Chicago-based Nuveen Investments says it is being acquired by a private-equity group led by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC. As part of the deal, Nuveen stockholders are set to receive $65 cash per share, a 20 percent premium on the stock as of June 19, 2007. The total transaction is being valued at $6.3 billion. The objective is to enhance the implementation of Nuveen Investments’ existing growth strategies, according to the company.

“This transaction by MDP, with an anticipated equity participation by management, will provide Nuveen Investments the opportunity to accelerate our development of new investment capabilities, products and distribution channels, and help us attract and retain top industry talent,” says Timothy R. Schwertfeger, 58, chairman and outgoing chief executive officer of Nuveen Investments.

The merger is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Effective July 1, John P. Amboian, 46, Nuveen Investments’ president and a director since 1999, succeeds Schwertfeger as CEO. Schwertfeger becomes the non-executive chairman of the Nuveen Investments corporate board and will remain the chairman of the Nuveen fund board. In addition, he will continue to help shape Nuveen Investments’ strategic development.

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John Hancock has announced the launch of the John Hancock Global Opportunities Fund (JGPAX ). The fund, set up in February 2005, is now available to retail investors for the first time. The fund is sub-advised by MFC Global Investment Management (U.S.), LLC, an institutional asset manager affiliated with John Hancock’s parent company, Manulife Financial of Canada.

Managed by Timothy E. Keefe, CFA, executive vice president and chief equity officer of MFC Global (U.S.), and Timothy M. Malloy, vice president, the John Hancock Global Opportunities Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing its assets in U.S. and foreign equity securities of any size. In managing the portfolio, the management team emphasizes a value-oriented, bottom-up approach to individual stock selection, according to John Hancock.

“We are pleased to make available to the general public this new fund managed by the team responsible for the success of our John Hancock Small Cap Intrinsic Value (JHIAX) and Large Cap Equity (TAGRX) funds,” says Andrew Arnott, vice president and head of product management and development for John Hancock Funds.

“Including Global Opportunities, John Hancock Funds has now launched 33 new funds since the beginning of 2005, representing the highest number of new fund launches within the non-proprietary channel over this span and underscoring our commitment to growing our mutual fund business,” adds Keith F. Hartstein, president and CEO of John Hancock Funds.

In the first quarter of 2007, John Hancock introduced the John Hancock Classic Value Mega Cap and Global Shareholder Yield funds. Also, in January two new fund of funds products were launched: the John Hancock International Allocation Portfolio, which invests in international equity funds managed by a variety of leading asset management firms, and the John Hancock Lifecycle Portfolios, comprised of a series of eight target-date mutual funds plus a retirement portfolio.

Manulife Financial and John Hancock recently reached a roughly $20 million settlement with the SEC regarding certain revenue-sharing arrangements between 2001 and 2004.

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The Vanguard Group says AXA Rosenberg Investment Management LLC has been added to the advisory teams of the $12.8 billion Vanguard Explorer Fund and the $1.6 billion Vanguard U.S. Value Fund.

Over the past two years, Vanguard has moved to expand its relationships with investment advisory firms, engaging Lazard Asset Management, Jennison Associates, Donald Smith & Co., and Armstrong Shaw Associates Inc. to manage portions of Vanguard equity funds. In aggregate, 26 external advisors today oversee more than $350 billion, which is nearly one-third of Vanguard’s total U.S. fund assets.

AXA Rosenberg will employ an investment philosophy grounded in fundamental analysis using a two-part quantitative model: a valuation model and an earnings-forecast model.

William E. Ricks, Ph.D., will serve as portfolio manager for AXA Rosenberg’s portions of Vanguard Explorer and Vanguard U.S. Value Funds. Ricks, the firm’s Americas chief executive and chief investment officer, has worked in investment management with AXA Rosenberg since 1989.

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Institutional Capital Corporation says that its CEO and Chief Investment Officer Robert Lyon died in early July at 57. Lyon joined ICAP, which was bought last year by New York Life Investment Management, in 1976. He departed for a few years to work at Fred Alger Management and returned to ICAP in 1988.

Lyon and co-manager Jerrold Senser were named as Morningstar’s International Fund Managers of the Year in 2005 for their work on the MainStay ICAP International Fund (ICEUX). Lyon also was a lead manager of the Mainstay ICAP Select (ICSLX) and Mainstay ICAP Equity (ICAEX) Funds.

“Lyon was an outstanding manager who did the right thing for fundholders,” says Russel Kinnel of Morningstar. “Under Lyon, ICAP set high standards by introducing funds with a low 0.80 percent expense ratio rather than making fundholders bear all the costs of a new and small fund.”

ICAP’s research director, Thomas Wenzel, will become Senser’s co-manager on the mutual funds formerly co-led by Lyon. Senser replaces Lyon as ICAP’s CEO and CIO.

Compiled by Janet Levaux, managing editor of Research; jlevaux@researchmag.com