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%.
Independent Wealth Managers Surging
The Business Journal is introducing a new list this week showing large or better-known registered investment advisers, also known as RIAs.
51 Properties’ Total Stable; Tower, Refreshes Added
In the league of Business Journal lists, hotels sketch out a stable game. Room totals—the metric for this week’s list—pivot little, if at all.
List Will Be Centerpiece of July 9 Edition
Is your company women-owned? The Business Journal wants to hear from you.
Early Returns on Major Moves At Big Three Coming Soon
The largest consumer electronics makers in Orange County shrank payrolls slightly compared to last year.
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.
Losses Eased And Several Bucked Trend
Orange County’s largest apparel companies showed they aren’t immune to the ongoing headwinds facing the apparel industry as local employment in the 12 months through March fell slightly for the second year.
Data the Driver in ‘Media Landscape Changing Quickly’
The Business Journal’s list of Orange County’s largest advertising agencies swelled its ranks and grew revenues modestly over the past year.
Fighting Disruption With Digital Printing, Packaging
Orange County’s largest commercial printers posted only steady results in 2016, but the 29 companies on this week’s Business Journal list picked up the pace last year.
Special Issue: List will be centerpiece of June 18 edition
The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.
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.
17% Gains in Past Year As Leasing, Sales Climb
Another active year in building, apartment and land sales, along with solid leasing activity across all product types, made for a strong year among Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages.
Big Eaters, Small Plates Abound In OC, On List
If the Business Journal’s snapshot of local food and beverage suppliers reflected an average Orange Countian’s food intake, the three largest ranked companies would, by revenue, provide 75% of our diet, which would consist mainly of butter, bourbon and Big Macs.
Same Firms Top Annual List Of County’s Biggest
Orange County’s biggest law firms grew their attorney count by 3% while promoting partners at a slower pace and keeping employment flat, based on the Business Journal’s annual list of legal firms operating here. Last year, the attorney count was flat.
Commercial, Homebuying Business Pick up Refi Slack
The country’s biggest title insurers are striking optimistic notes on the health of their industry, despite the expectation of additional interest rate hikes, which have already put a crimp on refinance business.
4 Master-Planned Areas See Two-Thirds of Action
New-home sales reached a 15-year high in Orange County last year, thanks to a surge in condominium and attached-home sales and continued development at the area’s four largest master-planned communities.
Big Giving Up And Unprecedented in 2017
This is the Business Journal’s first ranking of largest charitable gifts. Was an easy inspiration. The Susan and Henry Samueli gift to the University of California-Irvine, the Fowlers’ and Kecks’ to Chapman University, the Argyros’ to Segerstrom Center (and others) were front-page stories, in some cases record in scope, even on a national level.
FINANCE: BofA, JPMorgan outgrow top-3 rival Wells Fargo
Banks operating in Orange County are attracting more deposits with fewer employees and branches, based on the Business Journal’s annual list.
UCI to Fill Two Positions; Providence Taps New Head
High performers like UC Irvine Medical Center and Providence St. Joseph Health—its local network comprised of seven hospitals—experienced changes on the executive level in the year ended Sept. 30, the former in search of a new chief executive, the latter naming a regional head to oversee Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
Solitary Work Connects Care, Corporate Concerns
They say there’s balance in nature.
Activity Level Belies Slow-Growth Numbers
2017 revenue and hiring at Orange County-based minority-owned businesses showed little change from 2016, according to Business Journal research—including slight declines at companies such as No. 3, Alorica in Irvine, and No. 7, New American Funding.
Growing Economy and Wage Boosts Lifted 2017 Placings
2017 was a better year for the Orange County operations of employment agencies. The placement firms saw growth across nearly all metrics, from annual revenue to number of temporary and permanent workers landing jobs with clients.
Events Digs Make Splash as SF Up 2.1%
Meeting space is what the community of business is, at least for the 52 hotels on this week’s list.
Top Foreign-Owned Cos. Still Show Some OC ‘Braun’
Orange County’s automakers helped drive a modest uptick in employment last year among the largest foreign-owned companies with major operations here.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website to take entries through March 16
Is your workplace great?
Donors Boost Giving To Assist Homeless
The issue of rising homelessness was one of the keys to a 7.2% boost in revenue among nonprofit organizations in Orange County.
List Adds Bigger Players, County Workers in 2017
Orange County’s largest employers added about 2,300 jobs over the previous 12 months for modest growth of 1%.
Ownership, Executive, Plan Changes in Group of 35
A seven-year growth streak has ended for Orange County’s largest shopping centers.
Karma Now Biggest OC Automaker Employer
The 39 largest auto dealers in Orange County combined for $5.16 billion in sales for the 12-month period that ended June 30, a 1.4% increase that marks the second straight year of a significant slowdown from recent years, according to this week’s Business Journal list.
14% Increase Doesn’t Compare to Prior Years
Orange County-based commercial banks boosted assets a normally admirable 14% to $36 billion in the 12 months ended June 30.
Increase Tops 10% For First Time in Decade
Orange County’s credit unions are back to growing assets by double-digit percentages.
Fastest-Growing Cos. Use Buys to Bump Sales 44%
Orange County’s fastest growing publicly traded companies increased revenue by $16 billion in a two-year span.
‘Corporate Philanthropy Is in a Renaissance’
The list in this Special Report is unusual for the Business Journal in two ways. It’s a first—the first list of local-market Civic 50 honorees in the country. And it’s likely a first Business Journal list without financials. Rightly so.
M&A, Growing Business Lines Highlight Sector
Two big takeovers and a headquarters move to Orange County shook up the local landscape for the largest aerospace and defense contractors with operations here.
Competition for Students Results in Fewer Applications
Southern California schools with MBA programs showed a slight decrease in the number of Southern California enrollees, down about 2% from a year ago, based on the Business Journal’s annual survey. The number of enrollees dropped from 12,418 in September 2016 to 12,171 last month. It was a smaller drop than that reflected on last year’s list, when there was an approximate 6% change from September 2015 to September 2016.
25 Firms Report Strong Growth for Fifth Year
Orange County’s largest insurance brokerages continued solid growth as local revenue climbed above 7% for the fifth straight year.
Firmwide Billings Climb At Faster Pace than Local
Orange County’s architecture firms reported they’re growing their business faster outside the county.
AECOM, Arcadis, Jacobs Experience Good Years
Orange County’s top engineering firms reported a 6.2% rise in OC billings to $1.6 billion.
This Year’s Ranks Led by the ‘Big As’ Grew Jobs 30%
In life, in lists, it’s rough to do apples-to-apples comparisons. In culling our weekly lists of every business silo and subsilo, of firms of all ownership forms and makeups, we have several goals: to compile as comprehensive and accurate a roster as possible; to produce features on the best and the brazen; and to analyze beyond a comparison of numbers. As an editor wrote one sentence ago, “It’s very difficult to do apples-to-apples comparisons.”
HEALTHCARE: 39 biggest add over 1,500 workers in strong sector
Medical device makers with operations in Orange County added 1,560 employees over the 12 months ended July 30, for a growth rate of 8.1%, according to Business Journal research.