset manager said.