Orange County Business Journal

Insurance Brokers Notch 8.6% Revenue Jump in 2013

Firms Benefit From Brighter Economy’s Boost to Clients

Orange County’s top insurance brokers picked up the pace in growing their revenues last year, benefiting in part from a generally improved economy that helped boost business prospects for their clients.

OC Insurance Brokers Aim for Middle to Offset Corporate Migration

Credit some of Orange County’s biggest insurance brokers with quick adjustments to shifts in California’s corporate landscape.

CSUF Index: Outlook Inches Up for Q4

ECONOMY: Most OC execs expect revenue gains; 42% plan to add jobs

Orange County company executives started the fourth quarter with improved expectations for overall business activity, according to the latest quarterly index of business sentiments published by the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University-Fullerton.

OCers Make Forbes’ Wealthy List

Nine members of the Business Journal’s annual OC’s Wealthiest list were included in the recent Forbes 400 list, which ranks and profiles the wealthiest Americans by estimated net worth.

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Pyott Leaves Edwards Board

Allergan Inc. Chief Executive David Pyott has resigned as a director of Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

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Confie Buys 3 Brokerages

Huntington Beach-based Confie Seguros Insurance Services has acquired three brokerages, all on undisclosed terms.

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Irvine Commercial RE Lender in Sale to Walker & Dunlop

Johnson Capital, an Irvine-based commercial property mortgage lender, has sold its loan origination and servicing platform to Walker & Dunlop Inc., a commercial real estate financial services company in Bethesda, Md.

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New CEO for Pimco Parent

Pacific Investment Management Co. parent Allianz SE announced plans to replaced its chief executive in the first half of next year.

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9 OCers Make Forbes 400 List

Nine members of the Business Journal’s annual OC’s Wealthiest list were included in the recent Forbes 400 list, which ranks and profiles the wealthiest Americans by estimated net worth.

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Ingredients Developer Gets $5M Debt Funding

ChromaDex Corp., an Irvine-based maker of ingredients for dietary supplements, has closed a $5 million venture debt financing from Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc.

5 Honored With General Counsel Awards

A crowd of more than 400 members of Orange County’s corporate and legal communities gathered to honor this year’s top in-house lawyers at the Business Journal’s fifth annual General Counsel Awards.

Anton & Chia in San Diego on Latest Buy

Newport Beach-based accounting firm Anton & Chia LLP has acquired W. Michael Corson & Co. in San Diego on undisclosed terms, its second buy in recent months.

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Gross to Janus, Will Stay in Newport Beach

Bill Gross, founder and chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., will leave the Newport Beach-based company to join Janus Capital Group.

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Report: Fox Head Looks to Sell

Irvine-based motorcross apparel company Fox Head Inc. is reportedly on the sales block and seeking more than $200 million.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 dipped 0.1% to 1,991.66 in midday trading.

Growth By Design

Alternative Lender Translates Conditions Into 2,236% Revenue Jump

Growth for Quick Bridge Funding LLC was fast but not too fast.

Midmarket Movers

73 Companies Combine for $2.2 Billion in Revenue

The 73 fastest-growing private companies in Orange County with revenues between $10 million and $100 million collectively grew their combined top line by 76.1% over the past two years to $2.2 billion.

Little Big List

$4.3B Revenue Increase Spread Over 13 Largest Fast Growers

Far fewer but much bigger. That’s one way to sum up the biggest of the fastest-growing private companies based in Orange County—13 companies that combined for $16.1 billion in revenue, a 37% jump.

Double Time

Companies Under $10M Mark on Revenue Combine for 100% Jump

The fastest-growing companies in Orange County with revenues of less than $10 million combined to nearly double their sales over the past two years to $399 million.

Windjammer Sells Portfolio Company

Newport Beach-based buyout firm Windjammer Capital Investors agreed to sell its portfolio company, BBB Industries LLC, to an investment firm in London on disclosed terms.

Palace Entertainment Sells 15 Parks

Newport Beach-based leisure park owner and operator Palace Entertainment Inc. sold 15 of its entertainment center locations to Apex Parks Group in Aliso Viejo on undisclosed terms.

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Unemployment Rate, Jobs Fall

Orange County’s unemployment rate dipped to 5.4% in August despite a decrease of 1,900 jobs over the month.

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Entertainment Parks Operator Sells 15 Locations

Newport Beach-based leisure park owner and operator Palace Entertainment Inc. has sold 15 of its entertainment center locations to Apex Parks Group in Aliso Viejo.

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Windjammer Sells Auto Parts Maker

Newport Beach-based buyout firm Windjammer Capital Investors has agreed to sell its portfolio company BBB Industries LLC to an investment firm in London.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.22% to 1,981.24 in midday trading.

HK Billionaire’s OC Connection

Chan, Brother Head Foundation That Gave $350M to Harvard Last Week

You won’t find mention of Orange County in the ongoing talk of the biggest single donation in Harvard University’s history.

Aristotle Capital to Newport Center

Aristotle Capital Management LLC is doubling its office size in Orange County with a move from Irvine to Newport Beach.

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PE Firm Invests in Propane Engine Maker

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Solis Capital Partners LLC has made an equity investment in LEHR Inc., a manufacturer of propane-powered engines and tools for home and commercial uses.

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Pac Merc Names COO

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp has promoted Robert Sjogren to chief operating officer, a position that had been vacant for some time.

Irvine-Based Bank Sells $60M in Notes

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. sold $60 million worth of notes to private investors.

Kofax to Pay $34.7M for German Firm

Irvine-based software maker Kofax Ltd. agreed to pay $34.7 million in cash for Softpro GMBH, a German company that specializes in electronic signature services and software.

Equipment Firm HQ to Irvine in Expansion

Equipment leasing company Pacific Rim Capital Inc. has expanded its headquarters in a move from Aliso Viejo to Irvine.

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Alliant Expands with Buy in Spokane

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired Moloney + O’Neill in Spokane, Wash. on undisclosed terms.

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$21M Round for Mazzo-Led Device Company

Irvine-based medical device company AcuFocus Inc. has received $21 million in new venture funding.

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Anaheim Bathtub Maker Sold

Anaheim-based bathtub manufacturer Aquatic has been acquired by the Sterling Group, a private equity firm in Houston.

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Pacific Premier in $60M Private Placement

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. has sold $60 million worth of notes to private investors.

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Kofax Acquires German E-Signature Company

Irvine-based software maker Kofax Ltd has agreed to pay $34.7 million in cash for Softpro GmbH, a German company that specializes in electronic signature software and services.

Amway Bolsters OC Operations With $42M Investment in Nutrilite

MARKETING: Manufacturing, R&D upgrades in Buena Park

Amway Corp. is expanding the Buena Park operations of its Nutrilite supplements brand with a $42 million investment for new manufacturing and research facilities.

Another Bank Sets Up HQ in Irvine

FINANCE: CBC buys building for move from Costa Mesa

Commercial Bank of California has moved its headquarters from Costa Mesa to a building it has purchased in Irvine.

Lake Forest Lender Taps Treasury on $100M Bond Issue

FINANCE: Proceeds pegged for community development projects

A Lake Forest-based lender primarily focused on community development has received $100 million through bond debt backed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and targeted for use on projects in low-income and underserved areas.

NB Services Firm Bought by DLC

Beacon Resources LLC in Newport Beach was acquired by Woodland Hills-based professional services firm DLC on undisclosed terms.

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NB Management Consultant Acquired

Beacon Resources LLC in Newport Beach has been acquired by Woodland Hills-based professional services firm DLC.

OC Cities Post Population Growth, Irvine Up Nearly 5%

Combine for 1% Increase To About 3 Million Residents

Orange County cities continued growing last year, combining for a net 1% increase in population to about 3 million.

Security Firm Grows in Anaheim, SD

Anaheim-based Firstline Security Inc. has expanded its facilities in Orange County and San Diego in line with its fast-growing business.

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CSUF Study: OC Exports to Grow Modestly, $28B by 2015

Orange County exports are expected to grow by nearly 6% this year to reach about $26.2 billion, according to a study by California State University Fullerton’s Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting.

Tasty Brews to Satisfy New Appetites

MANUFACTURING: Rising craft-beer sector part of US trend

Craft beer is briskly bubbling toward the surface of Orange County’s economy as a small but growing sector catering to increasing tastes for locally made food and beverages.

Firms Acquire Stake in Movie Company

Two Orange County-based investment firms have partnered to acquire a majority stake in Mob Scene LLC, an entertainment marketing and production company in Beverly Hills.

Irvine Firm Builds on YouTube Business With New Unit

FINANCE: Semaphore rollout helps ‘Tubers’ brand and more

Irvine-based financial services firm Semaphore is betting on the growing field of YouTube entertainment and its increasing capacity to attract brands to advertise to the younger crowd.

Golden State Buys Again in New Zealand

Irvine-based food manufacturer and distributor Golden State Foods Corp. acquired a vegetable supplier in New Zealand on undisclosed terms.

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OC Loses Jobs, Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

Orange County lost 13,900 jobs in July, breaking a five-month streak of job gains.