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Monday, Jul 22, 2024


Jim Madden, co-founder of Newport Beach-based PE investment firm Carrick Capital, scored a home run on July 2 when Seattle health tech company Accolade went public (Nasdaq: ACCD) at $22. It jumped 41% on its first two trading days and now sports a $1.6 billion market cap.

Madden in 2007 joined the board of Accolade, a platform that helps consumers manage their healthcare needs. Carrick Capital currently owns 7.4% of the company, worth nearly $120 million.

Madden in May also became chairman of New York-based Genpact (NYSE: G), which helps companies transform their technologies and has a $7 billion market cap. Carrick at the end of June also bought a coding and engineering educational school, Flatiron School, from troubled coworking company WeWork.

Madden also promises to reveal an Orange County investment within a month or so.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Madden, a champion ocean racer (his work on his boat “Stark Raving Mad” has been profiled in the Business Journal). He tells our Peter J. Brennan why the big regattas have been canceled in recent months. “It’s difficult for 16 crew members to do social distancing on a boat,” he quipped.

The times they are a-changin’, but the signs aren’t, across Newport Beach.

A 2005 city ordinance pertaining to so-called “non-conforming signs” for some 100 area businesses was due to take effect this October after a 15-year grace period.

The upcoming deadline caught many off guard, notes area real estate investor Russ Fluter. He pointed to well-known and historic signs along Coast Highway, Balboa Boulevard, and other locales for A Restaurant, the Cannery Restaurant, Mama’s restaurant, Woody’s, Korker Liquor, Ferrari, and his own Fluter Properties that would have needed to be modernized.

Local pushback recently caused the City Council to scrap the upcoming October deadline.

Restaurant groups, automakers like Karma Automotive (see story, page 9), and numerous other OC firms across a variety of business were approved for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, according to federal documents released last week. See page 21 for more on how the federal loan program helped the area’s architecture and design industry stay afloat during the pandemic.

A few loans for groups with (not necessarily) local ties got national scrutiny for a variety of reasons. Yeezy, the fashion label run by Kanye West, was approved for a loan of at least $2 million. Most national reports placed the headquarters of the firm in La Palma, although its true hub in California has actually been Calabasas. The La Palma address listed in federal documents is a virtual office.

Santa Ana’s Ayn Rand Institute, named for conservative philosopher Ayn Rand and which promotes her “laissez-faire” capitalism philosophy, received a loan of between $350,000 and $1M.

The irony wasn’t lost on some, although the Institute shrugged off the criticism and argues taking the money was consistent with their philosophy. “It would be a terrible injustice for pro-capitalists to step aside and leave the funds to those indifferent or actively hostile to capitalism,” Institute board member Harry Binswanger said.

The Institute called the loans “partial restitution for government-inflicted losses.”

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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