Orange County Business Journal

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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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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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Avanir to be Acquired for $3.5B

Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. for $3.5 billion.

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Golden State Foods Opens ‘Green’ Facility

Irvine-based food manufacturer and distributor Golden State Foods Corp. has opened a distribution center in Chicago focused on environmental sustainability.

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Ingram Micro Gets Majority Stake in Turkish Distributor

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. through its Dubai unit has acquired a majority stake in Armada, a technology distributor in Turkey.

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Software Company Expands HQ, Moves to Aliso Viejo

Predixion Software Inc. has tripled the size of its headquarters in a move from San Juan Capistrano to Aliso Viejo.

First Foundation Gets Bank in Hawaii

Irvine-based financial services company First Foundation Inc. has agreed to acquire Pacific Rim Bank in Hawaii in a deal valued at about $11.8 million.

Building Business by Hand

Manufacturer in ‘Unique’ Industry Pulls on Family Ties for Gains

Eric Albert calls his company, American Handforge, more or less “hidden.”

Employee Friendly, Too

Earth Friendly Products Spreads Benefits of Growth

Earth Friendly Products is continuing on its growth course under a new generation of leadership.

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JWA Traffic Up in October

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased 2.6% in October compared with a year earlier, the airport said.

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Irvine Security Firm Moves HQ to Carlsbad

A cyber security start-up in Irvine has moved its headquarters to Carlsbad, where it recently opened a new office.

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OCADA: October Auto Sales Up 6.5%; Prediction for 2015

October sales of new vehicles at Orange County auto dealers increased 6.5% year-over-year to 12,869, according to the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.13% to 2,070.07 in midday trading.

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OCADA: October Auto Sales Up 6.5%; Prediction for 2015

October sales of new vehicles at Orange County auto dealers increased 6.5% year-over-year to 12,869, according to the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

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Fed Lifts Enforcement Action on Pac Merc

The Federal Reserve Board has terminated its enforcement action with Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp.

Biggest Employers Churn Out Another Modest Increase

ECONOMY: Top 79 combine for 258,796 jobs, 17% of county’s total

Orange County’s biggest employers grew their combined workforce by 1% in the past year, a modest but steady pace of growth for the fourth straight year.

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Gross-Managed Fund Gets $500M from Soros

Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros has put $500 million in a fund managed by Bill Gross at Janus Capital Group Inc.

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OC Adds 15,800 Jobs, Unemployment Falls to 5%

Orange County employers added 15,800 jobs in October, helping push down the unemployment rate to 5%.

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NB Title Company Acquired for $36M

Newport Beach-based title insurance company Experience 1 Inc. has been acquired by Solutionstar Holdings LLC for $36 million in cash.

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Universal Protection Buys Guard Services Firms

Universal Protection Service in Santa Ana has acquired two guard services companies on undisclosed terms.

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Allergan Acquired by Actavis for $66B

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. has agreed to be acquired for $66 billion by Actavis PLC.

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Cal Republic Raises $90M, Swings to Profit in Q3

Irvine-based California Republic Bancorp has raised about $90 million in equity and debt offerings.

Banks Post Biggest Jump in Assets Since Predownturn

23 Together See 35% Rise To $18.5 Billion In Year

Orange County-based commercial banks have notched the biggest year-over-year asset growth in the ongoing economic recovery and even since the few years prior to the recession.

Q&A

The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local bankers to discuss their and their clients’ thoughts on how to manage operations in a changing interest rate environment, where rates are expected to rise. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Biggest Credit Unions Account for Bulk of Growth

Group’s Assets to $16.9B, Despite Declines for Most

Orange County’s credit unions built assets at a faster clip over the past year, when the biggest of the group pulled most of the gains.

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Subprime Auto Lender in Deal, Loses Irvine HQ

The owner of CarFinance Capital LLC is combining the Irvine-based subprime auto lender with another such company in its portfolio.

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Irvine Mortgage Bank Sold

Irvine-based mortgage lender American Interbanc Mortgage has been acquired by Seashine Financial LLC, also in Irvine.

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LoanDepot Buys Massachusetts Firm

Foothill Ranch-based mortgage lender loanDepot.com LLC has acquired Mortgage Master Inc. on undisclosed terms.

LED Manufacturer Sets Up in Anaheim

MANUFACTURING: Shifts West Coast center from IE

MaxLite Inc., a lighting products manufacturer in New Jersey, has relocated the base for its West Coast operations to Orange County, where it has expanded its facility space as part of a bid for growth.

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Irvine Insurance Brokerage Acquired

Irvine-based NuWest Insurance Services Inc. has been acquired by Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC on undisclosed terms.

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Pimco Brings Exec Back as Co-CIO

Pacific Investment Management Co. has re-hired Marc Seidner as a chief investment officer, making him the firm’s sixth co-CIO.

Fastest Growers Keep Pace

Public Cos. Combine for 24% Hike to $83B in Sales

The latest batch of Orange County’s fastest-growing public companies kept pace with last year’s mix, combining for a 24% growth rate on revenue.

Need for Speed

Why Fast-Growing Companies Matter to Local Economy

Fast growth matters. Having a deep pool of fast-growing public companies is a plus on many fronts for Orange County’s economy and community.

Kodiak to Buy $5M in Alt Energy Stock

Newport Beach-based investment firm Kodiak Capital Group LLC agreed to buy $5 million worth of common stock of Cirque Energy Inc., a Detroit-based developer of alternative energy sources.

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Opus Misses Estimates on Q3 Profit

Irvine-based Opus Bank’s third-quarter net income fell short of Wall Street estimates.

OC Lures Professionals in More Ways Than One

Chance for Independence, Creativity Part of Appeal

Sunny winters aren’t the only draw for financial industry professionals to move to Orange County from Wall Street and other finance centers on the East Coast.

Pacific Premier to Acquire Bank

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. has agreed to pay $71.5 million to acquire Independence Bank in Newport Beach.

Boot Barn Holdings Gives IPO Details

Irvine-based Boot Barn Holdings Inc. has announced details of its initial public offering, including the number and price of shares to be sold.

OC-India Connection’s 2-Way Street

Financial Services Here Look for Roles on Both Ends of Deals

A number of financial services firms in Orange County are setting themselves up as conduits for deals in India, drawn by the country’s growing upper and middle classes, a raft of highly educated workers, and a number of industries that offer potential for cross-border links.

Financial Firms Add Advisers, Cut Total Workforces

Reps Jump 3.4%, Overall Staff Down 5% at Top 23

Orange County’s financial advisory firms combined to deepen the pool of registered advisers here while reducing the size of their overall employment bases.

Irvine Renewable-Energy Firm Eyes $270M Loan From China Ex-Im Bank

The Export-Import Bank of China last week signed a letter of intent to provide a $270 million loan to Irvine-based BlueFire Renewables Inc.

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