Leveraged credit specialist Eaton Vance has launched a multi-asset credit fund that will invest in global sub-investment-grade credit.The fund is an Irish-domiciled qualifying investor alternative investment fund that complies with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.It will target higher-yielding credit assets, including global high-yield bonds and floating-rate loans, while up to 40% of its assets may be allocated to “opportunistic and risk-reducing fixed income asset classes”, according to the $318.7bn (€281.2bn) asset manager.The fund is available to investors in the UK and Ireland, and is due to be registered in other jurisdictions, too. In other news, Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has launched an equity fund for institutional investors that follows five other pooled funds, including a diversified multi-asset fund.The fund comprises the top 10-15 stock picks from eight top-rated investment managers, with risk managed at the portfolio level.The other four pooled funds followed by the fund are two liquid alternative funds and an alternative credit fund.Together, the six pooled funds have assets under management of around $5bn (€4.4bn).David Shapiro, portfolio manager of WTW’s Global Equity Focus Fund, said the consultancy “would assert that this high active share fund, offered at such a competitive price, is a world first”.
DES MOINES — A federal court has ruled Iowa’s so-called “ag gag” law is unconstitutional.The law set up a penalty for people who get a job on a farm or in a livestock confinement in order to go undercover to release details of the operation or free the animals. Rita Bettis Austen of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says the law violated First Amendment rights.“An especially grievous harm to our democracy occurs when the government uses the power of the criminal laws to target unpopular speech, to protect those with power,” she says, “and that’s exactly what this law was always about.”Randy Evans, executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, says the court mentioned the value of undercover investigations.“To allow and to prevent the state of Iowa from making a criminal action for entities that publish the truth,” he says, “that shine the spotlight on activities that are of deep interest to the citizens of the state of Iowa.”Matthew Liebman, an attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, says the law stifled investigations his clients might have conducted.“They weren’t willing to put their investigators at risk of going to prison,” he says, “so now that this law is no longer an obstacle, I think we could expect to start seeing undercover investigations in Iowa.”Governor Terry Branstad signed the law in 2012, saying it’s wrong for people to try to disrupt farming operations. Others who supported the law say people who enter livestock barns under false pretenses can expose the animals to diseases. Federal courts have struck down laws in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming that were — like Iowa’s law — intended to discourage groups like PETA from videotaping inside livestock confinements.
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is a shock target for Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.The England international has been in brilliant form this season and has scored four times for the Gunners already.Walcott is currently sidelined for the Gunners after suffering a calf injury in the League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, but, according to Mundo Deportivo, the flyer’s prior performances have attracted the interest of the Spanish champions.Barca are on the hunt for a rapid winger when their transfer bid is lifted in the January transfer window after Brazilian star Rafina was ruled out for the rest of the season.And the Catalan club have reportedly set their sights on a move for 26-year-old Walcott as his replacement.Arsenal, though, have no plans to part with Walcott – who only signed a new deal with the club in July – and are expected to reject any forthcoming approaches for the versatile attacker. 1