Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ SPECIAL REPORTS

E-Commerce Drives Industrial Demand in OC

Amazon Lease in IBC Leads New Rental WaveAmazon.com’s recent entry into Orange County’s industrial market is the clearest example yet of the growing role that e-commerce is having on the area’s warehouse and distribution building base.

By Mark Mueller November 14, 2016 midnight   $$ Share

Office Lease Rates Keep Rising

It’s a landlord’s market due to the low availability rate for offices. Strong employment growth in Orange County continued to be the primary driver of improving fundamentals. Recently, however, employment growth hasn’t translated into positive net absorption, driven by transitory factors that will dissipate over the next several quarters.

Industrial Market Still Landlord’s in Q3

The Orange County industrial market remained tight at the end of the third quarter, which has been the theme for the past 12 to 18 months as vacancy declined. Market conditions remained overly favorable to owners with available space.

Retail Market Holds Its Own

The Orange County retail market’s persistent struggles are lack of space, growing lease rates, and limited development projects. Previous quarters have continued to show gradual improvements in fundamentals, though the region has remained relatively flat since the early years just after the recession.

Q&A

Fintech, short for financial technology, has been one of the most watched developments in the industry in the past few years. Founders, bankers and customers have said a lot about it: It’s disruptive to incumbent financial corporations, an alternative way to lend, and a new way to reach clients and conduct transactions.

Commercial Banks Grow Assets 39% to $34 Billion

Top Five Unchanged; Profits Up 31% to $138M

Orange County-based commercial banks continued strong year-over-year growth as they increased assets 39% to about $33.5 billion for the year ended June 30.

Credit Unions Grow Assets 8% to $19.4 Billion

Struggle on Profits, With 1% Dip to $73 Million

It’s been a mixed year for Orange County’s credit unions as they grew assets by about 7.8% to $19.4 billion for the year ended June 30 while combining for a 1.3% decline in net income to about $73.4 million for the first six months of 2016.

From Fee Builder to Fastest Grower

Weyerhaeuser Buy Helps TRI Pointe to 660% Jump in Sales

You can add another first to the resume of TRI Pointe Group Inc., a homebuilder whose growth over the past seven years is among the most rapid of any Orange County company on record.

Ding King Lives Up to Title on Small Companies List

The fastest-growing public company in the small company category on this week’s Business Journal list doesn’t really live up to its name anymore.

Q&A

A lot has been said about the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule and clients’ recent moves toward indexed investments and robo advisers. The new rule requires financial advisers to place clients’ interests before their own profits. It’s meant to protect investors from hidden fees and excessive payments that are poorly explained or concealed in fine print and that consequently lower returns on retirement savings. Many savers have started moving funds away from active investment advisers and toward computerized advisers and indexed funds because the latter methods are believed to provide comparable or better investment returns and to do better over time at a lower cost. The Business Journal’s Michael de los Reyes asked Orange County’s financial advisory firms for their insights on those issues. Here are the edited excerpts of firm leaders’ responses:

Financial Advisories Add 200 Local Reps, Up 12%

64% of Advisers at Top 5; 4 Firms Debut on List

The combined pool of registered investment advisers in Orange County grew about 12% to 1,905, and the 29 firms on the Business Journal’s list combined to employ overall staffs totaling 7,022, up 16.5%.

More OC Schools Write a New Program Prescription

3rd Campus Seeks Pharm Studies, Others Grow Theirs

Pharmacy schools in Orange County are growing their programs as a new player prepares to enter the field.

Chapman Digs Deeper Into Research With New VP

Engineer By Training Plans Multipronged Approach

Chapman University has recently redoubled its research pursuits, bringing on Thomas Piechota as first vice president of research.

Ophthalmology Program Leverages VR for Training

Headsets Allow Students To Simulate Eye Exams

Students in a lab on the campus of Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton wear virtual reality headsets to examine a retina. The optometry students are practicing how to perform an eye exam on virtual patients.

OC MBA Enrollment Up 25%, Number of Grads Down

Online Schools Lead List Of 41 SoCal Programs

Numbers are up in the Business Journal’s annual survey of MBA programs in Orange County. The Business Journal publishes an unranked list of 41 MBA programs throughout Southern California (see related graphic, page 25).