OCBJ SPECIAL REPORTS
The Business Journal’s Best Places to Work lists are the result of months of surveying workers and managers at local employers.
A diversity of business sectors, ample capital held by investor groups, and demographic factors are some key drivers behind a robust mergers-and-acquisitions scene in Orange County. The fast pace of M&A activity means professional services providers, such as accountants, are in high demand to carry out sound due-diligence procedures and provide guidance. The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local accounting firm executives to share their thoughts on M&A activity in Orange County, as well as to discuss expectations for future trends and client concerns. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:
Employment Up 4.4%, Top Spots Unchanged
Orange County’s largest accounting firms combined to grow the sector’s local workforce by about 4% over the past year, marking the fourth straight year of modest gains.
27 Firms Eke Out 1% Gain to 1,551 Jobs Here
The pace of employment growth at Orange County’s top management consulting firms slowed over the past year, driven primarily by job cuts at the biggest.
More Than $70M in Sales To A-List Customers
Priti Sharma moved to Chicago from India at age 16 and at the time had no idea that she would one day own a multimillion-dollar company.
Gift Card Concept Makes Giving to Charity Easier
Lori Jackson “lived scrip,” as she puts it. The mother of four children attending Serra Catholic School in Rancho Santa Margarita was retrieving gift cards worth thousands of dollars from their backpacks each month and distributing them to friends and family members around the county. The private school would get the cards at a discount, usually 1% to 13%, and resell them through students at face value to parents.
Creative, Eclectic, Friendly Style Cooks Up Delicious
I don’t even want to count how many restaurants I have eaten in this past year. But I can tell you that no chef has consistently impressed me more over a few decades, and still does, than Alan Greeley, the chef and owner of Golden Truffle in Costa Mesa. This special guy is my pick for Chef of the Year because he thinks globally about food and he makes culinary memories for all of us.
Developers Eye Sites Next to Former Air Station
This month’s opening of the 375-home Greenwood project near Jamboree Road and the District at Tustin Legacy shopping center marks another notable chapter in the redevelopment of the nearly 1,500-acre former military site.
At least 8 Active OC Firms Chart Their Own Courses
Orange County’s private equity scene covers a wide range of industries and market segments, a reflection of the diversity in characteristics and specialties of the investment firms here.
100% Hike in Dollar Volume, 60% Increase Last Year
The biggest venture capital firms in Orange County continued to increase their investments in local companies, though the pace of growth slowed compared with a year earlier.
Every year, the Business Journal makes its best effort to compile a list of the local offices of banks and lenders, in addition to investment banks. A few changes this year include 1st Enterprise Bank now operating as California United Bank since its merger on Nov. 30. Previously listed Independence Bank was acquired by Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. on Jan. 27.
‘Generation Z’ Emerges As Local Travel Market
Today’s teens are following hard on the heels of Millennials in terms of tourism.
Jobs Up 1.1% To 13,789 at Top 50
The number of rooms at the biggest hotels in Orange County hardly changed over the past year, but a significant portion of them got new looks, thanks to renovations at several of the market’s best-known establishments.
Low-Rise, Creative Re-Use Planned Alongside Towers
Orange County developers are taking varied approaches to speculative office developments in the improving local economy, including a cautious approach on ground-up projects.
The Orange County office market, paced by the accelerating Greater Airport Area, is returning to prerecession peaks by all key measures.