Venture capital-focused investment firm Greenspring Associates has raised its fourth secondary fund at $800 million. The fund will invest in expansion stage companies as well as limited partner interests in venture capital funds mainly through secondary transactions. More venture capital-backed companies are staying private longer and Greenspring says it is in a position to offer investors secondary liquidity options. "With an exclusive focus on venture capital and a flexible approach to secondary investing, targeting both fund and direct interests, we believe that we have the ability to leverage the synergies of our platform to generate and evaluate robust dealflow, with an eye to pricing dynamics within the market more broadly," says Greenspring general partner Jim Lim. Greenspring was founded in 2000 and manages about $10 billion in capital. Mergers & Acquisitions has opened up the nomination process for the 13th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards, which will honor leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market in 2019. Nominations are accepted only through our electronic forms. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. There is no fee. For more information on the nomination process and what we seek in winning candidates, see Call for nominations: Submissions for the M&A Mid-Market Awards due Feb. 7. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION. DEAL NEWS Insight Partners is buying cloud data management company Veeam Software for $5 billion. “Veeam has enjoyed rapid global growth over the last decade and we see tremendous opportunity for future growth, particularly in the U.S. market," says Veeam CEO William Largent. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM), Morgan Stanley and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP are advising Insight. Ropes & Gray is representing Veeam. J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Ares Management, Bank of America, Golub Capital and Antares are providing financing. CVC Growth Partners has invested $200 million in EcoVadis SAS, a provider of business sustainability ratings. "Today's executives recognize the power of sustainability to protect their brands, increase valuation, inform investment strategies and positively impact the world," says EcoVadis co-founder Pierre-Francois Thaler. NovaQuest Capital has invested in InformedDNA. The target offers genetics services. TripleTree Capital Partners and Frist Cressy Ventures invested alongside NovaQuest. Baird and Foley & Lardner advised InformedDNA. Bass Berry & Sims represented the investor group. Osceola Capital has acquired Healthcent, a provider of medical reimbursement services. DLA Piper advised Osceola and Acorn Street Capital provided financing. Freeman Spogli has bought Easy Ice, which rents commercial ice machines. FocalPoint Securties and Queen, Saenz + Schutz PLLC advised Easy Inc. Morgan, Lewis and Bockius advised Freeman Spogli. Varagon Capital and Madison Capital provided financing. Gart Capital Partners has acquired workwear retailer Work World. D.A. Davidson advised the target. Procter & Gamble (NYSE: P&G) is buying female body care company Billie Inc. The deal complements P&G’s female grooming portfolio, which includes the Venus and Braun brands. DEAL TRENDS Private equity buyers and other alternative investors are expected to be increasingly active in 2020 against a backdrop of slowing M&A activity, finds a recent study by Willis Towers Watson and Cass Business School. Armed with record levels of unspent capital, PE firms are expected to complete larger deals and enter into more corporate joint ventures. The report found global dealmaking in 2019 at its slowest pace in six years, with 774 transactions completed in 2019, significantly down from 904 in 2018. The year delivered the lowest annual volume recorded since 2013, when 720 deals closed, according to the report. Also of concern: Forty-two per cent of the deals completed in 2019 failed to add shareholder value in 2019. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System may jump into private debt as the pension giant reworks strategies to achieve its return targets. Calpers, with $397 billion as of Jan. 7, has resisted the burgeoning asset class even as other pension and endowment funds are drawn to returns that can run as high as 10 percent. Change may be afoot as chief investment officer Ben Meng enters his second year managing the country’s largest public pension fund. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Calpers eyes expansion into private debt to retool portfolio. Middle-market lender Twin Brook Capital Partners has committed $1.3 billion to back PE-backed healthcare deals in 2019. The firm, which lends to business that have less than $25 million in Ebitda, closed 24 healthcare deals in 2019. PEOPLE MOVES Mike Lindemann was promoted to co-head of North American M&A at investment bank Baird and Todd Noffke was hired to the same position. Noffke was previously with Credit Suisse. Chris Considine has been named CEO at Lincolnshire Management-backed True Sports. Considine most recently founded management consulting firm Onward Advisory. Jeff Hawn was hired by private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice as a partner. Hawn is the former CEO of Quest Software. Ted Tutun has joined investment bank Stifel Financial Corp.'s (NYSE: SF) financial sponsors group. Tutun was previously with Cowen and Jefferies. FEATURED CONTENT If there’s anything M&A professionals dislike, it’s uncertainty. And heading into 2020, there’s more than enough uncertainty to go around, including questions about the economy, international trade, impeachment, domestic politics and more. The funny thing is, the lack of clarity may actually make the first half of the year a great time for M&A, as dealmakers push to close transactions before the looming uncertainty of Election Day and its outcome. We conducted interviews with 8 investment bankers and other M&A advisors. Some said the first half of the year will be robust, while others said the uncertainty may have a negative impact throughout 2020. Read the full story, What’s ahead for M&A in 2020? We ask 8 advisors. Mergers & Acquisitions has named the 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. This marks the fifth year we have produced the list, which recognizes female leaders with significant influence inside their companies and in the wider dealmaking world. It’s been gratifying to watch the project evolve over the years – and become more influential itself. This year, we received more nominations than ever before. As a result, we expanded the number honored to 42 in 2020, up from 36 in 2019. Many dealmakers are new to our list, including Rockwood Equity Partners' Kate Faust, William Blair's Shay Brokemond and Avante Capital Partners' Ivelisse Simon. Read our full coverage of all the champions of change on our list, including Q&As with each individual. Mergers & Acquisitions examines the impact of 7 technologies on M&A in the retail sector. Read the whole series: Overview: Retail Tech M&A: 7 Technologies Driving Change Retail Tech M&A #1: Nike, McDonald's, PayPal, add customization, IoT Retail Tech M&A #2: Why Walmart and other retailers are buying artificial intelligence startups Retail Tech M&A #3: Amazon leads race to build fulfillment centers Retail Tech M&A #4: Do robots fill orders faster? Retail Tech M&A #5: Voice recognition gives retailers more ways to communicate Retail Tech M&A #6: Data improves customer service Retail Tech M&A #7: Demand for convenience drives growth in mobile ordering Albertsons, Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), Stop & Shop and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) are building automated mini-warehouses and "dark stores" to make deliveries and prepare pickup orders. Mini-warehouses are usually attached to existing stores, and in most cases, "dark stores" are completely separate. Both formats are closed off to customers, and are mostly automated. They use the assistance of robots for speed, save on labor, and get orders out faster. Kroger bought a five percent stake in robotics firm Ocado. Read our full coverage: Smart supermarkets become popular, as Kroger, Walmart add them. To celebrate deals, dealmakers and dealmaking firms, Mergers & Acquisitions produces three special reports every year: the M&A Mid-Market Awards; the Rising Stars of Private Equity; and the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. For more on the timeline and nomination process for each, see Special reports overview: M&A Mid-Market Awards, Rising Stars, Most Influential Women. EVENTS The Annual AM&AA Winter Conference is taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona Jan. 8-10. Deal Wave is being hosted by ACG Orange Country at the Ritz-Carlton-Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California on Jan. 9. ACG New York is hosting the 12th annual healthcare conference and bourbon tasting at the Metropolitan Club in New York on Feb. 27.