Legg Mason recently took a $44 million venture capital investment in Ning, a social-networking startup looking to compete with Facebook and MySpace, The Baltimore Sun reports.

Although Ning and Legg Mason would not comment, it is believed that Legg Mason star portfolio manager Bill Miller is behind the deal, since he has often made unorthodox investments. Furthermore, he is chairman of the Santa Fe Institute, which studies “natural, artificial and social systems.”

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