Orange County Business Journal

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Pac Merc Swings to Profit

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, logging $390,000 in net income compared with a loss of $14.8 million in the year-earlier period.

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Jobs Grow, Unemployment Falls to 4.4%

Orange County businesses added 33,500 jobs in 2014, up 2.3% to 1,515,300 jobs.

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City National Sold For $5.4B

The parent of City National Bank has been acquired by Royal Bank of Canada for $5.4 billion.

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Opus Buys Escrow Company

Irvine-based Opus Bank has agreed to pay $25 million for Commerce Escrow Co. and its affiliate business RPM Investments Inc.

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Janus Confirms Gross Put Own Money Into Fund

Janus Capital Group Inc. Chief Executive Dick Weil confirmed that Bill Gross has put more than $700 million of his own money into the Janus Unconstrained Bond Fund, which Gross manages.

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Profit Up for CalFirst

Irvine-based California First National Bancorp posted $3.6 million in profit for the three months ended Dec. 31, up 63% from the same period a year ago.

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Pacific Premier Profit Up for 2014

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bank had $16.6 million in net income last year, an 85% increase from 2013.

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Alliant in $300M Deal to Buy QBE Units

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has agreed to pay about $300 million to acquire QBE US Agencies, the U.S. operations of Sydney, Australia-based QBE Insurance Group Ltd.

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San Clemente Auto Software Firms Buys Marketer

San Clemente-based automotive customer service firm DealerSocket Inc. has acquired DealerFire, a web design and digital marketing firm in Oshkosh, Wis.

2015 Preview: FINANCE

Local financial industry professionals are banking on an improving U.S. economy that could feed business growth here.

Law Firms Add Attorneys After Two Years of Cuts

Headcount Up 3.2%; More Make List Due to Growth

The biggest law firms in Orange County grew their workforces in 2014, breaking a two-year streak of cuts in attorney headcount.

Hyden's Other Marathon

Latham & Watkins Partner Finished Boston Just in Time for Allergan Saga

Cary Hyden used to think a marathon covered 26 miles, 270 yards.

Plaza Bank to Buy Bank of Manhattan

Irvine-based Plaza Bank agreed to acquire Bank of Manhattan in El Segundo in a deal valued at about $52 million.

Legal Pros Focus on Fine Arts, Plan UCI Collaboration

Attorneys Work With UCI Program to Boost Fine Arts

Put together a few attorneys sharing a passion for the arts and a local university that fosters artistic talent, throw in some creative thinking and readiness to provide support, and you’ll get Off-Center, a collective launched by a committee of local lawyers and educators in concert with University of California-Irvine’s art department.

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Pimco Hires Ex-White House Adviser

Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. has tapped former White House economic adviser Gene Sperling as a consultant on U.S. economic policy.

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Lyon Starts Mortgage Arm With Stearns

Newport Beach-based homebuilder William Lyon Homes has partnered with Stearns Lending LLC in Santa Ana to create William Lyon Mortgage LLC.

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NB Investor Buys Furniture Maker

Newport Beach-based investment firm Excelsior Capital Partners LLC has acquired office furniture maker Via Seating Inc.

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VC Deals Up in 2014

Orange County companies drew $702.3 million in venture capital funding in 2014, up about 1% from a year earlier.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.9% to 1,993.79.

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Plaza Bank, Bank of Manhattan Combine

Irvine-based Plaza Bank has agreed to acquire Bank of Manhattan in El Segundo in deal valued at about $52 million.

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OC Firms Outpace US Patent Growth

Orange County companies received 3,520 U.S. patents in 2014, up 12% year-over-year.

Clean Energy Sells Dallas Facility Stake

Newport Beach-based alternative fuel developer and supplier Clean Energy Fuels Corp. sold its majority stake in a biomethane production facility in Dallas to a minority owner for $40.6 million.

Exec Sentiment Up for New Year

ECONOMY: 65% surveyed for CSUF index expect Q1 growth

Orange County executives are starting 2015 with increased optimism, according to the latest quarterly index by California State University-Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

CashCall Mortgage Arm to Be Bought

Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. agreed to acquire the mortgage operations of CashCall Inc. Terms were not disclosed.

Joint Venture for Anton & Chia

Newport Beach-based accounting firm Anton & Chia LLP has entered into a joint venture with Morine & Co. Chartered Accountants LLP in Vancouver.

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Incipio Gets $55M Financing

Irvine-based mobile device accessories maker Incipio Technologies Inc. secured $55 million in financing from Monroe Capital LLC.

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Busch, Caspino to Split

The heads of Irvine-based law firm Busch & Caspino have announced they are forming two separate law firms.

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Impac Buys CashCall’s Mortgage Business

Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. has agreed to acquire the mortgage operations of CashCall Inc.

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Hueston Leaves Irell for Own Firm

Trial attorneys John Hueston and Brian Hennigan have left Irell & Manella LLP and launched Hueston Hennigan LLP.

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Alliant Buys Employee Benefits Firm

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired American Benefits Consulting in New York.

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Clean Energy Sells Majority Stake in Dallas Plant

Newport Beach-based alternative fuel developer and supplier Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has sold its majority stake in a biomethane production facility in Dallas to a minority owner for $40.6 million.

RJI Acquires IE Accounting Firm

Irvine-based RJI Ramirez Jimenez International CPAs has acquired an accounting firm in the Inland Empire on undisclosed terms.

Finance: Mordy Rothberg

Busy Buyer Builds Regional Insurance Brands With Latino Focus

Confie Seguros Insurance Services is getting big with a lot of small moves.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% to 2,077.47 in midday trading.

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Pac Life Adds $200B Worth of Reinsurance Business

Pacific Life Insurance Co. has assumed $200 billion worth of individual life reinsurance risk from Reinsurance Group of America Inc.

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Orange Bank Acquired

Orange-based First Security Business Bank has been acquired by San Diego Private Bank on undisclosed terms.

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Wells Fargo Names Irvine Exec SoCal President

Wells Fargo has named Ben Alvarado president of its Southern California region in a restructuring.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,081.88 in midday trading.

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Aliso Viejo Software Firm Gets $2M

Corent Technology Inc. in Aliso Viejo received $2.1 million in venture capital funding.

Bankers See Trend of Global Growth for OC Clients in 2015

FINANCE: Exports pegged to rise 8%, reach $28B in 2015

Many of the biggest commercial banks with operations in Orange County are poised to gain from international markets as the local business landscape becomes more global in character.

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OC Adds 9,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Steady at 5%

Orange County added 9,000 jobs in November, continuing a streak of monthly job gains since a dip in August.

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Versant Closes $305M Fund

Healthcare-focused venture capital firm Versant Ventures has raised $305 million for its latest fund.

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Versant Closes $305M Fund

Healthcare-focused venture capital firm Versant Ventures has raised $305 million for its latest fund.

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Irvine Bank CEO and CFO to Retire

Irvine-based Pacific Enterprise Bank said Chief Executive Rick Ganulin will retire at the end of the year.

2014 Year in Review: Finance

Gross made the biggest people-on-the-move news in the finance industry this year, leaving Pacific Investment Management Co. for much-smaller rival Janus Capital Group.

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Irvine Bank CEO and CFO to Retire

Irvine-based Pacific Enterprise Bank said Chief Executive Rick Ganulin will retire at the end of the year.

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Mortgage Lender to Expand in OC

Stonegate Mortgage Corp. in Indianapolis said it plans to make more than 175 hires in Orange County for its recently created loan servicing subsidiary Stonegate Direct in Lake Forest.

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Alliant Acquires Employee Benefits Firm in N.Y.

Alliant Insurance Services Inc. in Newport Beach has acquired the Camps Group, a New York-based brokerage firm that specializes in employee benefits services.

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Parker Hannifin Takes Stake in Irvine Manufacturer

Freedom Innovations LLC, an Irvine-based maker of prosthetic devices, has received a minority equity investment from diversified manufacturer Parker Hannifin Corp.

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Chapman 2015 Forecast: OC Will Add 38,000 Jobs

Orange County businesses will add nearly 38,000 jobs in 2015, growing the local employment base by 3%, according to a forecast by Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics.

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