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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours,

Nightmare on Wall Street: Gord Nixon and other insiders recall Lehman’s sudden collapse: Ten years ago, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, becoming a symbol of the excesses of the U.S. financial system and triggering a global crisis. We talked to three players who helped Canada avoid the worst of the fallout, and one who watched Lehman collapse from the inside. ROB Magazine (Dawn Calleja and Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

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Mining sector: China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. is set to acquire Canadian base-metals miner Nevsun Resources Ltd for $1.9-billion, trumping Lundin Mining Corp.’s hostile offer in the biggest takeover in the domestic mining sector this year. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

Venture capital: Kira Inc., a Toronto artificial intelligence software firm that helps cut much of the drudgery of legal contract review, has raised US$50-million from New York venture capital giant Insight Venture Partners. The deal values the seven-year-old startup - which is believed to generate about $20-million in annual revenue and doubling year over year - at more than US$100-million and is one of the largest investments in Canada’s teeming AI sector this year. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

Real estate sector: Canada’s Oxford Properties is battling private-equity giant Blackstone Group for control of major Australian office landlord Investa as the Canadian pension fund seeks commercial real estate in Sydney and Melbourne. Just days before Investa Office Fund unit-holders were due to vote on a Blackstone takeover, Oxford launched a 3.3-billion Australian dollars ($3.1-billion) hostile bid for Investa. Story (Rachelle Younglai, for subscribers)

Mutual funds: Canadian investors who want to gain exposure to the high-flying cannabis sector without having to participate in individual stock picking will soon have the option of turning to a traditional mutual fund. The StoneCastle Cannabis Growth Fund is set to launch on Sept. 14, a month before recreational cannabis is expected to become legal in Canada on Oct. 17. Story (Brenda Bouw, for subscribers)

MORE FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Insurance contracts: Great-West Lifeco Inc., Canada’s second-biggest insurance company, is exploring the sale of a collection of insurance contracts that could fetch as much as US$2-billion, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Story

Bitcoin falls: Goldman Sachs Group Inc is ditching plans to open a desk for trading cryptocurrencies in the foreseeable future as the regulatory framework for crypto remains unclear, Business Insider reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Story

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MORE DEALS NEWS

Drug sector: Bayer cut its earnings forecast on Wednesday due to delays to its US$63 billion takeover of Monsanto, and said sales of its consumer care products fell, hitting its shares, already reeling from a legal battle over the weed killer Roundup. Story

IPOs: Uber Technologies Inc. is on track to go public next year and has no plans to sell its self-driving car research arm, chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said on Wednesday. Story

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