Orange County Business Journal

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Stearns to Sell Majority Stake to Blackstone

Santa Ana-based mortgage lender Stearns Holdings LLC has agreed to sell a majority stake to the Blackstone Group LP, a global asset manager in New York.

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OC Cuts Jobs, Unemployment Rate Up

Orange County’s unemployment rate inched up last month as employers continued to make job cuts.

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Stearns to Sell Majority Stake to Blackstone

Santa Ana-based mortgage lender Stearns Holdings LLC has agreed to sell a majority stake to the Blackstone Group LP, a global asset manager in New York.

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Stearns to Sell Majority Stake to Blackstone

Santa Ana-based mortgage lender Stearns Holdings LLC has agreed to sell a majority stake to the Blackstone Group LP, a global asset manager in New York.

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OC Cuts Jobs, Unemployment Rate Up

Orange County’s unemployment rate inched up last month as employers continued to make job cuts.

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Banc of CA CFO to Leave

The chief financial officer of Irvine-based Banc of California is stepping down, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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.

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Banc of CA CFO to Leave

The chief financial officer of Irvine-based Banc of California is stepping down, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Toba Backs Software Startup

Newport Beach-based venture capital firm Toba Capital has partnered with an information technology company to invest $20 million in WSO2, a software developer in Mountain View.

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LH Software Company Gets $3.5M

Laguna Hills-based Centercode Inc. has received $3.5 million in equity financing, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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First Foundation to Raise $100M

Irvine-based First Foundation Inc. has kicked off an initial public offering of its common stock for $100 million.

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Confie Buys 3

Huntington Beach-based insurance brokerage Confie has acquired three brokerages on undisclosed terms.

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Banc of California Profit, Loans Up

Banc of California Inc. reported an 82% year-over-year increase in its second-quarter profit to $13.1 million.

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SA Security Firm Buys in Tennessee

Santa Ana-based Universal Protection Service has acquired Guardsmark in Memphis, Tenn., on undisclosed terms.

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Opus Bank Q2 Profit, Loans Up

Opus Bank reported higher year-over-year net income in the second quarter thanks to growth on a number of fronts, including interest income on loans and noninterest income.

Rich Uncles REIT Files for IPO

Real estate investment company Rich Uncles LLC is planning an initial public offering that could raise as much as $1 billion for its newly created Rich Uncles REIT Inc.

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Pac Merc Q2 Profit, Loans Up

Pacific Mercantile Bancorp reported higher year-over-year net income for the second quarter citing higher yield on earning assets.

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Alliant Acquires Agribusiness Agency

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired an agency in Lodi that specializes in agribusiness insurance. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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Rich Uncles REIT Files for IPO

Real estate investment company Rich Uncles LLC is behind an initial public offering to raise as much as $1 billion for its newly created Rich Uncles REIT Inc.

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Rich Uncles REIT Files for IPO

Real estate investment company Rich Uncles LLC is behind an initial public offering to raise as much as $1 billion for its newly created Rich Uncles REIT Inc.

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Unemployment Rate Up Slightly

The unemployment rate in Orange County ticked up slightly as employers trimmed the work force in June.

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MV Pipeline Inspection Company Sold

Mission Viejo-based Hoffman Southwest Corp., which provides underground pipeline inspection and repair services, has been acquired by Chicago-based private equity firm Sterling Partners.

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VC Inflow Jumps in Q2

Quarterly venture capital inflow to Orange County companies hit the highest level since mid-2011, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

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Warburg Pincus Set to Take Stake in Universal

New York-based Warburg Pincus is set to take a majority stake in Santa Ana-based Universal Services of America Inc.

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.

Payoff Gets $250M for Credit Debtors

Costa Mesa-based consumer financial services firm Payoff Inc. secured up to $250 million in debt financing to help its members pay off credit card debt.

Excelsior Capital Buys Wall Art Maker

Excelsior Capital Partners LLC in Newport Beach formed two entities to acquire Artissimo Designs, a manufacturer of wall decoration products.

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.

Banc of California Sells Two Branches

Irvine-based Banc of California Inc. agreed to sell two branches to Americas United Bank in Glendale, which primarily serves Latino-American customers.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1.3% to 2,077.94.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% to 2,064.26.

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Banc of CA Sells 2 Branches

Irvine-based Banc of California Inc. has agreed to sell two branches to Americas United Bank in Glendale, which primarily serves Latino-American customers.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Markets saw sell-offs Wednesday morning on concern over China’s stock market.

NB Investor Acquires Wall Decor Products Maker

Excelsior Capital Partners LLC in Newport Beach formed two new entities to acquire Artissimo Designs, a manufacturer of wall decoration products.

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Payoff to Get $250M

Costa Mesa-based consumer financial services firm Payoff Inc. has secured up to $250 million in debt financing to help its members pay off credit card debt.

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Five Point Plans for IPO

Aliso Viejo-based Five Point Holdings Inc. said it’s planning an initial public offering.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.6% in midday trading to 2,054.69.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,072.39.

Gross Greets Old Colleague as New Co-Manager

FINANCE: Janus acquires majority stake in Kapstream

Bill Gross got a co-portfolio manager to support his global unconstrained bond strategy for Janus Capital Group Inc.

Beat Goes On

Union Bank Treasury Exec Takes Bold Approach

Susan Beat points to boldness as a constant character trait that helped set her apart as she advanced in banking.

Buchan’s High Bar

Set Record on Athletic Field at Yale, New Pace for Women in World of Hedge Funds

Sports brought Jane Buchan to Orange County from New York City, and the competitive drive honed on the playing fields has continued with her rise into the ranks of the most powerful women in the world of hedge funds.

Seizing Opportunities

Ready When Doors Opened in Benefits Business

Being ready to seize opportunities is as important as the opportunities themselves, says Kristen Allison, president and chief executive of Irvine-based employee benefits specialist Burnham Benefits Insurance Services Inc.

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Alliant Buys in N.Y.

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired Preferred Concepts LLC, a New York-based wholesale broker and underwriter that specializes in real estate insurance.

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Distressed RE Specialist Gets $20M Investment

Newport Beach-based real estate investment trust CV Holdings Inc. has sold $20 million worth of preferred stock to Tricadia Capital Management LLC in New York.

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Newly Acquired Bond Firm to Support Gross

Janus Capital Group Inc. has acquired a majority stake in Kapstream Capital Pty Ltd, an unconstrained bond manager in Australia that also has operations in Newport Beach.

Alliant Gets New Largest Shareholder

Alliant Insurance Services Inc. received “a significant equity investment” from Stone Point Capital LLC, which now is the largest shareholder of the Newport Beach-based insurance brokerage firm.

GenSpring Taps New Boss in Costa Mesa

GenSpring Family Offices LLC, an affiliate of Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., has tapped private banking industry veteran Chris Walters to head its western U.S. business from its regional headquarters in Orange County.

Investor Adds Law Firm in Maryland to Holdings

FINANCE: Deal brings eighth company to Plutos Sama stable

Investment holding company Plutos Sama LLC has acquired the Fisher Law Group PLLC, which focuses on resolution of delinquent real estate portfolios.

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RichUncles Gets $3M Loan

Newport Beach-based real estate investment trust RichUncles LLC has received a $3 million loan from Pacific Mercantile Bank in Costa Mesa.

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