Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ WEEKLY LISTS

ABOUT THE LISTS: Click on a headline for a summary and analysis of a weekly List (each story includes a FREE download for paid subscribers)

Title Insurers Seek More Buys in Face of Rate Hikes

Brokerage Business, Data Firms on Shopping List

Orange County’s largest title insurance providers are looking at acquisitions both inside and outside their core business lines to help them grow operations and improve efficiencies in a climate of interest rate hikes likely to cut into their refinancing work.

Bank Deposits Increase 13% to $109.6 Billion

Top Three Unchanged, Represent 37% of Growth

Banks in Orange County enjoyed another banner year as deposits climbed 13% to $109.6 billion for the year ended June 30, up 60% over five years earlier.

Lake Forest Homebuilding Steps Out of Shadows

Ongoing Projects, Pipeline Add Slew of New Homes

Lake Forest, despite being in the shadow of California’s two best-selling master-planned communities, has been holding its own during the latest residential building boom.

Top-Ranked Hospitals Combine for 2% Revenue Jump

30 Centers Take in $7.2B; UCI Hospital Still at Top

Last year Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services and Irvine-based St. Joseph Health merged to form a seven-state healthcare system, a transaction that further consolidated its Orange County-based hospitals under the umbrella of St. Joseph Hoag Health.

Minority-Owned Firms’ Revenue Up 10% in 2016

78 Combine for $18.7B, Employ Nearly 14K in OC

Revenue at the largest minority-owned businesses with headquarters in Orange County climbed almost 10% to $18.7 billion last year, led by acquisitions, mortgages and granite countertops.

OC Hotels See Rare Increase in Meetings Space With 2 New Entrants

Paséa, Great Wolf Drive Climb to Over 1.3M SF

Two hotels that opened last year in Orange County added 55,000 square feet of meeting space to local inventory, enough to drive the Business Journal’s annual account of hotel meeting space above 1.3 million square feet.

China-Based Companies Among Biggest of OC’s Foreign Employers

ECONOMY: First entries reflect growing commercial presence here

China’s continued expansion on the world stage and a strong year for hiring among Orange County’s largest foreign-owned companies combined to bring a jump in overall employment in the category here.

Nonprofit Revenue up 3%, Client Base Rises 2%

Volunteers Increase 10%, Staff Up 4% at 93 Groups

Orange County’s nonprofit organizations continued to grow revenue in the past year as more OC residents requested their services.

Biggest Employers Get Bigger

Grow Local Workforces 2.5% to 273,000, Up 3.5% Companywide

Orange County’s biggest employers continued to expand their workforces over the past year, though at a slightly slower pace than last year.

OC Retail Keeps Streak

Biggest Shopping Centers Post 1.7% Increase, Top $8B in Sales

The largest shopping centers in Orange County managed a seventh straight year of growth in taxable sales with a 1.7% gain.

Downshift on Sales Gains for Auto Dealers

AUTOS: 1.5% hike for biggest; Karma top automaker for jobs

The 40 largest auto dealers in Orange County combined for $5.3 billion in sales for the 12-month period that ended June 30, a 1.5% increase that marks a significant slowdown from recent years, according to this week’s Business Journal list.

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.

Escalating Expansion

Fastest-Growing Public Companies Combine to Hike Revenue 75% to $25 Billion

The 47 fastest-growing public companies in Orange County are growing faster.

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%.

Aerospace & Defense Contractors Lose Altitude on Jobs

Slight Decline 2nd in Row For Biggest With Operations Here

Orange County’s largest aerospace and defense contractors posted a modest drop in local employment in the past year.

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).

Insurance Brokers Grow Revenue 7% to $624 Million

Biggest Rise Fastest, Account 75% of Total

Orange County’s insurance brokerages grew for a sixth straight year to combine for about a 7% increase in local revenue to $623.6 million in 2015.

Architecture Firms’ Local Work Grows 4% to $451M

Renovations Up for Office, School, Retailer Clients

Orange County’s architecture firms combined for about $451.1 million in local billings in the past year, up about 4%. Firmwide billings dropped 11% based on numbers reported by half of the firms.

Engineering Firms’ Local Billings Up 7% to $1.45B

OC Market Defies US Slide on Oil Price Decline

Orange County’s top engineering firms had a mixed year with an increase in local billings as companywide revenue dipped.

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.

Employment Up at Biggest Medical Device Makers

Local Public Companies Lead; Net Gain of 970 Workers

Medical device makers with operations in Orange County added nearly 1,000 employees over the past 12 months for a growth rate of nearly 6%, according to Business Journal research.

Biggest Drugmakers Hold Steady on OC Jobs

Allergan Still No. 1 for Local Employment

The largest drugmakers with headquarters or significant operations in Orange County employed 3,210 here during the 12-month period that ended Aug. 30, about the same as a year earlier.

Private Foundations Boost Overall Giving By 23%

Combine to Donate $180M, Increase Local Gifts 46%

Orange County’s private foundations gave more locally and overall in their most recent fiscal years.

Corporate Foundations Boost Giving 1.4% to $1.3B

OC Contributions Up 5% To Nearly $20 Million

Corporate foundations active in Orange County continued what’s now a six-year trend of increasing overall cash contributions to OC charities.

Chipmakers, led by Broadcom, Cut OC Work Force 16%

17 Biggest Down 756 Jobs To Just Under 4K Workers

Big job cuts at Broadcom Ltd. following its $37 billion sale in February to Singapore-based Avago Technologies Inc. and a string of divestitures fueled one of the steepest local employment drops in the chip sector in years.

PR Firms Up Staffing 14%, Outpacing US Estimate

The Brand Amp Stays Atop List With 21% Increase

The majority of the biggest public relations firms in Orange County increased their staffing levels during the 12 months ended July 31, combining to more than double the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projected 6% pace of national industry growth.

Telecoms Reverse 2 Years of Job Cuts With 4% Gain

Led By T-Mobile, Which Added 175 Employees

The continued growth of T-Mobile USA Inc. and Mobilitie LLC’s local operations boosted the employment of the largest telecommunications companies in Orange County over the year ended July 31.

OC Cities’ Populations Inch Up Another 1% to 3M+

34 Incorporated Areas Still Topped By Anaheim

Orange County’s population expanded by about 29,000 people last year, or a hair under 1%, ending 2015 at slightly above 3 million.

HMO Membership Flat in OC, PPOs Post 12% Rise

Growth on Hold As Planned M&As Scrutinized

Orange County’s top eight health maintenance organizations grew slowly during the 12 months through July.

Dental Care Plans’ Growth Stagnates Following Spike

Membership Flat at 13 Biggest To 2.6 Million

Membership at managed dental healthcare plans operating in Orange County slightly declined over the year ended last month after a surge in 2015.

Big Wheels, Big Deals

How OC’s Wealthiest Got Much Wealthier

This year’s crop of OC’s richest residents managed to outpace the market by a longshot, thanks to a number of additions and several deals that helped boost the combined wealth of the 45 entries to $72.5 billion.

Best In Show

Top Firms Employ Perks From Pizza to Flex Time

Would you go bowling with your boss?

Tenant-Improvement Work Tops $900 Million Here

30 Firms Do $909M In Work, Grow Revenue 16%

Orange County’s 30 largest tenant-improvement contractors continued to grow last year, combining for $909 million in local work.

Accounting Firms Expand for Fifth Consecutive Year

Boost Employment By 6%, Big Four Again Lead Pack

Orange County’s largest accounting firms combined to grow the industry’s local work force by 6% over the year through June for the fifth consecutive year of gains as the economy and business regulation expanded.

Management Consultants Continue Growth in OC

Local Employment Up 9%, Firmwide Staff Rises 19%

Orange County’s top management consulting firms experienced 9% growth to employ about 1,760 locally in the year ended June 30, many of them adding staffers.

Women-Owned Firms Turn Revenue Hike Into Big Job Gains

ECONOMY: Largest up 20% overall, 9.2% on local hires

Orange County’s biggest women-owned businesses generated more than $3.75 billion in revenue last year, a 7% annual increase and the sixth consecutive year of growth.

Top Restaurant Chains Post 8% Gain, $16.4B in Sales

Big 5 Strengthen Positions; 8 Newcomers on List

Orange County-based restaurant chains continued to grow in the past year, reaching $16.4 billion in revenue, a hike of about 8% from a year ago.

Private Cos. Set Pace on Job Gains

Increase for Largest Here Surpasses State, Nation; Revenue Up 9.1%

Call it a Triple Crown: The largest Orange County-based private companies combined to post impressive increases in revenue, as well as local and company employment, Business Journal research shows.

Commercial Development at Highest Level Since ’07

Nearly 3M SF Completed; Projects Spread Across OC

Orange County’s top commercial real estate developers posted their most active year of completed projects in a decade with a variety of sizeable product types opening across the region over the year ended April 30.

Commercial Construction Up, Uncertainty on Horizon

Revenues Here Highest Since ’09, Backlog Down

Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies took in the most revenue since the Great Recession, although a shrinking backlog and ominous economic reports raise questions about the industry’s continued growth.

Top VC Firms Invest 35% Less in Local Companies

Toba New No. 1 After Versant, Ventana Exit OC

The most active venture capital firms with local headquarters or significant operations and ranked by amount invested in OC companies combined for about $56 million in 39 portfolio deals last year. That’s about 35% less money than the top VCs invested in 2014 in about the same number of completed local deals.

Apparel Makers Inch Up Local Employment By 1%

Slow Growth Comes As Biggest Tweak Leadership

A lot can happen in a year, and the past 12 months were no exception for the 53 largest apparel companies based in Orange County. The top three on this week’s Business Journal list are under new leadership, one emerged from bankruptcy, and several others have traded hands. A few firms also notched significant local staffing changes, the metric the list is based on.

New Hotel, a Few Room Tweaks, Shuffle Ranks

HOSPITALITY: Great Wolf raises top 50 to 21,508 rooms

There have been a few changes on a list that rarely sees them.

Software Maker Jobs Up Slightly as Newer Firms Join

TECHNOLOGY: 39 Largest Combine For 8,000-Plus Jobs

The county’s largest software makers grew employment by 5.1% in the 12 months through April as several emerging companies joined the ranks of the largely mature local industry.

Consumer Electronics Hub Sees Cuts at Top On Larger Concerns

ECONOMY: WD, Toshiba react to external, internal factors, trim staff

Orange County is home to a vibrant sector of companies that make and market consumer electronics, the largest among them accounting for more than 4,500 jobs, even with a recent rough patch for local employment at the top.

SBA Lending Up By Number of Deals, Dollar Value

$225M Provided, Up 31%, In 440 Loans, Up 16%

Small-business lending in Orange County continued to grow in recent months, based on this week’s Business Journal ranking.

Employment Agencies Grow Top Line on Flat Volume

Tight Worker Supply Brings Creative Challenge

Orange County employment agencies had solid revenue gains last year while placing essentially the same number of workers—a sign, they say, of an uptick in demand to find new workers for clients in their bread-and-butter businesses.

Historic Deals, Hefty Effect for Public Cos.

ECONOMY: Edwards Lifesciences fills vacuum, claims top spot

The two biggest sales of locally based public companies in Orange County’s history brought an equally historic reduction to the rest of the field. The 100 entries that make up this year’s list of the largest public companies had a combined market capitalization of $98 billion as of March 31, down 53% from a year earlier.

Ad Shops’ Revenue Up 12.8%, Combine for $1.36B

Year of Corporate Tweaks; Advantage Remains No. 1

Orange County’s largest advertising agencies posted an estimated 12.8% gain in revenue last year, the second consecutive year the group has surpassed the $1 billion benchmark.

Printers Flat on Sales in 2015, Trend Offset Still Tops

30 Biggest Combine to Stay About Even at $618M

The local printing industry isn’t dead, but it’s not growing either. That’s the takeaway from a review of Orange County’s 30 largest commercial printers, which combined for $617.7 million in sales last year, about the same as in 2014.

Tease photo

Private Companies Sought for Annual List

Special Issue: list will be centerpiece of June 20 edition

The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.

Brokers Boost Sales, Leases for Sixth Year of Gains

Investment Sales Help Push Up Total By 16%

Increased property sales volume, particularly for larger buildings and land sites, in addition to gains in leasing activity, resulted in another strong year for Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages.

Top Property Managers Grow OC Accounts for 4th Year

5M SF of Buildings Added Over Past Two Years

Orange County’s largest commercial property managers’ local portfolios grew modestly over the past year as they made larger gains outside the area.

Environmental Consultants Feel Effect of Energy Slump

Slight Declines Seen In Jobs, Billings Flat

Orange County’s largest environmental consultants faced a tough landscape last year, with no big increase in government spending—a staple of the segment—and aftershocks from the difficulties in the energy sector.

Title Insurance Work Picked Up Steam Last Year

43% Increase on Gains In Home, Commercial Work

Orange County’s largest title insurers’ business picked up last year, and they’re preparing for another active year in transaction volume and potential industry consolidation.

Check It Out: OC Food Cos. Top $16B in Revenue

THE LIST: 3,000 workers here, 45,000 overall

The Business Journal’s inaugural list of food and beverage suppliers based in Orange County shows an industry that notched a 5% increase to more than $16 billion in revenue last year.

Minority-Owned Companies’ Revenue Up 9% in 2015

ECONOMY: 80 Take in $16B- Plus, Keep Employment Flat

The largest minority-owned businesses with headquarters in Orange County combined for just a little over $16 billion in revenue last year, up 9% over 2014’s number and the same percentage increase as last year’s.

New-Home Sales Slide in ’15 Amid Declining Supply

New Community Count Now Picking Up Across OC

New-home sales in Orange County took a step back last year as two of the region’s three largest master-planned developments brought no new offerings on line until late in the year.

Q&A

Orange County hospital and medical group executives say this year will be a busy one for them, with new outpatient centers, technology and changes in how they deliver healthcare. The Business Journal’s Vita Reed asked several local CEOs to share their plans as the year rolls out. Edited excerpts of their responses follow.

UCI Health’s New Leader Forges Vision for Enterprise

Plans Efficiencies, New Academic Programs, More

A new leader has taken the helm of UC Irvine Health, the University of California-Irvine’s healthcare enterprise, directly overseeing its academic work and with proximity and oversight of its clinical work, something he said is unique among the five UC campuses with extensive medical operations.

Hospitals’ Patient Revenue Up 11% Over Year to $6.9B

Biggest Combine to Reverse Previous Year’s 21% Decrease

Net patient revenue at Orange County’s 28 largest hospitals jumped significantly over the past 12 months while the centers posted a narrow pretax loss.

Top Law Firms Flat on Attorney Count, Add Partners

List of 86 Offices Includes Nine Newcomers

Partner ranks at Orange County law firms grew more in the past year while the number of overall attorneys and firm employees were flat.

Banks’ Local Deposits Make Biggest Jump in Years

Numbers for 43 Biggest Up About 16%, Ranks Shift

Orange County banks and thrifts increased local deposits 15.8% for a total of $96.9 billion in the year ended June 30.

Foreign-Owned Companies Stay Employment Course

36 Biggest Still Employ 27,000-Plus in County

The biggest foreign-owned companies with regional headquarters or significant operations in Orange County employ more than 27,000 here, about the same as a year earlier.

Top 50 Hotels for Meeting Space Delve Into Details

Slight Increase in Current Stock, Several Newcomers in Works

Meeting space is meeting space, right?

Nonprofits’ Income Up a Tad as Client Base Rises 9%

88 Biggest Serve More In OC, Up Volunteers 10%

Most of Orange County’s nonprofits should be pleased with the way 2015 turned out, based on the averages in the Business Journal’s annual list.

OC Retailers Bring Head of Steam Into Holiday

The top 33 shopping centers in Orange County notched a sixth straight year of growth in taxable sales, with an overall performance that suggests the local retail scene is hot heading into the crucial year-end holiday season.

Auto Dealer Sales, Makers’ Staff Up

The 40 largest auto dealers in Orange County combined for $5.3 billion in sales for the 12-month period that ended June 30, based on this week’s Business Journal list.

Biggest Employers Pick Up Pace on New Hires

ECONOMY: 3.4% hike to 267,243 jobs; Disney keeps No. 1 spot

Orange County’s biggest employers grew their combined work force at the fastest rate in years.

Q&A

Regulations, while they remain a common key challenge for all financial institutions, aren’t the only burden on bankers’ minds. There are other concerns that may be specific to a bank or credit union, including its size, customer base, and other factors. The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local bank and credit union executives to discuss their current concerns other than regulations. Their responses touch upon a variety of topics, ranging from data security and competition from online lenders to finding skilled talent and catering to younger generations. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Commercial Bank Assets’ Biggest Jump in Decade-Plus

20 Institutions Based Here See 38% Increase to $24.2 Billion

Orange County-based commercial banks have recorded the biggest year-over-year increase in assets in more than 10 years.

Credit Unions Grow Assets Faster in Recent Fiscal Year

25 Biggest Combine For 8% Increase to $18 Billion

The biggest local credit unions have picked up the pace of growth, notching an 8% increase in combined assets to $18 billion.

Chipmakers End Streak of Cuts Amid Combinations

Boost Employment Bases By 4%; None Drop Jobs

The largest chipmakers in Orange County added jobs in the past year amid a wave of industry consolidation that included four companies with local operations.

Fastest-Growing Public Companies Get Faster

Revenue Up 41%, Local Hires Double Overall Economy

Orange County’s fastest-growing public companies got faster this year.

Homebuilder Tops List After 2 Years Back in Public Market

Industry Watchers Speculate It Could Be Ripe for Consolidation Trend

Improving fortunes in the housing market and a disciplined operating plan have provided a boost to the fortunes of William Lyon Homes Inc. during its return to the public markets.

Home-Grown

Banc of California Focuses on Service In SoCal for 176% Revenue Growth

Fast growth continues for Banc of California Inc.

Pot Products Maker Grows Like a Weed

Terra Tech Sales Up 754%, Largely On Cannabis Demand Surge

Terra Tech Corp.’s crops of basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and lettuce are a steady line of business, but the Newport Beach-based company’s newer line of products derived from another leafy green is the big growth driver.

Financial Advisories Cut Local Representatives By 6%

Top 25 Down to 1,705 Advisers in Past Year

The combined number of local registered representatives at Orange County’s biggest financial advisory firms dropped while the firms boosted their total OC work forces.

Big Data Becomes Big Initiative at Local Campuses

Programs, Research Added to Meet Increased Demand

Orange County colleges and universities are launching and expanding programs in big data to train students to capture and analyze the reams of information that’s become available in an age when data storage capacity has ballooned.

Grant, Dolls and Gaming Link Commerce, Creativity

Schools Teach Students To Turn Inspiration Into Work

Chapman University plans to open a business incubator for arts and culture-based enterprises at the end of a two-year, $200,000 grant the European Union awarded the school last month.

MBA Programs’ Numbers Down in Strong Economy

Specialization, Speed Enhance Schools’ Efforts

Numbers are down in the Business Journal’s annual survey of MBA programs that serve Orange County—and that’s a good thing.

Insurance Brokers Continue Revenue Gains for 5th Year

Biggest Firms Combine For $570M, Up 13%

Orange County’s insurance brokers grew for the fifth straight year, notching a 13% increase in combined revenue last year.

Architecture Firms Ramp Up With 9% Billings Increase

40 Biggest Combine For $474M in Local Work

Orange County’s architecture firms combined for a 9.1% increase in local billings this year following a modest 1.6% increase in local billings last year, and are on track to return to the 13% surge they had in 2013.

Engineering Firms Reverse Last Year’s Billings Drop

Increase Total By 1.7% Following 1.5% Decrease

Orange County’s top engineering firms with headquarters or significant operations here have recovered from a 1.5% drop in billings last year, posting a 1.7% increase in local billings during the 12-month period ended June 30.

Fastest Growers Prove Efficient

Fewer Companies, More Jobs in All 3 Categories

The number of entries on this week’s Business Journal lists of fastest-growing private companies based in Orange County is down by about 10% from a year ago.

Private Foundations Give More in OC, Less Overall

Combined to Donate $145M, Increased OC Giving 22.8%

Private foundations based in Orange County spent more money in their own backyard last year as they trimmed their overall giving.

Corporate Foundations Boost Giving in 2014 by 6.1%

36 Active in OC Donate $1.2B, $21M+ of it Local

Corporate foundations active in Orange County marked their fifth year of yearly increases in total cash contributions and cash contributions to OC charities.

Electronics Makers See Flat Employment Pace

18 Biggest Companies Add Just Nine Employees

Employment at the county’s largest contract electronics makers was flat over the past 12 months, despite steady sales growth in the industry worldwide.

New Tools, Talent Fuel PR Shops

MARKETING: Biggest here add duties, combine for 12% hike in jobs

The 40 biggest public relations firms based in Orange County are doing more with more—additional services, bigger budgets, new hires.

Telecom’s Job Cuts Pull Down Local Industry By 6%

Verizon Trims 1,000 in OC, Leads to 2nd Drop in a Row

A companywide restructuring fueled the second straight year of significant job losses among Orange County’s largest telecommunications companies.

OC Cities’ Populations Increase 1% to Top 3 Million

Anaheim Stays Atop List, Irvine Grows Most at 3.2%

Orange County’s population growth kept pace and inched up by 1% last year to slightly above 3 million.

$62B Worth of Food for Thought

Wealthiest List Shows Diversity of OC’s Fortunes

Real estate, technology, healthcare, inheritances.

Hyundai Capital Sets Sights on Makeover on MacArthur

Firm Uniquely Emphasizes Office Design, Worker Space

Hyundai Capital America is often identified locally in connection with the large, transparent building next to the San Diego (405) Freeway in Irvine known as The Michelson.

Tenant-Improvement Contractors’ Work Gains Slow

Dollar Value Up 16.2% After 29%, 20% Increases

Orange County’s largest tenant-improvement contractors continued their growth trend last year but slowed in all aspects, including local revenue and number of employees.

Q&A

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:

Accounting Firms Notch 4th Year of Workforce Gains

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.

Management Consultant Gains Slow As Biggest Shrink

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.

Ranks of Biggest Women-Owned Businesses Swell to 100-Strong

Orange County’s biggest women-owned businesses generated $3.5 billion in revenue last year, notching a 5.6% increase and extending a streak of gains to five years.

Bundles Make Big Business for Maker of Security Systems

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.