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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Ares Management is in early talks to buy listed Australian wealth management and investment firm AMP.

Why it matters: This would be an ignominious end to the 171-year firm's independence, as a series of scandals has cut its stock price by more than 70% since mid-2018.

  • AMP's bad behavior has included lying to regulators, charging customers for services not rendered, mishandling sexual harassment claims, and even deducting life insurance premiums from the accounts of dead clients.

The state of play: AMP shares jumped around 20% on the news, bringing its market cap to nearly $5.3 billion.

The bottom line: "Suppose the retail-focused wealth management business and bank turn out to be duds. Ares is still picking up a global infrastructure investor (AMP Capital) on the cheap, at a time when the prospects for such businesses look rosy," per Bloomberg.

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Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.