Peter J. Brennan

Staff Reporter

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

Recent Stories

Mitsubishi Electric US Names First COO

Mitsubishi Electric US Inc. in Cypress named Mike Corbo to the newly created position of chief operating officer.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.1% in midday trading to 2,735.26.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 climbed 0.7% in midday trading to 2,733.15.

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Barry Family Engineers Firm That Stands Time’s Test

64-Year-Old Business Shows Their Teamwork

Bob Barry decided a decade ago to emphasize more family values at his dozen-employee firm, John Barry & Associates.

Acorns Still Grow Here

World’s largest investment manager BlackRock Inc. just took an “anchor stake” in Irvine-based fintech Acorns, micro-investing app with 3.3 million customers robo-investing their change on every purchase—often into Black Rock managed ETFs.

City National On Hunt for Executives

FINANCE: CEO outlines plans for OC expansion

City National Bank wants bankers, wealth managers and other financial executives in Orange County to know one thing.

OC Unemployment Drops to 2.6%

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.6% in April from a revised 2.8% in March and below the 3.4% reported a year earlier, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

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This CTO Enjoys Problems

Wang Pushes Hot Startup AutoGravity Into Future

Sheng Wang likes to overcome obstacles. An advertising platform for eBay Inc.? Check. Walt Disney Co.’s first apps for its amusement parks? Check.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.7% in midday trading to 2,711.61.

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Commercial Bank of California Goes Private

CBC Bancorp (OTC Pink: NCAL), the parent company of Irvine’s Commercial Bank of California, has gone private and will no longer trade on the stock market.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.2% in midday trading to 2,734.14.

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‘Will Over Skill’

Mortgage Firm Co-Founder Explains Drive to Success

Patty Arvielo is unapologetic about her success as co-founder of Tustin-based New American Funding.

This Carpenter Builds Banks in California

FINANCE: Anticipates fintech will be shaking up banking industry

Ed Carpenter likes to call his banking company “a 1974 startup.” When did he know Carpenter & Co. would make it?

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Acorns Wins BlackRock Backing

Irvine-based Acorns Grow Inc. won a major endorsement from BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, with $6.3 trillion.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.2% in midday trading to 2,666.06.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% in midday trading to 2,676.63.

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Pacific Premier’s Net Income Triples

FINANCE: OC banks report big profit growth

Pacific Premier Bancorp (Nasdaq: PPBI), Orange County’s biggest bank by market cap, reported profit increased threefold in the first quarter to $28 million, aided by tax cuts and acquisitions.

CoolSys Buys Georgia Company

CoolSys, a Brea-based refrigeration and heating company, said it bought Axiom Energy Solutions of Savannah, GA.

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Insurance Firm Bought

Costa Mesa-based life insurance planning firm Tippett Moorhead & Haden Insurance Services LLC has been acquired by the Alera Group, a national employee benefits, property and casualty, risk management and wealth management firm. Terms of the transaction weren’t announced.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 dropped 0.5% in midday trading to 2,656.48.

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OC Banks’ Profits Surge

FINANCE: Cite discipline, loans

The biggest banks headquartered in Orange County reported a gusher of profits in the first quarter.

Wells Fargo’s SBA Lending Falls 74%

FINANCE: Bank cites fierce competition in niche

Wells Fargo & Co.’s lending to Orange County small businesses plummeted 74%, based on the latest Business Journal ranking of loans backed by the federal Small Business Administration.

Orange-Based Cirtech Carves Bomb-Parts Niche

Fights Against Rivals for Survival

Brad Reese, during a recent tour of his Cirtech Inc. factory in Orange, pointed out an unusually shaped semiconductor board.

SBA Lenders See Big Shakeup as Growth Slows

Loans Up 13.2% By Dollar, 5% by Number

A 13.2% growth in Small Business Administration loans by dollar value would normally be a celebration in Orange County.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 climbed 0.3% in midday trading to 2,672.34.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The major indexes fell steeply in midday trading as bond yields briefly topped 3% for the first time in four years, and an Apple partner lowered sales forecasts, triggering fears about iPhone X sales.

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The Venture Banker

After 26 Years, Byron Roth Keeps Adapting, Embracing Risk

Byron Roth has a feeling that his company’s dealmaking on Wall Street is about to take off.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,672.69.

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March Unemployment Falls

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in March from a revised 3.1% in February and well below the 3.7% reported a year earlier, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

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Midday Stock Roundup

U.S. indexes continued climbing on strong corporate profit reports at the start of the earnings season and are now up eight of the past 11 trading sessions.

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Irvine Architectural Firm Bought

Gkkworks, an Irvine-based architectural firm with 100 employees, has been bought by CannonDesign.

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A New Giant in Cooling Emerges in Brea

CoolSys Sees $30B TAM in Refrigeration

The city of Brea may soon boast a fast-growing company with $1 billion in annual sales.

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Midday Stock Roundup

U.S. indexes climbed on strong corporate profit reports at the start of the earnings season.

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United Capital Unveils Adviser Tool

Newport Beach-based United Capital Financial Advisers LLC, which has $21.6 billion assets under management, released its newest white-label software for financial advisers.

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First Foundation, Opus Settle Dispute

FINANCE: Rivals engaged over alleged employee theft

Opus Bank (Nasdaq: OPB) settled its complaint about alleged theft of its employees by rival First Foundation Inc. (Nasdaq: FFWM).

Bedrosians Hires Home Depot Exec

Anaheim-based Bedrosians Tile and Stone named Diana Kelly president and chief operating officer.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes rose in midday trading after Chinese President Xi Jinping eased tensions about a potential trade war between China and the U.S.

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AutoGravity Targets Foreign Students

Irvine’s AutoGravity said it will work with Westbon Inc., which runs a lending platform for international students in the U.S.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices rose in midday trading on easing tensions about a potential trade war between China and the U.S.

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Cryoport Soared to Best-Performing Stock of Bunch

FINANCE: Netlist was worst performer in TTM

Now the envelopes for the five best- and five worst-performing stocks during the year ended March 29:

ENJOYING THE RIDE

Publicly Traded Cos. See 15.4% Boost to Market Cap

Orange County’s publicly traded companies probably popped a lot of champagne bottles during the past year.

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Boot Barn Follows Up-and-Down Trickle of Oil

Stock Triples; Shows How to Bust Amazon

Boot Barn Inc.’s share price has a history of riding the price of oil like one of the bronco-riding cowboys at the annual rodeo it sponsors.

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Sunwest Hires Well Fargo's ex-OC Chief

Sunwest Bank has hired Ben Alvarado, Wells Fargo & Co.’s former chief for Orange County and San Diego.

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Alliant Buys Firm to Expand into Asia

Alliant Insurance Services Inc., a Newport Beach-based insurance broker, is expanding into Asia with the acquisition of Dumortier Risk Management Inc. Terms weren’t disclosed.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 climbed 0.4% in midday trading to 2,590.87.

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Midday Stock Roundup

U.S. stocks declined across the board on worries about technology stocks and global trade. The S&P 500 dropped 2% to 2,586.41, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.1% to 23,594.07. The Nasdaq plunged 2.4% to 6,891.07.

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PacMerc’s Vertin Looks to Complete Turnaround

FINANCE: Silicon Valley vet brings analytics to banking

Tom Vertin lost out in the competition for the top job at Silicon Valley Bank in 2011.

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Banc of California Reels From the Great Theft

How Did It Get Conned Out of $13.7M?

Beleaguered Banc of California (Nasdaq: BANC) has hit another rough patch.

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AutoGravity Races Into Car Finance World

CEO Bets on App as Game Changer

AutoGravity is following the three kick-ass guidelines that Silicon Valley companies made famous.

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Unemployment Falls to 3.1%

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.1% in February, compared with a revised 3.2% in January but well below the 3.8% reported a year earlier, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

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