Orange County Business Journal

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Solis Gets Stake in Lindora

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Solis Capital Partners has acquired an equity stake in Lindora Inc., a Costa Mesa-based provider of weight-loss management programs.

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Vacation Rental Tech Firm Gets $5M

Irvine-based travel-technology company BookingPal Inc. got $5 million in a venture capital round.

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Pimco Taps Ex-Morgan Stanley Economist

Pacific Investment Management Co. has tapped former Morgan Stanley chief economist Joachim Fels as a managing director and global economic adviser.

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Plaza Bank’s Merger Partner Sells Mortgage Unit

Bank of Manhattan, which is in the process of merging with Irvine-based Plaza Bank, has agreed to sell its mortgage business to Wilshire Bancorp Inc. in Los Angeles.

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Confie Buys in Texas

Huntington Beach-based Confie Seguros Insurance Services has acquired Baja Auto Insurance in Dallas on undisclosed terms.

OC Mortgage Lenders Poised for Strong Run

FINANCE: Nonbank enterprises claim ground in recession’s wake

A number of mortgage lenders in Orange County have readied themselves for what’s expected to be a strong year for home loans.

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SA Security Firm Grows Retail Side

Santa Ana-based Universal Protection Service has acquired two guard services companies to expand its retail mall business.

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Opus Forms Broker-Dealer Arm

Irvine-based Opus Bank has established a broker-dealer subsidiary to support its merchant banking business.

Q&A

The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local bankers what community involvement means to their institutions. This week’s Q&A sheds light on the banks’ current engagement in Orange County beyond compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act, as well as their plans for this year and some of the challenges they see ahead. Executives also discussed some challenges they face in supporting the community. Here are edited excerpts of their responses.

Banks, Thrift Expand Orange County Deposits by 8%

43 Combine for $84.1 Billion, Mirroring Year-Earlier Rise

Commercial banks in Orange County continued to grow local deposits, notching another 8% increase over the year through June for a total of $84.1 billion.

SJC Big-Data Firm Gets $10.8 Million

San Juan Capistrano-based search engine Maana Inc. raised $10.8 million, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Tech Coast Angels Tally $16M

Irvine-based angel investor network Tech Coast Angels invested $16.4 million in 61 deals in 2014.

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Tech Coast Angels Tally $16M

Irvine-based angel investor network Tech Coast Angels invested $16.4 million in 61 deals in 2014.

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Solis Invests in SA Safety Gear Maker

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Solis Capital Partners has acquired an equity stake in Santa Ana-based ML Kishigo Manufacturing Co.

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Western Digital in $29M VC Investment

The venture capital arm of Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. co-led a $29 million funding for memory products maker Everspin Technologies Inc.

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Western Digital in VC Investment

The venture capital arm of Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. co-led a $29 million funding for memory products maker Everspin Technologies Inc.

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Q4 Profit Up for Opus

Irvine-based Opus Bank reported $12.6 million in fourth-quarter profit, up 76% from the same time a year earlier.

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SJC Big Data Firm Raises $10.8M

San Juan Capistrano-based search engine Maana Inc. has raised $10.8 million, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jobs Decline at Top Foreign-Owned Cos.

THE LIST: Blizzard buyout tipped field’s total

The biggest foreign-owned companies in Orange County employ just more than 27,000 workers here, a decrease of about 1% from a year earlier.

Alliant Buys Australia Firm’s US Arm

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

Kodiak Capital to Fold NY Office Into OC Base

FINANCE: NB-based firm busy with small-stake strategy

Newport Beach-based investment firm Kodiak Capital Group LLC is off to a busy start this year with several deals on the books and plans to consolidate its East Coast operations in Orange County in coming months.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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