Orange County Business Journal

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Alliant Gets New PE Investment

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

How Pac Life Rates

Diversification Keeps Firm Atop Private Companies in Era of Low Yields

The financial crisis is over, but uncertainty remains for any company whose profitability faces challenges in this era of persistent low interest rates—even if the company is the biggest privately held enterprise in Orange County, with $7.7 billion in annual revenue and more than 2,000 employees here and another 1,000 or so around the world.

Private Cos. Set Pace on Jobs

Biggest Based Here Surpass Broader Economy on New Hires

The biggest private companies based in Orange County have been big on building the local workforce over the past year, adding jobs at a faster pace than the county’s overall economy.

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OC Adds Jobs But Unemployment Up

The unemployment rate in Orange County ticked up in May despite an increase of 13,000 jobs.

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Katz, Marshack Join Greenberg Gross

Business litigators Michael Katz and Adrianne Marshack have joined trial law firm Greenberg Gross LLP in Costa Mesa.

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Opus COO Exits

Opus Bank’s chief operating office has resigned after about two years working at the Irvine-based bank.

More Deals, Smaller Checks on Local VC Landscape

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.

Gross Says Give It Up for Machine

Donation to Smithsonian Recognizes ‘Critical’ Tool of Finance Industry

Bill Gross didn’t invent the Bloomberg terminal.

PE Firms Establish Niches in Quest for Portfolio Growth

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.

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$272M Follows Gross to Janus

A London-based insurance group has shifted the management of its $272 million fund from Pacific Investment Management Co. to Bill Gross.

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Experian Names CIO

Experian PLC has hired Barry Libenson as chief information officer, a newly created position for the global information services company, whose North American business is headquartered in Costa Mesa.

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Alliant Buys Crop Insurance Specialist

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired crop insurance specialist Mary Roach Insurance Agency Inc.

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Confie in 3 Buys

Huntington Beach-based Confie Seguros has acquired three brokerages in New York and Texas.

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Pimco Communications Chief to eBay

eBay Inc. has tapped the global head of corporate communications for Pacific Investment Management Co. as its chief communications officer.

Telogis Raises $25M in New VC Round

Aliso Viejo-based Telogis Inc. raised another $25 million in venture capital funding, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pac Merc Expands Hollywood Niche

FINANCE: Beverly Hills-based unit lends to A-list movies

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank has ramped up its entertainment financing business, an area that has become a key contributor to growth as the bank sharpens its focus on commercial lending.

Apex Acquires New Jersey Water Park

Apex Parks Group, an Aliso Viejo-based owner and operator of leisure parks, acquired Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor and Outdoor Water Park in New Jersey on undisclosed terms.

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Broadcom in $37B Deal

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. has agreed to be acquired by Avago Technologies Ltd. for $37 billion.

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Pacific Premier Hires CFO

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. has tapped Allen Nicholson as chief financial officer.

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Anaheim Lighting Products Maker Sold

Anaheim-based lighting products maker Intense Lighting LLC has been acquired by Leviton Manufacturing Co., a Melville, N.Y.-based manufacturer of electrical wiring equipment.

Telogis Raises $25M in New VC Round

Aliso Viejo-based Telogis Inc. raised another $25 million in venture capital funding, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pac Merc Expands Hollywood Niche

FINANCE: Beverly Hills-based unit lends to A-list movies

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank has ramped up its entertainment financing business, an area that has become a key contributor to growth as the bank sharpens its focus on commercial lending.

Apex Acquires New Jersey Water Park

Apex Parks Group, an Aliso Viejo-based owner and operator of leisure parks, acquired Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor and Outdoor Water Park in New Jersey on undisclosed terms.

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OC Adds Jobs in April

Orange County employers added 3,800 jobs in April, helping drive down the unemployment rate to 4.1%.

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Frost Data Capital Part of Investor Group

Frost Data Capital, a San Juan Capistrano-based investment firm and start-up incubator, joined other venture investors to back Maana, a developer of big-data search engine technology.

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Theme Parks Operator Buys in NJ

Apex Parks Group, an Aliso Viejo-based owner and operator of leisure parks, has acquired Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor and Outdoor Water Park in New Jersey.

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Marcum Names Irvine Partner to Head CA Tax Business

National accounting firm Marcum LLP has named John Eckweiler, a partner in its Irvine office, partner-in-charge of tax and business services for its California operations.

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Telogis Gets $25M Investment

Aliso Viejo-based Telogis Inc. has raised another $25 million in venture capital funding.

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First Foundation Starts Insurance Unit

Irvine-based banking and wealth planning firm First Foundation Inc. has launched a property and casualty insurance brokerage unit.

Mortgage Lender Doubles Local Office

Foothill Ranch-based mortgage lender loanDepot LLC doubled its Orange County office space to more than 238,000 square feet to accommodate its growing direct-lending center.

Hedge Fund Execs Go Long on Own Brand of Energy Drink

MARKETING: Pelerin pair behind Positive Energy brand

Positive Energy Beverages LLC is betting that a continued rise in consumer demand for “better-for-you” food products will be better for the Irvine-based startup, too.

Employment Agencies Continue Growth With 2% Jump

21 Firms Have $720M In Locally Generated Revenue

The largest staffing firms in Orange County combined for a modest increase in revenue last year, coming off a small dip in 2013.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Stock indices were down in midday trading.

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Confie Buys in NY State

Huntington Beach-based insurance broker Confie Seguros has acquired three brokerage firms in Buffalo, N.Y.

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Pimco’s Head of Equities to Leave

Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. said its London-based chief investment officer of global equities is stepping down after a little more than a year on the job.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.13% to 2,101.80.

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LoanDepot Doubles Space, Plans to Hire 1,000

Foothill Ranch-based mortgage lender loanDepot LLC has doubled its Orange County office space to more than 238,000 square feet to accommodate its growing direct-lending center.

Santa Ana Company Builds N.C. Factory

MANUFACTURING: $7.5M for 204,000-square-foot plant

Santa Ana-based natural gas fuel systems developer Agility Fuel Systems plans to open a $7.5 million factory in North Carolina later this year, an expansion driven by a growing demand for natural gas-equipped vehicles.

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Pimco’s Total Return Loses ‘Biggest’ Title

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s signature fund, the Total Return, is no longer the world’s biggest bond fund.

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Banc of CA Posts Q1 Profit

Irvine-based Banc of California Inc. swung to a profit in the first quarter, logging $11.7 million in net income versus a loss of $161,000 in the same period last year.

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Morgan Drexen Files for BK

Costa Mesa-based debt settlement services company Morgan Drexen Inc. has filed for bankruptcy.

SBA Loans Jump, National Lenders Lead Way

FINANCE: Value rises 52%; number of loans up 35%

Small-business lending in Orange County rose substantially in recent months, according to this week’s Business Journal lists based on information from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Software AG Leads Predixion VC Round

Aliso Viejo-based Predixion Software kicked off its latest venture funding round with Germany-based Software AG, one of the largest global software companies, as the lead investor.

Lake Forest Lender Starts New Division

Lake Forest-based lender Clearinghouse Community Development Financial Institution is launching a real estate investment division.

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Morgan Drexen Files for BK

Costa Mesa-based debt settlement services company Morgan Drexen Inc. has filed for bankruptcy.

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American Vanguard Buys Herbicide Unit from DuPont

American Vanguard Corp., a Newport Beach-based maker of agricultural chemicals, has through its Netherlands-based international subsidiary, acquired the assets of an herbicide business from E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.

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Bernanke Joins Pimco

Pacific Investment Management Co. has tapped former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as a senior adviser.

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Predixion’s Series D Round Led by Software AG

Aliso Viejo-based Predixion Software has kicked off its latest venture funding round with Germany-based Software AG, one of the largest software companies globally, as the lead investor.

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Opus Q1 Loans, Deposits Up; Profit Slips

Irvine-based Opus Bank posted $11 million in first-quarter net income, down 16% from the same period a year earlier.

Who’s Your Uncles?

Real Estate Vets Try Crowd-Investing Model for REIT

Rich uncles are nice to have—and that might be the play that real estate investment veterans Ray Wirta, Harold Hofer and Howard Makler are going for with their RichUncles LLC real estate crowd-investing platform.

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