Peter J. Brennan

Staff Reporter

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

Recent Stories

20 Years of Job Changes Crunched

ECONOMY: More now in health, business services

Social workers and business consultants were the biggest job winners in the past two decades in Orange County.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.7% in midday trading to 2,840.14.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.4% in midday trading to 2,821.90.

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Tourism Expert Extolls the Personal Touch

Organizes Unique Trips With Bragging Rights

Jim Jalet III knows unusual tourism like few others in the industry in Orange County.

New AutoGravity CEO Tries to Avoid Potholes

FINTECH: Vows smoother ride after leadership shakeup

AutoGravity Corp., the Irvine fintech recently embroiled in management turmoil, is for sure keeping one thing: a wooden slide employees use to spirit themselves from the second floor to the first.

Windes Acquires Irvine Accounting Firm

Windes Inc., a Long Beach-based accounting firm, has acquired Irvine’s Allen, Haight & Monaghan LLP. Terms weren’t disclosed; the firms will practice under the moniker of Windes.

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Carrick Capital Adds Stake in Health Services Firm

Newport Beach’s Carrick Capital Partners LLC bought a majority stake in Discovery Health Partners, a payments company in the health industry. Terms weren’t disclosed.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,860.94.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,861.01.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% in midday trading to 2,852.15.

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Buchan Exits PAAMCO with Smile

Finance Whiz to Focus on Quant Fund

How does Jane Buchan feel about departing the chief executive role she had for 16 years while building Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co. into one of the world’s largest fund of funds?

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Earnings Cause Crack in Shares of First Foundation

FINANCE: Irvine Firm Facing Rate Challenges

If you want to know what a “challenging interest rate environment” looks like, just ask First Foundation Inc. (Nasdaq: FFWM).

LoanDepot CEO Jumps Onto the Wealthiest List

Hsieh finds wealth, luck in mortgages

Hey, did you hear the rumor about Amazon.com Inc. buying loanDepot of Foothill Ranch?

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Tech and Tax Lift CorVel’s Insurance Business

Shares of Irvine’s CorVel Corp. surged 4.8% to $57.35 in after hours trading Tuesday after the insurance managed service provider reported first-quarter earnings rose 35% to 62 cents a share. Shares gave back those overnight gains in midday trading Wednesday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 climbed 0.7% in midday trading to 2,821.87.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.7% in midday trading to 2,800.22.

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Banc of California Surprises Investors in Q2

FINANCE: Pacific Premier, Opus shares fall on Q2 reports

It was Banc of California Inc.’s (NYSE: BANC) turn for an Orange County-based bank to impress investors.

CoolSys Buys NJ Firm

CoolSys, a Brea-based refrigeration and heating company, bought Energy Squared LLC, a consulting engineering firm providing electrical and refrigeration engineering analysis and design for buildings. Terms were undisclosed.

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True Acquires Chef’d Assets

Newport Beach-based True Family Enterprises acquired the assets of meal kit company Chef’d on undisclosed terms.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.2% in midday trading to 2,806.26.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,806.87.

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Unemployment Rises to 3.3%

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 3.3% in June, up from a revised 2.6% in May and down from 3.7% a year ago, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

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PAAMCO Prisma’s Co-CEOs to Step Down

Fund of hedge funds PAAMCO Prisma Holdings co-Chief Executives Jane Buchan and Girish Reddy are stepping down a year after combining their firms.

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AutoGravity Names New CEO, CTO

AutoGravity named a new chief executive and chief technology officer to replace two award-winning executives who unexpectedly departed the fast-growing Irvine fintech in the past two months.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to 2,799.36.

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Allied Universal Buys USSA for $1B

Santa Ana-based Allied Universal, the largest private security firm in the U.S., said it will pay $1 billion to acquire U.S. Security Associates (USSA) from Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division.

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Office Trends Lean Toward Cool Over Traditional

Architects, Contractors Reveal Newest Trends

Vinyl flooring in a Class A building? Polished concrete floors?

Tenant Contractors’ Growth Slowest Since 2009

Executives Say It’s a Blip, As Work Still Booming

Firms in Orange County’s tenant contractor industry reported slowing revenue growth last year, the lowest rate since 2009.

AutoGravity’s Co-Founder Departs as CEO

Andy Hinrichs in May departed as chief executive of AutoGravity, an award-winning fintech company he co-founded in 2016, the Business Journal has learned.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% midday trading to 2,792.

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Carrick Invests $80M in Exiger

Newport Beach-based Carrick Capital Partners said it made an $80 million, series A minority investment in Exiger.

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Alliant Buys Texas Firm

Newport Beach's Alliant Insurance Services Inc., the largest insurance broker based in Orange County, said it acquired Austin,Texas-based CLS Partners, which has more than 50 employees. Terms were undisclosed.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% in midday trading to 2,780.96.

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Infomercial King Tells a Story

MARKETING: Director explains what works in ads

Ken Kerry isn’t your typical Hollywood director.

OptimaTax Finds Its Niche in Tax Debtors

FINANCE: Santa Ana firm sees no end to tax problems

Why in the world would anyone want customers who won’t even pay the Internal Revenue Service? And confront the IRS on a daily basis? Not to mention, why enter an industry considered sleazy and where some of the biggest players have been accused of wrongdoing and ended up bankrupt?

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Americor to Open 250-employee Center

Americor Inc., an Irvine-based consumer debt company, said it will be opening a new center with 250 employees.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% to 2,713.22 as the markets closed at 10 a.m. for the July 4th holiday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.4% in midday trading to 2,707.99.

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McMahon Promotes SBA to Small Cos.

FINANCE: Says Trump admin. smacking down bad rules

Linda McMahon wants Orange County small businesses to know one thing: The Donald Trump administration has their backs.

Recruiters Benefit From Demand Surge for Accountants

Headhunter Beacon Lays Out the Hottest Functions

Headhunter Ryan Milne gets right to the point for those seeking a high-paying job in accounting.

Biggest Accounting Firms Step Up Hiring By 3.3%

Local Industry Climbs For Seventh Straight Year

Orange County’s largest accounting firms accelerated hiring in the year ended May 31, pushing it up 3.3%, more than the 2.1% reported a year earlier, based on the Business Journal’s annual list.

Q&A

The headlines from the federal tax law passed in December are long gone. What’s received less notice are new regulations being issued by the Internal Revenue Service for what in accounting circles is now called the TCJA, for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Companies and their accountants are strategizing how to best reduce their tax burdens and avoid unintended consequences.

International Tax Business Booming at Irvine Firm

RJI Edges Big 4 With Experience Sans Cost

Manuel Ramirez is reluctant to add employees. When the chairman of RJI International CPAs was asked if he might add, say, 10 more this year, he quickly said, “I hope not.”

Management Consultant Employment Up 1.7%

Getting Demand in Banks, Healthcare, Construction

Orange County management consulting firms ranked on the Business Journal’s annual list reported a 1.7% increase in staff consultants to 1,959 in the year ended May 31.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% in midday trading to 2,738.46.

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R&B Wire Finds Rhythm in Laundry Carts

Family Business Doubles Factory Size

A laundry cart by R&B Wire Products Inc. has a touch of Hollywood. “We’ve been making this product for so long that it’s become synonymous with our company,” said owner and Chief Executive Rick Rawlins. “It’s not just called a laundry cart. It’s called an R&B cart. It’s like Kleenex is called tissue.”

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Banc of California to Cut Workforce 9%

Santa Ana’s Banc of California Inc., Orange County’s largest bank by assets, plans to cut its workforce by 9% to align its cost structure to focus on commercial banking.

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Windjammer Buys Ohio Manufacturer

Windjammer Capital Investors of Newport Beach bought Rowmark LLC, a Findlay, Ohio-based manufacturer in the engraving, signage and awards markets, from Bertram Capital.

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Six OC RIAs on FT’s Top 300 List

Six registered investment advisory firms based in Orange County made the Financial Times’ annual list of the “top” 300 RIAs in the United States.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,728.04.

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