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Morning Brief: Glass Lewis Backs Trian in P&G Fight

Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis is reportedly skeptical about P&G’s efforts to boost shareholder value.

Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management received a big boost in its proxy fight with Procter & Gamble when proxy research firm Glass Lewis backed the activist’s bid, according to Cincinnati.com, part of USA Today network. “Investors have an opportunity to encourage fresh discussion through the election of a qualified, well-established shareholder candidate backed by what we believe to be cogent, well-framed arguments and a set of strategic initiatives that should, at the very least, set the table for a more candid evaluation of P&G’s risks and opportunities,” Glass Lewis reportedly wrote in its recommendation to support Trian, which is seeking to place Peltz on the P&G board of directors.

According to the report, Glass Lewis also is skeptical about Cincinnati-based P&G’s efforts to boost shareholder value. “While P&G is quick to point to the company’s existing restructuring effort, we consider there are relatively few decisively favorable metrics on which the board can hang its hat with confidence,” states Glass, Lewis, according to the report.

In response, P&G stated: “Glass Lewis fails to recognize that P&G has delivered consistently strong operating results over the last five years, excluding the effects of currency, while executing its transformation of the Company.” The consumer products giant, whose brands include Pampers, Tide, Crest, said its board and management team are implementing a strategy “that is working and has strong momentum.” P&G said it has met or exceeded all of its going-in fiscal 2017 objectives.

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Neuberger Berman said last week that it has picked up the investment team of Breton Hill Capital, a Toronto-based quantitative firm with $2 billion of assets under management at the end of August. Breton Hill’s technology platform and investment philosophy were created by co-founders Ray Carroll, Simon Griffiths, and Frank Maeba. Neuberger Berman said there would be no changes to Breton Hill’s investment process under the deal. Neuberger Berman manages equities, fixed income, private equity and hedge fund portfolios.

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Ricky Sandler’s Eminence Capital boosted its stake in telecommunications equipment maker ARRIS International to a little more than 10 million shares this month, or 5.3 percent, according to a regulatory filing.

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Perceptive Advisors led the $10 million Series A round of financing for Landos Biopharma, a fledgling biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for autoimmune diseases, last week. Perceptive, led by Joseph Edelman, is the exclusive investor for this round of financing, according to a Landos statement week. The biopharma company said therapies for autoimmune diseases are a $100 billion market but current therapies have limited efficacy and significant side effects.

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