Peter J. Brennan

Staff Reporter

Email: brennan@ocbj.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 229

Recent Stories

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,727.94.

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Pacific Premier’s Big Buy Wins Fans

Banc of California’s Future Plans Get Cool Reception

Wall Street likes the future plans of Pacific Premier Bancorp (Nasdaq: PPBI). It gave a thumbs down to the road map of rival Banc of California Inc. (NYSE: BANC).

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.3% in midday trading to 2,649.46.

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Mechanics Buys Scott Valley Bank

Mechanics Bank (OTCBB: MCHB) said it will acquire Learner Financial Corp., the bank holding company for Scott Valley Bank, to add $692 million in assets. Terms weren’t disclosed.

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Pacific Premier Buys Grandpoint

Irvine’s Pacific Premier Bancorp (Nasdaq: PPBI) agreed to acquire Grandpoint Capital Inc. (OTC Pink: GPNC) in an all stock deal valued at $641.2 million.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices across the board rebounded at midday by more than 1% apiece on a broad-based rally following two weeks of market turmoil.

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OC’s $22B Muni Debt: 140 Issuers

FINANCE: Analysis shows biggest entities in good shape

The 10 largest issuers of municipal debt that aren’t school districts owe a cumulative $9.84 billion, according to a Business Journal analysis.

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New Bank Opens in Santa Ana

Infinity Bank opened on Feb. 1 in Santa Ana, the first new bank in a year in Orange County.

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Allianz to Pay $12m to Settle 401k Suit

A California federal judge this week gave preliminary approval for Allianz Asset Management of America LP to pay $12 million to settle allegations it didn’t adequately provide alternatives to its employees for their retirement plans.

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Hsieh Hires Heller for 'mello' Unit

LD Holdings Group LLC, parent company of loanDepot, the nation’s fifth largest retail lender, today named real estate executive Chris Heller to head its recently-launched mello Home business.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices whipsawed in early trading but were a little higher by midday after a steep selloff in the preceding two trading sessions on concerns of rising bond yields and higher inflation.

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Allied Universal Buys 1,900-Employee Firm

Santa Ana-based Allied Universal, the biggest private security force in North America with over 150,000 employees, bought Covenant Security Services Ltd., a unit of Covenant Services Worldwide, on undisclosed terms.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices continued to fall amid concerns about rising inflation and higher government bond yields.

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Unlikely Pair Start Pot Distribution Business

CANNABIS: Lockyer, Spitz set up in Costa Mesa’s ‘green zone’

What does a former state attorney general have in common with the ex-president of the Orange County Register’s parent company?

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Pacific Premier, First Foundation Seeking Acquisitions

FINANCE: OC-based banks show plans in outlooks

Two Orange County banks said last week that they’re on the lookout for acquisitions, while it appeared a third bank’s stock may be propped up by sale speculation.

AutoGravity Signs Nissan

Irvine-based fintech firm AutoGravity, which provides auto financing through smartphones, signed up another automaker: Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC).

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Disneyland Chief Promoted to Asia

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) promoted Michael Colglazier, its current Disneyland Resort chief, to head of its Asia parks, effective March 5.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 1.1% in midday trading to 2,821.08.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.3% in midday trading to 2,864.24.

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OC Cryptocurrency Fund Opens

FINANCE: Palmy Fund has $3.5 million

Newport Beach-based Palmy LLC said it opened the first cryptocurrency investment fund based in Orange County.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.2% in midday trading to 2,837.48.

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LoanDepot Unveils 2 New Businesses

LoanDepot LLC, the second largest non-bank mortgage lender in the U.S., launched two new businesses to expand real estate lending through its technology platform dubbed Mello.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.5% in midday trading to 2,823.55.

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OC Unemployment 2.8%

Orange County’s unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in December, and the state again reported a record low of 4.2%.

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Restaurant365 Raises Funding from Bessemer

Restaurant365 LLC, an Irvine-based developer of back-office software for restaurants, said it closed a $20 million Series A financing that includes a minority investment from Bessemer Venture Partners.

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OC Bar to Swear In New President

The Orange County Bar Association, which has more than 8,500 members, tonight is installing Nikki Presley Miliband as its president at the group’s premier legal event, Judges’ Night, at the Irvine Marriott.

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Windjammer Sells JWC to Swiss Giant

Windjammer Capital Investors of Newport Beach sold JWC Environmental LLC to Swiss giant Sulzer Ltd. (SIX: SUN) for an enterprise value of $215 million.

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Accounting Firm Taps Leader

White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP named Paul Treinen managing partner, replacing Dave Doran who retired on Dec. 31 after 42 years with the Irvine-based accounting firm.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,792.72.

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PIMCO Also Reported Banner Year

StocksPLUS, RAE Post Strong Returns

When it comes to mutual funds, Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. is in a class all its own in Orange County.

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Adviser Building Own Field of Dreams

FINANCE: Trilogy founder uses radio to provide advice

Jeff Motske advocates a special kind of date with your spouse—“a financial date night” to discuss the family’s finances.

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Haddad, El-Erian Discuss Ideas to Improve OC

ECONOMY: Famous execs urge new mindset

How can Santa Ana attract more business?

OC-Based Mutual Funds Performed Well Last Year

FINANCE: Affinity, PacLife, WCM rode stellar returns to top

Most mutual funds based in Orange County yielded a very good 2017 indeed.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,758.44.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,744.70.

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Nonprofit CFO Looks for Assets With Potential

Community Foundation Different Than a Business

On a recent weekday in December, Tracy Branson visited a home in Huntington Beach to prep it for sale and look for a real estate agent. She estimated the house would fetch between $600,000 and $700,000.

El-Erian Touts ‘OC Advantage’

Q&A: Famous Economist Talks GDP, PIMCO, LinkedIn

Mohamed El-Erian can remember the first day he fell in love with Orange County. “Orange County had me at hello,” he quipped during a recent phone interview.

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Local CFOs Weigh in on New Tax Law

While much of the rest of the U.S. business community is celebrating the new tax law, owners and executives at certain California businesses are groaning and scrambling to talk to their tax experts.

A CPA’s Advice for CFOs

Vic Hausmaninger, founding partner of HBLA CPAs Inc. of Irvine, talked often last year with Business Journal Financial Editor Peter J. Brennan about the proposed tax bill. Hausmaninger wrote the following on what chief financial officers and other C-level executives should consider:

Most OC Companies Saw Stock Rise in 2017

The majority of Orange County’s publicly traded companies enjoyed a positive 2017.

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Pot Facts

Marijuana Industry Players

Cannabis.ca.gov is the secretary of state’s official website on how to start a cannabis business. Three state agencies are overseeing the industry:

PIMCO Invests $200M in GreenSky: WSJ

Newport Beach’s Pacific Investment Management Co., one of the world’s largest investment firms, is investing $200 million in GreenSky LLC, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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BPOY 2017 Finance: Roman, Ivascyn Make $1.7T Team

1K Days After Bill Gross Left, Again a Force

Emmanuel “Manny” Roman sure knows when to make an entrance.

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Local Marijuana Cos. Prep for New Year

MANUFACTURING: Industry’s ‘Wild West’ scheduled to go legal

New Year’s Day will be more than just a party for some Orange County businesses. They’re gearing up for the day California legalizes recreational marijuana.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,680.30.

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Peregrine Names CEO, to Change Name

Tustin’s Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPHM), a drug manufacturer that’s been in a proxy battle, said Roger J. Lias is the company’s new chief executive and president.

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Unemployment Plummets, State at Record Low

Orange County’s unemployment rate plummeted to 2.8% in November as the state reported a record low of 4.6%, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

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UCI Names Richardson as Law School Dean

The University of California, Irvine, named L. Song Richardson as the permanent dean of its law school, replacing Erwin Chemerinsky.

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$20B Wealth Manager Buys Again

United Capital Financial Advisers LLC, a Newport Beach wealth management firm with $20.7 billion in assets under management, is buying Payne Wealth Partners in Evansville, Ind., to add $530 million in assets and about a dozen employees.

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First Foundation Buys PBB for $106M

Irvine-based First Foundation Inc. (Nasdaq: FFWM) will buy PBB Bancorp (OTC, PBCA) for $106 million in stock.

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