Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ SPECIAL REPORTS

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).

Burgeoning Cybersecurity Lifts Cylance Nearly 2,000%

Uses Artificial Intelligence to Detect Malware; Adds Consumers to Federal, Corporate Clients

Cylance Inc.’s security software was lauded recently by federal officials for playing a key role in discovering and mitigating one of the largest government data breaches in U.S. history.

Hybrid Approach Drives Irvine-Based Builder

WJK Development Blends Styles on ‘Semi-Customized’ Residences

Family-owned WJK Development Co. in Irvine didn’t take long to grab the top spot as the Business Journal’s Fastest-Growing Small Company.

About Our Annual Fastest- Growing Private Companies List

The Business Journal’s annual list of fastest-growing private companies includes OC-based businesses owned by individuals, groups of people, families, venture capitalists, private-equity firms and other investors.

Medical Marijuana Drug Industry Takes Root in OC

Much More Here Than Dispensaries, Grow Houses

Orange County, which is known for its concentrations of medical device makers and drugmakers, is quietly building a medical cannabis industry.