Orange County Business Journal

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

Gross Says Give It Up for Machine

Donation to Smithsonian Recognizes ‘Critical’ Tool of Finance Industry

Bill Gross didn’t invent the Bloomberg terminal.

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.

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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.

Hueston Trustee in Morgan Drexen BK

LAW: Shift to Chapter 11 brings on trial lawyer for reorganization

The Office of the U.S. Trustee has appointed trial lawyer John Hueston as trustee of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Costa Mesa-based Morgan Drexen Inc., which has been converted from Chapter 7 liquidation.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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