Stories for July 2018

Tuesday, July 31

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.

Tease photo

361 Degrees Names Head of Sales

361 Degrees International Ltd. in Irvine appointed Isaac “Ike” Alvear as head of sales.

Tease photo

Ad Agency Appoints Media Director

Santa Ana-based advertising agency Amusement Park named Melissa Norton its media director, replacing Cathy Sosa, who retired in June after 30 years with the agency.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

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

Tease photo

TRI Pointe Tapped For Downtown Anaheim Project

Irvine-based TRI Pointe Group Inc. has made its largest reported Orange County land deal in several years for a 232-home infill housing site in downtown Anaheim.

Tease photo

OC 500: Gary Jabara

Tech, real estate entrepreneur … bills NB-based firm as largest privately held telecom infrastructure co. … employs 250 here, up 25% YOY … launched venture last year with Sprint Corp., Overland Park, Kan., and its owner, Japan-based Softbank, to install 70K cell stations, expand 5G network … Mobilitie revenue tops $500M … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest

Tease photo

Monday, July 30

Bixby Land Creates UCI Endowment

Real estate firm Bixby Land Co. in Newport Beach has given $100,000 to the University of California-Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business to create an endowment fund at the Center for Real Estate.

Tease photo

In Our Annual List of OC’s Wealthiest …

Our 18th annual special report on the wealthiest in Orange County again has the same man at the top – Donald Bren – but it also showcases new members, a higher starting point and surprising stories.

Tease photo

Mitsubishi Adds Offices

Cypress-based automaker Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. said it will expand its field operations today from two zone offices to four.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

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

Tease photo

OC 500: Charles Dunlop

Struck deal to sell genetics tester to unit of Konica Minolta for up to $1B … printer maker beat out Quest Diagnostics, others … Japan govt. fund backed bid … Ambry: $160M EBITDA, 70

Tease photo

Hospitality Platform Names CEO

BirchStreet Systems Inc. in Newport Beach promoted Stephen Markle to chief executive, succeeding founder Sushil Garg.

Tease photo

LensGen Gaze Fixed On Clinical Trial Start

HEALTHCARE: Funding release vote of confidence

Irvine-based LensGen Inc.’s recent $11 million funding, part of a $21 million Series A funding raised last May, represents a vote of confidence by investors.

“That’s The Tipoff”

Talking to Bob Cluck, 30-year Chairman of Newport beach-based Canterbury Consulting Inc. Cluck’s family office manages $18.5B. He knows wealth.

Multiplying Franchise Success?

Xponential Adds Fitness Brands for 8

Irvine-based boutique fitness brands operator Xponential Fitness is preparing to hit cruising altitude as its portfolio of five verticals take flight.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 31

Orange County Department of Education received $15 million from the state to expand the California Multi-Tiered System of Support, a statewide program for “the academic, behavioral and social needs of students,” a press release said.

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.

Why Linksys Founder Victor Tsao Keeps Moving

Global Search for Deals, Causes and Adventure

Victor Tsao is always on the move.

OC's Wealthiest

A $200 million year-over-year bump in fortune would be a monumental achievement for most people.


Orange County – Emerging Superstar?

Orange County business execs may appear laid back to the rest of the world, but they are a seriously competitive lot.

OCBJ Calendar

July 30-Aug. 8, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

JFA Designs sold an office building to Online Training Academy for $4.8 million, or $312 per square foot.

Ex-Angel DeCinces Sells Home Following Trials

Bought Laguna Beach Property 20 Years Ago

Former Angels’ third baseman Doug DeCinces and wife, Kristi, have sold their longtime Irvine Cove home off Riviera Way for $14 million in an off-market transaction.


Beckman Coulter Diagnostics formed a strategic collaboration with the University of California-Irvine in the first-of-its kind academic partnership for the company.

Digital Whiteboard Creator Plans HQ

Seeking $15M-20M From Strategic Partners

An interactive products maker in Seoul, South Korea, is moving headquarters to Tustin and looking to raise its first institutional round.

D-Link Cameras, Parent Target of Cyberattack

Issues New Certificates To Prevent More Damage

The Taiwanese parent of Fountain Valley-based D-Link Systems was the target of a widespread cyberespionage campaign to collect saved passwords from browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Lincoln Property Adds Newport Office to Portfolio

7-Story Quail Street Office Goes for $32.1M

Newport Beach’s 1500 Quail Street, a seven-story office about a mile from the entrance to John Wayne Airport, has a new owner.

Dental Players Glidewell, Smile Enter New Markets

DentalXChange Debuts Credential Platform

Smile Brands Inc. is making a foray into Nevada in a partnership with Las Vegas-based P3 Dental Group.

Carmakers in Summer Marketing Mode to Push 2019

New Ads, Sponsorships, Exhibit Make PR Splash

Kia Motors North America is conquering the mountains with its latest spots.

Manufacturers Post 37th Expansion Quarter, But …

MANUFACTURING: Labor shortage, high costs, lower index

For the 37th straight quarter, Orange County manufacturers plan to expand output, according to Chapman University’s A. Gary Anderson research Center’s quarterly survey of purchasing managers.

Friday, July 27

18th Annual OC’s Wealthiest

Our registry in 2018 has a raised floor of $500 million and seven new entrants. Find out who moved into the neighborhood.

Tease photo

Argyroses Join Baldwin on Cutthroat Mission

PHILANTHROPY: Saving the native fish is personal

Al Baldwin and George Argyros share much in common.

Tease photo

OC 500: Fariborz Maseeh

Iran-native hit U.S. at 18 … engineering, Portland State U.; eng. school now named for him, doctorate, MIT … sold software maker to Corning, $750M … started Picoco 2001: internal quant hedge fund, real estate buyer Calif., Mass., Ore. … father of autistic child; founded Kids Institute for Development and Advancement … $90K to Republicans, none to Trump … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $620M

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.6% in midday trading to 2,819.52.

Tease photo

Thursday, July 26

BJ’s Up

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) in Huntington Beach reported net income of $16.9 million, up 76% year-over-year, on revenue of $287.6 million, up 8%, in its most recent quarter.

Tease photo

Del Taco Quarter Mixed

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) reported $4.2 million in net income, down 20% year-over-year, on $117.8 million in revenue, up 8.5%, in its most recent quarter.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% in midday trading to 2,838.57.

Tease photo

How Ethika Stayed Hip And Got Underwear Sales to Hop

Matt Cook Brought Business Chops to Small Apparel Company; Brand Influencers Were Already There

There are a lot of easier ways to make money than starting an apparel brand, according to Ethika Inc. Chief Executive Matt Cook, who joined the underwear manufacturer in 2012, little more than a decade after its founding.

Tease photo

OC 500: C. Frederick Taylor

Pioneering ‘quant’ hedge fund investor … firm follows numbers-based lead of Edward O. Thorp, OC 500er … employees are researchers in math, physics, data … partnered with David Gelbaum, Andrew Shechtel … have funneled $13B to charity … ‘passionate’ about ‘positive impact,’ TGS website … ultra-low profile … personally gives to human rights, education, Africa … marathoner … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $1B

Tease photo

Wednesday, July 25

John Wayne Up 5% in June

John Wayne Airport passenger traffic in June rose about 5% to 950,000, compared with the same month last year; year-to-date traffic was 5.24 million.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% in midday trading to 2,829.28.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

True Acquires Chef’d Assets

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

Tease photo

Avid Starts Year as Contract Biologics Developer

HEALTHCARE: Appoints CFO, 3 others to leadership

Avid Bioservices Inc. (Nasdaq: CDMO) in Tustin reported fourth-quarter and fiscal-year results last week, marking year one of its remaking—a new name, business plan, management and board.

Tease photo

Tuesday, July 24

Long Beach Air Traffic Up 12%

About 350,000 passengers moved through Long Beach Airport in June, up 12% compared with the same month last year.

Tease photo

OCDE Gets $15M

Orange County Department of Education received $15 million from the state to expand the California Multi-Tiered System of Support, a statewide program for “the academic, behavioral and social needs of students,” a press release said.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,816.79.

Tease photo

Monday, July 23

OC Hotel Development Steady; More to Come

Three new Orange County hotels with 445 rooms opened in the first half of 2018, according to data from Irvine hotel broker-consultant Atlas Hospitality Group.

Tease photo

Pizza Franchise Developer Ready

Mountain Mike’s Pizza LLC in Newport Beach said Robofran Development LLC expects to sell 40 franchises over the next 10 years as an area developer in Riverside and parts of San Bernardino Counties.

Tease photo

Hyatt Regency NB Gets Los Angeles Ownership

REAL ESTATE: 408-room, bay-area resort has ground lease

In the biggest hotel deal in Orange County in over a year, a Los Angeles-based investor has bought the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach.

Tease photo

OC 500: Anne Catherine Getty Earhart

She and Caroline Getty, also OC 500, are grandkids of late J. Paul Getty … avoid media, back social causes, Dem politics … Marisla in Laguna gives to causes such as American Bridge, opposition research on GOP pols …

Tease photo

FBO Promotes One, Hires One

ACI Jet promoted Joe Daichendt to senior vice president over its fixed-base operations, a new role at the company, and named Nathen Steiger general manager of its FBO facility at John Wayne Airport. Daichendt will still be located at the FBO here.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

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

Tease photo

County Moves Ahead with $338M Dana Harbor Redo

5-0 Vote Could Lead to Retail Work Next Year

The long-awaited redevelopment of Dana Point Harbor could start as soon as next year, after the county signed off on a mixed-use project featuring three area developers.

Tease photo

OC 500: Vinny Smith

Grown OC’s largest VC firm to $800M evergreen fund … over 40 software firms have Toba investment … renewable energy, healthful product makers … has said he plans to give half of profits 2017, beyond, to charitable causes … holds 6% stake Alteryx, led by OC 500’s Dean Stoecker … backs Funraise, software maker also backed by Grant Van Cleve

Tease photo


Whittier Trust Co. hosted a private reception and tour for clients and VIPs at the Hilbert Museum immediately following Chapman University’s Economic Forecast Update on June 21.

Zumasys Unloads Three Units to Denver Company

Can Put Proceeds Into Management Software

Irvine-based cloud services provider Zumasys Inc. has sold its cloud hosting, infrastructure and managed services business units to IT services provider NexusTek on undisclosed terms.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 30

Fund of hedge funds PaamcoPrisma Holdings co-chief executives Jane Buchan and Girish Reddy are stepping down a year after combining their firms.

OCBJ Calendar

July 23-Aug. 1, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

SoCal OCREH I LLC sold an industrial building to Concord Properties for $7.1 million, or $228 per square foot.

Flush VC Funds Found Companies in Q2

Record $673M in 23 Deals Reverses Trend

Venture capital came to Orange County in the second quarter.

First 238 Homes at Corona’s Bedford Have OC Flavor

New Home Goes With TRI Pointe, Woodside

Orange County-based homebuilders make up two of three firms tapped to build the first batch of homes at Bedford, the first major residential development in Corona in more than 15 years.

Shop Boosts Public Radio Station’s Online Reach

Vincit’s Irvine Office Does KCRW App Refresh

KCRW in Santa Monica has no problem connecting with people over the airwaves, but the public radio station needed help capturing listeners’ attention on the screen.

Big Plans Ahead for Biopharma Company Urovant

Ex-Astellas Execs Join Now-5-Member Board

Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Urovant Sciences Ltd. appointed Sef Kurstjens and Pierre Legault to its board of directors, increasing the number of members from three to five (see related story on page 1).

Sports-Content Provider Says It Has Edge on Rivals

MEDIA: Direct Sports Network’s in with teams makes it ‘unique’

Direct Sports Network wants to be the go-to destination for sports fanatics and is stepping up its game to reach more fans through its app-based streaming video service.

Tech Geek Primes Rugby Passion With Club Buy

SPORTS: Businessman cashes in chips for new game

A San Clemente tech consultant has acquired a new Major League Rugby expansion team and is fielding potential sites in Orange County for its home venue and training facility.

Urologic Therapeutic Co. Urovant Seeks $150M

HEALTHCARE: Three drug trials, overactive bladder first

Orange County’s adding a pharmaceutical company to its ecosystem that walks quietly and carries a big wallet.

Young and Heart

Enjoy our annual Best Places to Work issue—lists and features on top two in small, medium and large groups.

Satisfying, Productive Culture More Than Lip Service

Real Estate Co. Says It’s Big on Valuing Employees

Sometimes it’s on the tip of your tongue. You know what you want to describe, but somehow the words elude you.

Youthful Energy Positions Corient Atop Small-Cos. List

Wealth Manager, Itself Young, Builds Community

There’s a youthful energy at Corient Capital Partners LLC that has very little to do with the ages of the people who work there. Though very few of the people in the office appear to have hit the half-century mark, or even the big 4-0, the boundless zest for life they all seem to share is rooted in a company culture that they say emphasizes respect, connection and most of all, camaraderie.

Family-Like Atmosphere Elevates Finance Firm

Whittier Trust No. 2 On Medium Companies List

Lauren Peterson says she felt welcome at Costa Mesa-based Whittier Trust Co. from her first day at the investment and wealth management firm. Everyone she met greeted her with genuine warmth, interested in getting to know her, not just as new co-worker, but as a whole person. Later that day, she was treated to a get-to-know-you lunch with Executive Vice President Greg Custer and Senior Vice President Caleb Silsby. A few days later she received a birthday card from Chief Executive David Dahl.

Bold Mission, Values Keep Firm Atop Ranking

Irvine Staffers Say They Look Forward to Work

They come because they believe in Hughes Marino Inc.’s mission, which is to serve and protect the interests of tenants and buyers in the commercial real estate industry.

How Best Companies Make Lists

The Business Journal’s Best Places to Work lists are the result of months of surveying workers and managers at local employers.

Diversity, Inclusion Make SendGrid Top Place to Work

Tech Company Fosters Collaborative Energy

SendGrid’s employee kitchen is huge. You can fit in everyone who works in the Irvine office and still have space for guests.

Commitment to Values Guides Duke Realty to Nod

Irvine Office Leader Says Egos Have No Place There

The folks who work at Duke Realty gladly gave up a Friday before a long holiday weekend to drive out to a client 60 miles away, just to help set up the racking in a new building. They took a Saturday to travel as a team to the Inland Empire for a day rejuvenating the former home of the area’s most famous African-American resident, the late Dora Nelson, to help turn it into a museum. And the company partners with clients, such as online home furnishings seller Wayfair LLC, to deliver a holiday party for underprivileged children.

Friday, July 20

Evolus Raises $56M

Evolus Inc. (Nasdaq: EOLS) priced an additional public offering of 4 million shares of common stock at $20 each. The offering consists of 3 million shares offered by the medical aesthetics company and a million shares offered by a selling stockholder.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

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

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Thursday, July 19

Chicken Franchise Adds 3 in OC

City of Industry-based Yang Ming Yu Braised Chicken USA Group plans three franchised locations of Yang’s Braised Chicken Rice in OC, following its first store in the U.S., a corporate location that opened in Tustin in September.

Tease photo

Gallegos Takes Milk Board Into 21st Century

ADVERTISING: ‘got milk’ makes way for kid-driven ads

A television spot shows three kids sitting in a diner complaining about their beleaguered lives over glasses of cold milk.

Tease photo

OC 500: Rodney Sacks

30 years at Corona drinks maker … lives OC … flagship Monster Energy drink competes with Red Bull, Rockstar … Coca-Cola Co. distributes line, owns significant minority stake; 2017 idea floated of eventual acquisition by Atlanta-based soda giant … South African Sacks was attorney at country’s biggest corporate law firm … emigrated Calif. late-1980s … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $2.3B

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,809.83.

Tease photo

Forget Tariffs; ZTE Ban Could Hit Local Firms Hard

TECHNOLOGY: Chinese giant major OC trading partner

A U.S. ban imposed on China’s second-largest tele-communications equipment maker, lifted on July 13, has already pinched sales at Skyworks Solutions Inc. and is affecting several other Orange County technology companies with headquarters or major operations here.

Tease photo

OC 500: Hilton Schlosberg

He, Rodney Sacks, OC 500, have grown former Hansen’s Natural soda maker into global energy drink powerhouse … onesixth owned by Coca-Cola Co. … $31B market cap, up 25% YTD … with fellow South African Sacks bought Anaheimbased Hansen’s 1990s … OC offices buyers … Big Canyon residence … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $2.3B

Tease photo

Wednesday, July 18

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,813.86.

Tease photo

Fastest-Growing Private Companies Wanted for Business Journal’s Annual List

ECONOMY: Centerpiece of Sept. 17 Special Report

Is your company growing fast?

Tease photo

Taco Bell Goes Big Overseas

Taco Bell Corp. in Irvine signed current franchisees in Spain and Brazil to add 40 locations a year between the two countries over the next decade.

Tease photo

Maui-Bound: Top OC Developers Invest in West

Recent Hotel, Retail Investments Near $1B

Fly about 2,500 miles west from John Wayne Airport to Maui, then drive half an hour to the resort area of Wailea, and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re still in Orange County when you notice the number of real estate investors and developers taking up shop.

Tease photo

OC 500: William Wang

Runs OC’s second largest minority-owned firm … $3.5B revenue … perennially battles Samsung in domestic smart-TV sales … also sound bars, other devices … $2B sale to Chinese conglomerate LeEco dropped 2017 … owns 55%; rest in Taiwan, China, La Jolla hands … has backed Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society, Segerstrom Center … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $800M

Tease photo

Tuesday, July 17

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.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,810.26.

Tease photo

Avid Names CFO

Avid Bioservices Inc. (Nasdaq: CDMO) appointed Daniel Hart chief financial officer.

Tease photo

Galaxy’s Edge Not So Far Away

Patents Point to Parent’s 2019 Pledge

A slew of U.S. patents issued over the last 10 weeks to Disney Enterprises Inc. give expression to experiences planned for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new 14-acre “land” at Disneyland Resort that Walt Disney Co. plans to open by next summer.

Tease photo

OC 500: Manu Shah

Orange-based distributor of flooring, countertop, wall tile products … emigrated from India, 1970 … co-founded firm 1975 with wife, Rika … big break, 1981: provided granite for Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. … moved to OC, 1984 … past honoree, several Business Journal events, awards … has spoken locally to global young entrepreneurs … company has YouTube channel, Houzz pro listing

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Monday, July 16

Urovant Seeks $150M IPO

Irvine-based Urovant Sciences Inc. is seeking $150 million via the public markets to extend clinical trials of therapies to treat urologic conditions.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

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

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Chipotle’s Landing Spot: 2 Newport Center Floors

RESTAURANTS: Site prepped for 125 staffers at start

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is poised to become Newport Beach’s most valuable public company immediately following its move here from Denver this year.

Tease photo

OC 500: Peter Ueberroth

Lauded 1984 L.A. Olympics organizer: first-ever profitable games … Time Man of Year … MLB commish 1984-1989 … raised $600M, Rebuild L.A. after 1992 riots … past-chair, U.S. Olympic Committee … 2017 L.A. Sports Council lifetime achievement … 2016 NCAA top honor: Theodore Roosevelt Award … leads ownership at Pebble Beach … water polo scholar-athlete San Jose State … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest $250M

Tease photo

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.

Office Trends Lean Toward Cool Over Traditional

Architects, Contractors Reveal Newest Trends

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

5 Takes on Beach-Town Luxury Hotel Living

R.D. Olson Tapped Local Designers for Lido Job

“People redo their homes every seven to 15 years,” said Brooke Wagner.

Endologix Adds Quality to Firm’s Executive Team

Ex-Abbott Laboratories Jeffrey Fecho Joins Firm

Endologix Inc. (Nasdaq: ELGX) needs to nail down product quality.

SJC Exec Center Sold for $31.5M to Ensign Group

Senior Housing Operator Plans HQ Move in 2019

Ensign Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG) has doubled up on office space next to the Santa Ana (5) Freeway at a property relatively near its Mission Viejo headquarters.

Ex-Ingram Exec Snags Airports in Role at New Firm

Kamel Sees Growth At Iinside Via Busy Industry

Sam Kamel, a former senior executive at Irvine-based Ingram Micro Inc., is targeting an industry with big logistical problems in his new role as chief executive at iinside.

Kor Software Seeks Niche in Credit Unions

Todd Sanders and Carlos Castro saw an opportunity when they discovered employees at credit unions and small banks often manually entering data into Excel spreadsheets.

People Moves

Cloud-based patient engagement technology platform ZOTT named Brian Hodous president.

Funding Developments

Aliso Viejo-based life sciences and technology accelerator OCTANe announced it formed a strategic alliance with Tellson Securities Inc., which will provide investment banking services, including capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and pretransaction advisory services.

They Cleaned Up in Coastal Homes Value Explosion

Newport Beach Among Big Millionaire Spawners

If you owned a home in Newport Beach around 2001, it would have been the perfect time to earn a quick million.

May jobs report: medical & office employment surges; industrial, retail lag

According to new state employment data, the year-over-year Orange County unemployment rate posted an annual drop in May from 3.2% to 2.6% as the month-to-month rate remained relatively unchanged with only 100 nonfarm jobs added.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Rodi Properties LLC and Zoeter Place LLC sold a two-building, multitenant retail center to Gary Sauter for $12 million, or $529 per square foot.

OCBJ Calendar

July 16-25, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 29

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa appointed four members to its board of directors.

Shopping for Bargains

Wrote last week of the paltry IPO numbers this year … two skinny debuts … and VC funding since 2016, save Dallas-Ft. Worth, weakest of 11 Metro regions …

Illumination Foundation’s Homelessness Tack

NONPROFITS: Program partnerships; ‘discharge problem’

He wandered Orange County for almost a decade, 29 but looking much older from harsh street living.

Tease photo

Aqua Medical Raises $4M in Series A Round

HEALTHCARE: Sees FDA nod by year-end

The digestive system measures up to 30 feet long in adults, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver and pancreas.

Tease photo

Anaheim Homebuilders Supplier Will List Stock

FINANCE: IPO on shelf; private shareholders to sell

Anaheim-based Select Interior Concepts Inc., installer and distributor of interior building products used in the residential and commercial real estate sectors, could soon see more than $350 million of its common stock traded for the first time on a public exchange.

To Rodrigo’s We Must, for Food and Family

RESTAURANTS: Name’s changed; rest is the same

Owners are the same, staff’s still friendly, food’s still good.

Special Forces Building Edge Experience

Disneyland Resort’s “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” will be among the first attractions constructed in tandem with digital experiences, app games and interactive surroundings.

Friday, July 13

Manifest Maui

How OC developers are finding great success in the South Maui resort community of Wailea—with more projects on the way.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,803.56.

Tease photo

Thursday, July 12

NJ Pendry Preps $1M Homes

A Pendry Hotel planned for a 2020 opening in Somerseet County, New Jersey, will include 24, for-sale residences on land once fit for a king.

Tease photo

Cooling Co. Heats Up

Ice Energy lines up project financing

Mike Hopkins, who led an ownership change six years ago at Ice Energy, is finally beginning to see sales jump in an industry that moves at glacier speed.

Tease photo

OC 500: Virginia 'Ginny' Ueberroth

Experienced giver … foundation backs local groups with focus on youth, education, health, services … gives $2.5M annually … recent grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters for OC and IE … money backed its Destination Futures effort for youth up to age 25 … retired as Hoag director 2016 … serves on board, title insurer First American Financial Corp.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% in midday trading to 2,793.69.

Tease photo

OC 500: Fletcher Jones Jr.

Top-15 US auto dealer … $2.3B 2016 revenue, up 2.6% YOY … flagship Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport brought 29% of that … No. 1 OC dealer … 9,200 new, used cars sold … signed with Mercedes-backed, tech-based car-buying app AutoGravity … father Fletcher Jones Sr. started co. LA, 1946, corner of 7th, Vermont, sold first car for $70

Tease photo

5-Building Beckman Coulter Campus Sold

REAL ESTATE: Brea site goes to Hines & Oaktree

The local office of Houston-based real estate developer and investor Hines has added another sizeable property in North Orange County to its portfolio with the 34-acre office campus in Brea, which houses Beckman Coulter Inc.’s local operations.

Tease photo

Wednesday, July 11

ESPN, Disney to Broadcast Overwatch League

ESPN, Disney XD and its family of networks will broadcast matches of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s Overwatch League in another major development in the booming esports scene.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Art Institute OC Closing

The Art Institute of California-Orange County in Santa Ana, a campus of Argosy University, will permanently close.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.7% in midday trading to 2,776.05.

Tease photo

Allergan CEO Saunders Says OC Operations Stay

Medicine at OCTANe Ophthalmology event

Orange County again proved it’s the center for ophthalmology. Heavy hitters like Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc., Alcon, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc. and Allergan PLC shared their perspectives at OCTANe’s annual Ophthalmology Technology Summit on June 29 at Fashion Island Hotel.

Tease photo

OC 500: Henry Samueli

Own-counsel-keeping philanthropist with wife, Susan has pledged or given $250M to UCI for engineering, computing, physical sciences, health … Chapman’s Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library named for his parents … $60M for engineering at UCLA … owns Anaheim Ducks, Honda Center, nearby land … co-owns KDOC … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $4.3B

Tease photo

Tuesday, July 10

Iteris Gets $3.5M OCTA Deal

Iteris Inc. will synchronize traffic signals and make other timing and infrastructure changes at 59 intersections under a three-year, $3.5 million contract with Orange County Transportation Authority.

Tease photo

Segerstrom Adds to Board

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa appointed four members to its board of directors on Tuesday.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

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

Tease photo

Sares Regis Preps First Torrance Site Project

REAL ESTATE: Old Toyota HQ getting industrial start

Sares Regis Group is starting to take the wraps off its plans to redevelop Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.’s former North American headquarters in Torrance.

Tease photo

OC 500: Bill Gross

Co-founded PIMCO 1971 … ‘Fixed Income Manager of the Year’ three times Morningstar, ‘Manager of the Decade’ 2000-2009 … funds managed reached $2T at PIMCO … acrimonious 2014 split settled March 2017—$81M payout went to his charity … Gross’ Janus funds: $3B in assets … giving includes Hoag, Mission Hospital, $40M to UCI for nursing school

Tease photo

Monday, July 9

Carrick Invests $80M in Exiger

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

Tease photo

2019 Weightlifting Event Shifts to Vegas

Budapest-based International Weightlifting Federation moved its March 2019 youth world championship from Anaheim to Las Vegas during the group’s executive board meetings in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, a news report said.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Luckey Landing: Tech Firm Plans Big HQ Move

Palmer Luckey’s new defense technology startup, Anduril Industries Inc., is preparing to take up a much more prominent position in Orange County, and appears poised for a major hiring push.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

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

Tease photo

OC 500: David Wilson

19 dealerships, $2.2B sales … flagship Toyota of Orange produces $315M … third-highest in OC after Fletcher Jones, Crevier BMW … 2017 sold smaller dealers in San Bernardino, Cathedral City … started out changing oil, tires while at U. of Northern Iowa … became salesman to pay for leaving oil filter off vehicle, ruining engine, Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $650M

Tease photo

Amazon Partnership

Aliso Viejo-based Corent Technology Inc. has forged deeper ties with the world’s largest cloud services provider.

Scorecard: 2018 IPOs In Orange County: 2

FINANCE: No follow-up yet to last year’s robust market

Orange County companies matched their first-quarter initial public offering performance when Irvine-based bioprosthetics maker Hancock Jaffe Laboratories Inc. went public in May, netting a modest $8.6 million. It’s since lost about a third of its value.

Hyundai Sweeps 2018 J.D. Power Quality Medals

AUTOMOTIVE: Mazda, Mitsubishi ‘most-improved’

Costa Mesa-based market research firm J.D. Power recently released its annual Initial Quality Study—one of the most closely watched reports in the auto industry—and this year’s results gave a perfect shine to Fountain Valley-based automaker Hyundai Motors North America.

TV Can Compete With Social Media

Ken Kerry said television won’t be going away because of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Perspicacity; Garth-Ted Latest

Cylance Inc. $120M raise led by Blackstone tops in awhile here, boosts Stuart McClure’s cyber security firm well beyond unicorn status…and boosts OC growth-stagers, which enter 3Q 2018 with but 2 IPOs on the year, Evolus and Hancock Jaffe.


The Stairway to the Stars event, held on June 2 at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, raised $755,000 toward The Campaign for Radiant Health Centers, bringing the capital campaign fund to $1.2 million.

Biggest Women-Owned Cos. Stretch Growth Streak

2017 Sales Up Almost 6%, Though Club Lost Members

2017 was another good year to be one of Orange County’s largest women-owned businesses.

De Novo Nod for Dialysis Device a 50-Year First

SJC Maker Avenu Said Its System Gives New Option

Don’t call it disruption.

Del Taco Touts ‘Hardest Working Hands in Fast Food’

Experian’s New Platform Helps Identify Customers

Quick food still means fresh for Lake Forest-based fast food chain Del Taco Restaurants Inc.

Robinson Pharma Signs on for New Costa Mesa Site

To Lease 100,000-SF Harbor Gateway Building

An industrial building planned for the Harbor Gateway business park in Costa Mesa appears to already be spoken for.

Toshiba Gets Tapped After Year-Long Cage Match

Five-Year UFC Deal A First For MMA Rookie

Lake Forest-based Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. will equip the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization with printers and related services.

Incubator News Roundup

Last week the Business Journal highlighted new incubators on the Orange County block.

Infomercial King Tells a Story

MARKETING: Director explains what works in ads

Ken Kerry isn’t your typical Hollywood director.

OCBJ Calendar

July 9-18, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 28

Six construction permits for projects with a combined value of $180 million pulled over the past 30 days in Anaheim suggest the home stretch for elements of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort, which is scheduled to open next summer.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Matranga Investment LP sold an office building to Michael W. and Janet A. Griffith for $5.9 million, or $295 per square foot.

Warehouse Provider Gets Funding

Irvine-based logistics startup Flowspace Inc. secured $2.2 million in funding last month, adding to the $1.2 million in seed money it raised in November.

Friday, July 6

Luckey Strikes

He’s back—really. Oculus VR prodigy Palmer Luckey inks the biggest OC lease of 2018 to house his new venture, Anduril Industries Inc.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% in midday trading to 2,760.77.

Tease photo

Taco Bell Heats Up Down Under

A franchiser of fast food restaurants has said Australia looks good for more Taco Bell locations—in some cases possibly replacing Sizzler locations it operates there.

Tease photo

$180M in Galaxy’s Edge Construction Phase

A series of six construction permits for projects with a combined value of $180 million pulled over the last 30 days in Anaheim suggest the home stretch for elements of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new “land” expected to open next summer at Disneyland Resort.

Tease photo

Thursday, July 5

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?

Tease photo

OC 500: John Tu

OC’s biggest minority-owned co. … $6.6B annual revenue … HyperX gaming unit growth driver; ‘marketing influencers’ has 30 groups, 90 teams includes NBAer Gordon Hayward … who signed with Celtics for $128M over four years and Kings prospective point guard and No. 5 pick De’Aaron Fox … Tu at $4.2B on Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest

Tease photo

CBRE: Hotel Numbers Up in May

Average daily rates, occupancy, and revenue per available room held steady or grew year-to-date compared with the same period in 2017, research from CBRE Hotels in Los Angeles shows.

Tease photo

UCI Gets $5M Grant

The National Science Foundation awarded the University of California-Irvine a $5 million grant to help it boost enrollment of low-income engineering students focusing on advanced manufacturing.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% in midday trading to 2,734.29.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

$20 Million VC Fund Reaches for Esports Joystick

TECHNOLOGY: Sector vet aims to close ‘language’ gap

Orange County entrepreneur Paul Ward has launched a $20 million venture capital fund dedicated solely to esports.

Tease photo

OC 500: Sheldon Razin

Founded QSI 1970s … previous stint at Rockwell International Corp. … Rockwell later led by Don Beall, OC 500er … Razin shoveled sidewalks, delivered meat as youth … paid way through MIT math degree … later with wife, Janet, endowed $1M research fellowship at school’s McGovern Institute … while student, hired others, compiled test questions, answers into study guides … $1B market cap

Tease photo

Tuesday, July 3

Long Beach Airport Up In May

Long Beach Airport passenger traffic rose 8% in May, year-over-year, to about 345,000. Year-to-date traffic is up 9% to about 1.7 million.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

June Auto Sales Up

Nearly all OC automakers saw sales increases for June while year-to-date sales were mixed.

Tease photo

Franchise Players

Two restaurant chain deals, $190M in annual sales

Newport Beach private equity investors that bought two franchises in 11 months are on the hunt for more.

Tease photo

OC 500: Duane Roberts

May have invented first frozen burrito at 19 … made first fortune selling food co. in 1980 … delved into real estate … known for rescuing, restoring Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Riverside … wife, Kelly, floated as ambassador to Slovenia; she withdrew … co-owns Oregon winery … backed Fox Riverside Theater, Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $525M

Tease photo

Monday, July 2

Midday Stock Roundup

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

Tease photo

OC Execs Flex Their Optimism in Q3 Survey

ECONOMY: Sales hopes, hiring plans pop CSUF index to record levels

Orange County executives expect the regional expansion to keep going in the third quarter. In fact, they pushed the optimism needle into the red.

Tease photo

Airport Traffic Up In May

John Wayne Airport passenger traffic was up 4% in May, year-over-year, to 916,000, on about 4,000 flights, up 2% compared with the same month in 2017.

Tease photo

OC 500: Victor Tsao

Low-profile entrepreneur took moment before another trip to Asia to send his and Janie’s OC 500 survey … three words for success: ‘passion, self-discipline, team’ … notes his work on ‘new charitable opportunity that could have profound effect’ on OC … ‘I wish I could share details’ of early-stage work … mentors entrepreneurs in US, China … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $850M

Tease photo

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.

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.

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.”

OCBJ Calendar

July 2-11, 2018

This week's business and other listings.

Incubators BLD Capital, Adventus Launch in OC

STARTUPS: Hood kitchen doubles size, grows offerings

Innovation is the buzzword, but the entrepreneurial spirit isn’t limited to those with ideas for a company, but also unique incubation models.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Avalon Medical Association sold a medical building to Dr. Jon Yamane Optometrist for $1.4 million, or $585 per square foot.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 27

A subsidiary of Newport Beach-based American Vanguard Corp. acquired the Bromacil herbicide business of Bayer Crop Science in the U.S. and Canada.


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.

Firms Combine for Added Strength in Two Markets

Pacific Sotheby’s Bulks Up; First Team Stretches to LB

Two is better than one for Irvine-based brokerage firm First Team Real Estate and the San Clemente office of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty.

Activist Acacia Shareholders Win Board Tussle

Chairman, Fellow Member Replaced By 2 New Faces

In a strong indictment, shareholders of Acacia Research Corp. (Nasdaq: ACTG) overwhelmingly approved the addition of two board members nominated by dissident shareholders, ousting its chairman and a director in the process.

AvalonBay Partners With Hines for Big Brea Project

653 Rentals Planned At Brea Place Campus

AvalonBay Communities Inc. plans to build its next area apartment development on the site of one of Brea’s largest office complexes.

Rapper Harry Mack Sings Mitsubishi’s Praises

Social Media Ads Promote Brand’s New Eclipse Cross

Cypress-based automaker Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. is getting lyrical for its 2018 Eclipse Cross.

Device Moves: Medtronic Gets FDA OK for MiniMed

Masimo Debuts Infrared Bluetooth Thermometer

The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Medtronic PLC’s (NYSE: MDT) MiniMed 670G system in patients with Type 1 diabetes 7 years of age and older.

Culinary Theatrics Making Smoky Local Comeback

Old Towne Orange Gets New Chef and Restaurant

From flaming cocktails to smoking steaks, theatrical presentations and tableside preparations have made a comeback at upscale restaurants. Why? Social media and diner expectations of something beyond simply a good meal.

Local Businesspeople Skydive to Decompress

Divers Hone Skills, Make Pals Like POTUS

Most executives associate the term parachute with a golden one they can count on if they part ways with the company they’re running.

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.

Applied Cardiac Expands HQ with 24/7 Laboratory

Flagship Device Detects Heart Rhythm Disorders

ACS Diagnostics Inc. is moving into exciting, unchartered territory in ambulatory cardiac monitoring with its Food and Drug Administration-cleared CORE 12, which stands for cardiac outpatient real-time ECG.

Hyundai, Kia Shake Up North American Arms

AUTOMOTIVE: Local control new top execs, aimed at product

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. is taking a regional approach to combat slumping sales as it works to complete a global restructuring plan next year.

‘57 Desoto’

Paul Musco gave up his table at Il Barone Tuesday. To Jim Jalet.

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.