Merrill Lynch Retains Top Spot
Rumors of the deaths of brokers may be slightly exaggerated this year, according to the Business Journal’s annual list.
Operations Upended; Lessons Quickly Learned
Restaurants chugged along during the first couple months of 2020.
Pandemic Accelerates Push for Change
Apparel companies were perhaps barely getting a handle on the marketplace’s more recent shifts. Then came COVID-19.
Place 11% Fewer Workers in 2019
Orange County’s largest employment agencies reported no growth in 2019, reflecting an industry that has stalled in the past three years, and is set for an uncertain future as unemployment rates ratchet up.
Irvine’s CDC Wins Title for 2nd Year
The Business Journal’s annual list of lenders in the Small Business Administration program isn’t so much the calm before the storm as it is the storm before the tornado before the hurricane.
$32B in Local Deals Over Past Year, Up 3%
The coronavirus and its economic implications could serve as the catalyst to bring about a reset to the real estate market, which has been on a bullish tear over the past decade.
8 Consecutive Years of Gains; Firms Now Trimming Expenses
Orange County property managers have been wearing different hats of late.
16% Gain for 23 Firms on List
Orange County’s largest advertising agencies were on the up last year, but the disruption to business across industries from the coronavirus pandemic has firms in wait-and-see mode.
New Projects, Regs, Boost Some; Locals Flat Overall
Environmental consulting firms locally were flat to minimally higher on OC billings and workers for the year ended Dec. 31, with some companies reporting robust work levels because of new regulations or projects—or both.
Firms Hold, Fold; 91 Bigs Have Some 2,800 OC JDs
The Business Journal’s list of Orange County’s largest law firms is like the first moments after a trial ends: there are winners and there are … opposing counsel.
Local Employment Down Nearly 6%
Orange County chipmakers, whose local employee count fell about 6% last year, are bracing for additional fallout from the coronavirus that originated in China and continues to spread across the world.
Deposits Up, Headcount Down, Branches Move
Bank of America Corp. claimed the top spot on the Business Journal’s annual list of 41 banks operating here; its deposits climbed 5.6% to $24.1 billion as of mid-2019.
13 Groups: $2.1B in Funds, $81M of Local Buying
For venture capital based in OC there’s an 800-pound gorilla and everyone else.
31 Facilities; $9.1 Billion; A Few Double-Digit Swings
To say hospitals are stable is a good thing, especially for people spending time there.
Total, Average, Donor Count, No. 1: All Rise
Some say “Give Till It Helps,” while others use the old school cry “Give Till It Hurts.”
Only 8 Builders See Year-Over-Year Gains
A nationwide push for more affordable housing and gaps between phases of development at the area’s largest master-planned communities contributed to a sizeable drop in home sales last year locally.
2 Luxe Hotels On Way in Anaheim
Hotel developers in Orange County are committing heavily to groups and convention-goers.
Generates $1.7B in Revenue; Expenditures of $1.4B
Orange County’s largest nonprofits reported their combined revenue increased 5.6% to $1.7 billion for the 12 months ended June, according to the Business Journal’s annual list.
ECONOMY: Disney, UCI, healthcare lead the pack
Orange County’s biggest companies remain on a recruiting push.
Sales of $8.8 Billion Represent 4.5% Gain
Pop ups, first-to-market concepts, beauty and food have helped fuel growth for Orange County’s largest shopping centers, setting the group up nicely as they enter the key holiday selling season.
Acquisition Helps Pass Banc of California
A new leader tops the Business Journal’s annual ranking of the biggest banks with headquarters in Orange County.
Boost OC Memberships 7.5% to 797,620
Orange County’s credit unions saw their asset growth increase again, according to the Business Journal’s annual ranking.
MARKETS: 34 firms report $27B in sales
Orange County has again demonstrated the ability to spur fast-growing publicly traded companies.
Mitsubishi Departs OC; Rivian Ramps Up
Sales took a dip among Orange County auto dealers amid an industry landscape that continues to evolve locally.
Luckey’s Anduril Grows; Top 31 See 4% Push
Aerospace and defense contractors in Orange County pushed up their employment numbers, proving once again in the words of one local flight pioneer, Tustin’s Abe Karem, that “the best place to do aircraft is Southern California.”
Brandman Enrollment Up, Nabs Corporate Partners
Traditional MBAs are in decline across the country.
Institutions Get Grants, Join With Groups on New Work
Local community colleges saw full- and part-time enrollment drop this year, by 0.6% and 3.5% respectively, for an overall decline of 2.6%.
Epic, Marsh Risk, Burnham Lead Growth
Orange County’s largest insurance brokers as a group saw their revenue grow 12% last year, up from a 6.3% jump in 2017. The 23 biggest brokers with headquarters or significant operations here combined for more than $782 million worth of policies.
22% of Workers at 26 Cos. Employed by Edwards
It’s a shorter list this year. Don’t tell Edwards Lifesciences Corp. Orange County’s largest public company (NYSE: EW) by market cap—at $45 billion last week—is also its biggest medical device maker by a wide margin.
Local Employment 19% Up to More Than 2,800
To be shortlisted is a good thing. So, too, with Orange County drugmakers. This year’s edition of the annual list ranks 10 companies by employee count topped by Allergan PLC in Irvine, with more than 1,300 workers and some seven decades of work in the county.
No Industry Dominates; Irvine Attracts Most
From electric bikes to dental technologies to customized sandwiches, Orange County’s eclectic mix of private companies continue to thrive.
17 Firms See Double Digit Growth; List Tops 8% Up
A strong year for architecture firms may or may not presage more development and construction in the not-too-distant future, but it definitely altered the upper echelons of the Business Journal’s list of top local shops ranked according to OC office billings for 12 months ended June 30.
Big Firms Hit High Notes; Salas O’Brien Up 311%
Engineering firms with operations in OC posted 13% growth to $1.2 billion in local annual billings—and only about a third of that expansion came from the perennial big three.
ECONOMY: 22 cities see population drop
Orange County’s new hot spot is Brea, when looking at population growth in the Business Journal’s annual ranking of cities by population.
Also Up: Edwards, Angels, Broadcom, Sunwest
Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Foundation, affiliated with the largest private company headquartered in OC, Pacific Life Insurance Co. with $10.7 billion in annual revenue, is the biggest cash giver locally, at $4.7 million.
Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile USA Retain Top 3 Spots
Employment at the top telecommunications and wireless companies in Orange County dipped to about 7,100 workers, a 2.8% decline from year-ago levels.
Tenant-improvement contractors’ sales last year grew 11% in Orange County to $1.3 billion in billings on 26 million square feet of work, according to Business Journal research.
Beauty products distributor SeneGence International in Foothill Ranch topped the Business Journal’s ranking of women-owned businesses with more than $1 billion in companywide revenue last year.
ECONOMY: $102B of sales for largest operators
The large are getting larger—sometimes much larger—in this year’s snapshot of the biggest private companies in Orange County.
4.2M SF in Past Year; Retail Still a Question
Office projects continued to drive commercial development in Orange County last year, and not just in the county’s largest office market.
Steady Growth Expected to Continue
Revenues for Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies reached a new post-recession high last year.
Merrill Lynch Climbs To No. 1; Wells Fargo Slips
Orange County’s largest broker-dealers trimmed their staffs slightly over the past year amid uncertainties in the financial outlook and changes in the industry.
Wealth Managers Report Boom; Duran Sells to Goldman Sachs
It turns out being a money manager can be a profitable investment itself.
14 Firms, 65 Deals, $54.5 Million Invested
Venture capital firms based in Orange County boosted 2018 local investments, led by Adventus Ventures and CerraCap Ventures.
Starting Rates Still Strong; Coast, Disney-Area Luxe
The more things stay the same, the more they change.
Staffing Down Nearly 50% Since 2000
Local employment was down for the third consecutive year among Orange County’s largest apparel companies.
WD Cuts in Irvine, While ViewSonic Doubles Size
Last year, Orange County’s consumer electronics sector was marked by mergers and acquisitions, relocations and other major corporate developments.
Marvell, Microchip, And Skyworks See Big Gains
The largest chipmakers in Orange County boosted local employment significantly in the past 12 months, buoyed by big takeovers amid ongoing global consolidation.
Average Loan Lower; 29 Lenders Join Listings
The Business Journal’s lists of Small Business Administration lenders are in upheaval this year. Not one of the 38 on our dollar value list retained its spot from a year ago. Fourteen reported growth topping 100% and 22 new lenders joined the list (see page 25).
LABOR: 30 Firms Boost Corporate Workers, Too
Orange County’s largest employment agencies hit a speedbump on this week’s Business Journal list.
52 Companies Employ 3,700 OC Workers
There was some reshuffling to this year’s rankings of Orange County’s largest advertising agencies as some firms reported double-digit growth while others reported a double-digit decline.
Edwards, Chipotle Lead Increase
Orange County’s publicly traded companies reported a combined 22% gain in their market capitalizations for the 12 months ended March 29, aided by a first quarter rebound and huge gains by the area’s two most valuable public firms.
Sales, Leases Up 5% Year-Over-Year
Orange County commercial sales and leasing activity grew in 2018 for the ninth year in a row, albeit at a slower clip than the prior year.
Tenants Set The Standard at Offices
Local commercial property managers grew their Orange County portfolios, surpassing 200 million square feet for the second consecutive year.
Work Increased 1.6%, Jobs Up 4.4%
Orange County’s largest commercial printers on this week’s Business Journal list were able to eke out modest gains in local work last year.
New Sites, Now Litigation Free, Drive Demand
The largest environmental consultants in Orange County saw their third consecutive year of billings increases, buoyed by government and commercial work, as well as the end of litigation pertaining to a number of long-delayed sites in the area.
Count Up Less Than 1%; Double-Digit Firm Shifts
First thing we do is count all the lawyers. This week’s Business Journal list of the top law firms in Orange County ranked by number of attorneys here show about 2,700 spread across 88 firms, from No. 1 Knobbe Martens with more than 150 to the four firms tied at No. 85, which have 10 apiece, the cutoff for being ranked this year.
Transactions Down 20% Amid Rising Rates
Title insurers continued to see a decline in business last year, a trend they hope will stabilize in 2019 and end two years of consecutive losses.
County Fills Shopping Cart Just Fine From Food Suppliers List
Charting foodmakers in Orange County is like nailing Jell-O to the wall—given that the powdered gelatin, an early patent of which predates the 1889 formal founding of OC by 44 years, is possibly the only edible substance someone isn’t making locally.
Banks Deposits Grow Just 2.1%
Bank of America Corp. is back, taking the top ranking for the first time in seven years on the Business Journal’s list of the 40 biggest banks doing business in Orange County.
UCI, Kaiser, Hoag: $3B, 37% of List’s Net Revenue
Orange County hospitals grew net patient revenue 7% year-over-year to $8.5 billion, largely due to the continuing move toward more outpatient visits.
Tough to Top Samuelis’ Transformative $200M
It’s hard to beat $200 million from a tech billionaire to develop and fund an entire health sciences college at a major research university and a $120 million campaign led by the Muscos and with giving from multiple donors to save a church and monastery with historical roots dating to the 12th century—two record-breaking donations announced in 2017.
Close to $5 billion was spent on new Orange County homes in 2018—builders’ second-best sales year in the last 15.
Beach Resorts Big Gainers on List’s New Approach
In a list that rarely sees changes, the New Year brings a new look to the Business Journal’s ranking of OC hotels by total meeting space.
Foreign Firms’ Employment Flat, With Exceptions
The biggest foreign-owned firms in Orange County by employment saw little change in their combined workforce in 2018, but specific companies and industries made notable moves and what the list doesn’t reflect, at least not yet, could be even more influential on the group.
$1.7 Billion for OC’s 95 Largest Organizations
Nonprofit organizations in Orange County hit double digit growth on this year’s Business Journal list, reporting $1.7 billion in revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, up 11% year-over-year.
More Local Companies Add Rather Than Subtract
Disneyland, despite all its well-publicized labor problems, once again retained the title of Orange County’s largest employer with 30,000 workers, based on the Business Journal’s annual list of biggest employers.
OC-Based Automakers, Meanwhile, Up Workforce
Orange County’s largest auto dealers reported their seventh straight year of increased sales.
$8.6 Billion at Top 37 Shopping Centers in OC
Redevelopment and reinvention appears to be paying off for Orange County’s largest shopping centers.
Report 10% Climb, 28% Jump in Profits
Orange County-based commercial banks’ asset growth slowed to 10% to $37.8 billion for the 12 months ended June 30.
Rate of Asset, Member, Worker Growth Slows
Orange County’s credit unions reported slowing growth in assets, members and employment, based on the Business Journal’s annual list.
IPOs, Relocations, New Markets Add to Ranks
It’s getting a bit harder to be one of Orange County’s fastest-growing public companies. But for those who make the cutoff, the payoff remains sweet.
Seeing Pickup as Pentagon Expands Military Budget
Local employment at Orange County’s largest aerospace and defense contractors was flat in the past year in a wave of industry consolidation and increased spending on national defense.
Giving Works in Many Ways—Witness These
Young Carson Kropfl recently spoke at my Chapman University journalism class. You may know Carson; when the San Clemente resident was 11, he created and later patented a nonfolding skateboard that fits into a school locker and snugly into a backpack—a good enough market and message that Richard Branson had to outbid Mark Cuban on “Shark Tank” to buy 20% of Carson’s company, Locker Board.
6.5% Drop Steeper As Intl. Schools Take Share
Enrollment in area schools MBA programs fell in the 12 months ended Sept. 30.
About 230K Students At Schools on Directory
This year marks the debut of the Business Journal’s list of OC community colleges, which features enrollment in the 12 months ending on Sept. 30.
Producers’ Progress Slows In 6-Year Streak of Gains
The largest insurance brokerages in Orange County continued their way up last year, local revenue rising 6.3% to $745.4 million—the sixth straight year of steady growth. However, it’s the first time since 2012 that revenue growth dipped below 7%, as post-recession growth plateaued.
OC Billings Top $500M for First Time
It’s been a good year for architecture firms in Orange County, who have benefited from increased work as corporate clients look to reimagine their workspaces, as well as a continuing boom in residential development in the county.
OC Billings Up 10% For Areas Top 38 Firms
Orange County’s top 38 engineering firms reported another year of growth with a nearly 10% increase in OC billings to $1.2 billion.
Others Reinvented Themselves in the Roundup of Fastest-Growing Private Cos.
The Business Journal’s 2016 and 2017 lists of fastest-growing privately held firms sported a statistical anomaly.
Top Four Increase Headcount Above Average
Medical device makers with operations in Orange County added over 900 employees in the year ended July 31, up 4.5% year-over-year, according to Business Journal research. The top four reported above-average growth, fourth-ranked Microvention Inc. in Aliso Viejo up 29%, the biggest move.
Dendreon Plans to Grow; Peregrine Drops Off List
Compared to robust activity in the medical device sector, the eight biggest drugmakers with headquarters or significant operations in Orange County reported lackluster local employment of 2,153 in the year ended July 31, down nearly 20%.
Updated Rankings Focus On Local Contributions
This year’s Business Journal list of corporate and private foundations lost a few names after we narrowed rankings to firms most connected to Orange County charities, as opposed to earlier lists based on both local and total contributions.
Base Tops 1.2M SF, 67 Locations
Entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups have a million reasons to smile about Orange County’s rapidly growing base of coworking locations and their wide array of customer amenities.
Telecoms, Wireless Cos. Extend Job-Growth Hat Trick
The largest telecommunications companies and related wireless equipment makers grew employment at a modest clip in the year ended July 31.
Clients Tap Them For Targeted Ad Campaigns
Orange County’s biggest public relations firms added more desks in the 12 months ended July 31.
Providers Turn to Tech to Control Costs
To HMO or PPO, that’s the question. Orange County’s top health maintenance organizations experienced growth in the former and decline in the latter during the 12 months through July.
Low-Cost Plan Not A Hit with Dentists
Net dental enrollment in dental HMO and PPO plans decreased more than 25% to about 2 million members in year through July.
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.
ECONOMY: Centerpiece of Sept. 17 Special Report
Is your company growing fast?
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.
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.
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.
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.
$4.5B Chain to Debut At No. 2—Next Year
Boy, will this list be different next year.
110 Firms Combine For $100B in Annual Revenue
Strong sectors of the economy, acquisitions, and emerging markets and technology drove double-digit revenue increases at several Orange County private companies—including three top-ranked businesses, where revenue totals make bigger bumps harder to come by.
4M SF of New Ones Opened Here in Past Year
Orange County’s commercial development community was buoyed over the year ended April 30 by a surge of office openings, primarily in Irvine, the country’s biggest office market.
$9.1B in Commercial Work By Local Offices
Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies defied some worrisome regional trends to post their best revenue year in a decade.
Firms Adapt to Trends, Including Robo Rivals
While the talk on Wall Street is about a decline in the number of stockbrokers, Orange County’s largest broker-dealers are coping.
Execs Say They’re Still Bullish on Local Startups
Venture capital firms based in Orange County decreased their local investments last year by about 22%.