Good morning and welcome to Insider Finance. I’m Dan DeFrancesco, and here’s what’s on the agenda today:

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Private equity giant Vista is out fundraising as founder Robert Smith looks to move past his tax evasion agreement

robert f smith

Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Vista is talking to investors about committing capital as it looks to move past Robert Smith’s tax-evasion scandal. The PE giant is fundraising for existing funds, including Vista Credit Partners III. 

Click here for the full story.

American Airlines is closing in on a $10-billion lifeline from investors enamored by cash-rich loyalty programs — and it’s a strategy that could be replicated by industries like retail and hospitality

After being hobbled by the pandemic, American Airlines joins Delta and United in raising billions of dollars backed by its loyalty program. The airline’s new deal is one of the industry’s largest.

Read more about the loyalty programs that investors are loving.

Pimco denies employees’ sexual-harassment and discrimination claims in response to lawsuit

PIMCO Chief Executive Emmanuel Roman speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in 2019.

Mike Blake/Reuters

In a legal filing, Pimco denied allegations of discrimination and harassment brought forward by five current and former female employees. It marks the first public, detailed response Pimco has filed since the women came forward. Here’s what else we know so far.

HSBC just tapped Google Cloud to roll out an internal chatbot that helps the bank’s 200,000-plus employees with their regulatory questions


HSBC / Google

A Google Cloud-backed chatbot is the latest digital investment from HSBC, which spent $5.5 billion on tech in 2020. We spoke with HSBC’s Steve Suarez and Google Cloud’s Derek White, who led the project, as banks place more focus on regulatory tech. Here’s what they told us.

Fintech Acorns just nabbed Harvest, a startup helping customers reduce debt, as consolidation among personal finance apps heats up

Nami color headshot


Personal finance app Acorns bought Harvest, a fintech helping users identify and reduce debt and fees. We spoke with Acorns’ Noah Kerner and Harvest’s Nami Baral about the deal. Get exclusive details from those interviews here. 

How Citigroup’s Early ID program is using mentors to fast-track diverse candidates to nab hyper-competitive internships


Courtesy of Citigroup

With recruitment for Wall Street internships starting earlier, diverse candidates might be excluded from landing offers. Citigroup’s five-week Early ID program mentorship program is aiming to change that. Here’s what you need to know about the initiative to fast-track diverse candidates into competitive internships.

Odd lots:

Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki told us why he found a direct listing the most authentic way to go public, and why he doesn’t consider himself an IPO ‘rebel’ (Insider)

SIGN UP NOW: Execs from Bain Capital Ventures, JPMorgan, Mastercard, and PayPal on what’s in store for payments in 2021 (Insider)

SPAC mania has lit a fire in the proptech world. Insiders explain why they’re a great match and what risks lie ahead. (Insider)

Roblox’s healthy public market debut gave founder David Baszucki a stake worth $4.5 billion. Here are the others who just got rich. (Insider)

Homebuyers Are Heading to Florida During Covid, but Nearly as Many Are Moving Out (WSJ)

Walmart US CEO reveals the retailer’s core fintech strength: its massive customer base (Insider)

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