JMI Equity has has raised its ninth fund at $1.2 billion. The fund will invest $15 million to $125 million in the enterprise software sector in businesses that have up to $200 million in revenue. “Over the last 26 years and 140-plus investments in 26 U.S. states, Canada, and Europe, our mission has been to identify and add value to outstanding software companies,” says JMI co-founder Harry Gruner. “With our new fund, we look forward to continuing to collaborate with founders and management teams to help build and scale world-class software companies.” PE fundraising activity is robust. Audax Group recently raised $3.5 billion, Center Rock Capital raised $580 million, and Luminate Capital raised $425 million. Proskauer Rose advised JMI.

Sector convergence will drive M&A 2019, allowing companies to adapt to pressure from technologically savvy competitors and increasing activity from activist investors, according to a EY report: Transformative M&A in a Changing World. “Executives are facing a chessboard of challenges — including emerging technology, volatile equity markets and changing geopolitics — that are adding unparalleled complexity to their organizations’ transformation strategies,” says EY Americas vice chair Bill Casey.

Deal news
Horace Mann Educators Corp. (NYSE: HMN) is buying National Teachers Associates Life Insurance Co. for $405 million. The target develops, markets and underwrites supplemental insurance products. Guggenheim Securities and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP are advising Horace Mann.

The Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) and Quad Partners are investing in Accelerate Learning, with Carlyle taking a majority stake. Rice Management Co. and Owl Ventures will remain investors in Accelerate, which offers curriculum and professional development services for the education sector. Latham & Watkins and Ernst & Young are advising Carlyle. Jefferies and DLA Piper are advising Accelerate.

Vista Equity Partners has acquired 7Park Data, a provider of data analytics software to institutional investment firms and Fortune 500 companies. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Morrison Foerster LLP are advising Vista. Raymond James and Goodwin Procter are advising 7Park.

EQT is buying Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, a provider of software and services to the entertainment production industry, from Silver Lake. Goldman Sachs & Co. (NYSE: GS), Simpson Thacher Bartlett LLP and Aon are advising EQT. Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC), Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are advising Cast & Crew.

Carlisle Cos. Inc. (NYSE: CSL) is acquiring Petersen Aluminum Corp. for $197 million. Petersen manufactures and distributes metal roof panels, steel and aluminum flat sheets and wall panels.

Arsenal Capital Partners-backed Meridian Adhesives Group has acquired Evans Adhesive Corp., a manufacturer of industrial adhesives.

MSD Partners has bought Endries International, a distributor of fasteners, from Nautic Partners.

People Moves
Joe Cozzolino has joined Siris Capital as an executive partner, where he is helping the firm identify potential investments. Cozzolino was previously with Cisco Services.

Steven Huddleston has joined Tritium Partners-backed DCS Global, a provider of healthcare technology, as CEO. He was most recently with healthcare payments company nThrive.

Greg Nelson has joined M&A services and technology provider SRS Acquiom as managing director and head of sales. He was previously with Wilmington Trust.

Featured content
Private equity firms are giving back – organizing groceries at food pantries, mentoring students in schools, running races for cancer cures and pitching in at animal shelters. In time for the holidays, Mergers & Acquisitions highlights the philanthropic and volunteering initiatives of 5 PE firms: the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), Frontier Capital, Huron Capital, the Riverside Co. and Star Mountain Capital. At Carlyle, charity starts at the top, with CEO David Rubenstein’s signing of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Community involvement is more important than ever to today’s work force. Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1996 by the Pew Research Center, are “for sustainability, diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community,” says Carlyle managing director Christopher Ullman. “We are finding this more and more. Yes, we are here to make money, secure retirement for pensioners, but the firm wants to support people’s efforts to make the world a better place.” Frontier Capital supports several causes, including The Miracle League, a baseball organization for people who are mentally and physically challenged. “There’s more to life than work and material things, and our people understand that,” says Frontier managing partner Andrew Lindner. At Detroit-based Huron Capital, the firm’s philanthropic efforts are focused on local groups. “We want to leave our footprint in this community where we live and work while being as helpful as possible,” says partner Gretchen Perkins. “The charitable activities we do as a group, the ability for each employee to influence where Huron’s donations go, and the ability to perform community service during work hours, or receive matching funds for an employee’s personal non-profit passion, all contribute to a portion of an employee’s sense of purpose and contributing to the greater good.” Read the full story, The Big Give.

We asked dealmakers at ACG Philadelphia’s M&A East to share their thoughts on Giving Back. Check out our video interview with Baker Tilly Capital’s Judit Nagy-Eichelber: Volunteer work brings teams together. Also watch our conversation with Reed Smith’s Jonathan Moyer: For millennial dealmakers, giving back is part of who they are.

In this busy shopping season, retailers are increasingly turning to tech M&A to help them compete with online purveyors, especially Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). China’s largest retailer and Intel have launched a joint lab that will to explore retail applications for the Internet of Things (IoT). The Digitized Retail Joint Lab will develop next-generation vending machines, media and advertising solutions, and technologies to be used in the stores of the future, based on Intel architecture. The ongoing challenges in the sector continue to force some retailers to close, including the June liquidation of Toys R Us, backed by Bain Capital and KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR). Technology is driving many of the transactions. See our list, 5 trends driving retail M&A deals.

The success of the Blackstone-led consortium’s bid for Thomson Reuters Corp, along with the ongoing joint Arconic bid, have gotten people talking about a potential return to the pre-crisis era of club deals and collaborations. Read the full guest article by Augnetius’ Hugh Stacey: Are private equity club deals making a comeback?

The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Minnesota Vikings 21-7 on Monday night to wrap up NFL Week 14. Off the field, many players build companies. Off the field, many football players invest in companies. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media, which has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from CourtsideVC and Advancit Capital. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthersand the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is a co-founder of private equity firm HGGC. View our slideshow, NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE.

ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit brings together women in the middle-market dealmaking community for a day focused on networking and knowledge sharing on Jan. 17 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. Alexa Von Tobel, chief innovation officer of Northwestern Mutual, keynotes.

Exponent Women kicks off the new year with an evening of networking on Jan. 24 at The Campbell, at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Jazz Age financier John W. Campbellconverted the space to his private office and reception hall in 1923, and it has recently been restored by design firm Ingrao Inc.

ACG Boston, ACG Connecticut, ACG New Jersey, ACG New York & ACG Philadelphia host ACG Northeast Dealmaking at the Mountain at Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont Jan. 27-29. The event provides a chance for middle-market M&A professionals from across the northeast to come together for two days of close knit networking, shared conversations and valuable time spent to deepen your relationships within the deal community.