Peter J. Brennan

Executive Editor

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 229

Recent Stories

OC: The New Face of Booming Aesthetics Industry

Conference Draws Crowds; New Focus for Allergan’s Irvine Hub

Orange County has developed into a world-renowned leader in the medical device industries for heart valves and ophthalmology.

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Withum’s West Coast Push Starts in Irvine

ACCOUNTING: Top 25 firm buys KSJG

WithumSmith+Brown PC, a Princeton, N.J.-based accounting firm with a large presence in the East Coast, wanted exposure to the West Coast.

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Five CFOs Won, Then Had Dramatic Years

Global Unrest, Unruly Weather, C-Suite Changes, New Roles

From the U.S. banning a key Chinese customer, to a real live hurricane, to a chief executive in office seven months, to new roles, last year’s Business Journal Chief Financial Officers of the Year had quite the 2019 … where 2020 will take our next slate of honorees after they’re named is a story for another day. For now, we tell the tale of last year’s Gang of Five, their companies, and five thrilling years in one. —Peter J. Brennan

ShiftPixy Shares Nearly Triple on Deal

Shares of ShiftPixy Inc. (Nasdaq: PIXY), a tech-based restaurant staffing company, almost tripled after raising $20 million.

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CoolSys Shopping Spree Could Push Sales to $1B

SERVICES: CEO Plans ‘Transformative’ Q1 Buys

CoolSys Inc., the Brea-based parent of a collection of refrigeration and heating companies that’s been among Orange County’s fastest-growing private firms the past few years, is gearing up for an eventful 2020.

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Steve Jones: CEO of a 230,000-Employee Company

SERVICES: Built security firm worth $8.4B

When Steve Jones started working in 1996 at a Santa Ana security firm that had $12 million in annual sales, he had a goal that he was reluctant to share.

CBC Surpasses $1 Billion in Assets

BANKING: CEO Patel touts technology

Irvine-based Commercial Bank of California recently celebrated a milestone—passing $1 billion in assets.

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KSJG Acquired by WithumSmith+Brown

Jersey CPA firm expands on West Coast

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Boustead Raises $61.9M for Chinese Company

Boutique Irvine underwriter deal-runner goes to the well

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2020 Preview: FINANCE & BANKING

OC Financial Sector Returns to Bullish

Orange County’s financial sector seems to be perking up after a nervous first half of 2019.

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Person to Watch: Jared Wolff

Jared Wolff took on the top spot at Banc of California Inc., Orange County’s second-largest bank by assets, last March.

Bank to Watch: Opus Bank

Paul Taylor became chief executive at Irvine’s Opus Bank, OC’s third largest, in May.

OC Unemployment 2.5%

County holds the line; retail jobs up, construction down.

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Allied Universal Holder Completes Sale

A shareholder in Santa Ana’s Allied Universal, the largest North American security firm, said it completed its sale of a majority stake.

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The Real Buzz On Cannabis

EDUCATION: UCI professors discuss state of market

Editor’s Note: California’s legalization of cannabis has created opportunity in Orange County as serious investors have told the Business Journal they are looking to invest in the industry, from real estate to research to starting companies.

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Mr. Brea Tries Solving Low-Cost Housing Riddle

REAL ESTATE: Manley to sell biz licenses for rentals

Dwight Manley believes he has the answer to the riddle of the lack of low-cost housing in Southern California.

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The Bond King Turns to Equity

Gross’ $400M Foundation Aims to Grow 5% Annually

Bill Gross used to oversee trillions at Pacific Investment Management Co.

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Allied Universal Buys 4th Company in Month

Santa Ana-based Allied Universal, the largest private security firm in North America, bought APG Security, its fourth acquisition in the past month. Terms of the latest deal were not disclosed.

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Allied Universal Buys SOS to Expand Overseas

Santa Ana-based Allied Universal, the largest private security firm in North America, bought SOS Security, which has 15,000 employees, to expand overseas.

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Carrick Capital Exits 3 Companies

FINANCE: Some valuations ‘not sustainable’

Carrick Capital Partners LLC in the past 90 days has successfully exited its first three portfolio companies.

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Allied Universal Buys Tech Integrator

Santa Ana’s Allied Universal, the largest private security firm in North America, has acquired Advent Systems Inc. to expand its technology offerings. Terms weren’t disclosed.

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Carrick Exits 3 Cos.

Newport Beach-based Carrick Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on software firms, said it sold three portfolio companies, its first such divestiture.

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Banc of California CEO Outlines Strategy

FINANCE: Wolff sets stage for 2020 success

Jared Wolff looks relaxed even after seven months at the helm of the once problem-plagued Banc of California Inc.

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Pacific Premier Becomes King of OC-Based Banks

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.

Credit Unions Growth Accelerating Again

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.

Public Companies’ Fastest Growers Soar 33%

MARKETS: 34 firms report $27B in sales

Orange County has again demonstrated the ability to spur fast-growing publicly traded companies.

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OC Banks See Surprising Revenue Growth

FINANCE: Sales spurred by acquisitions, ‘secret sauce’

Banks are in an industry not typically noted for large jumps in revenue growth. Tell that to those based in Orange County.

Bank of Southern California to Buy CalWest

Rancho Santa Margarita-based CalWest Bancorp NA (OTCBB: CALW) announced it’s being sold to San Diego-based Bank of Southern California (OTC Pink: BCAL).

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Business Journal’s OC Civic 50 Honors Five

Bush: These Companies Have Risen Above Others

A construction contractor, a small and large wealth manager, and a pair of accounting firms received top honors at the Business Journal’s third annual Civic 50 event held on Oct. 16 at Hotel Irvine.

OC Unemployment Plummets to 2.4%

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate dropped to 2.4% in September from a revised 3.0% in August and below the year-ago estimate of 2.8%, according to the state Employment Development Department.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.3% in midday trading to 2,997.51.

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Newport Banker Leads BofA Retail in Calif.

FINANCE: Sederquist adopts new bank model

Orange County executives working at America’s biggest banks are continuing to rise high up the corporate ladder.

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GC 2018 Winners Witness Big Deals, Executive Changes

Firms See Growth, New Faces

From watching companies make executive changes to property deals in the hundreds of millions of dollars to unloading noncore businesses, it’s been quite a year for the 2018 Business Journal winners of the ninth annual General Counsel Awards. Here’s a review of some of the major actions by companies that employed our winners from last November.

Coolsys Expands in Southeast

Coolsys, the Brea-based parent of refrigeration and HVAC services companies nationwide, said it acquired Building Air Services. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 climbed 0.7% to 2,938.83 in midday trading. (keep reading)

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Alignment Healthcare Offers ‘Doctor in the Family’

HEALTHCARE: Company’s system is ‘changing lives’

John Kao experienced firsthand the frustration of America’s fragmented healthcare system when his mother suffered a heart attack and was taken to a hospital.

Local Insurance Brokers Report 12% Increase in Sales

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.

Broker, Insurance in His Blood, Builds New Company

McIntosh Helps San Diego Agency Expand in OC

Tony McIntosh sells insurance, just like his brother, father, grandfather, and uncles. “I was born into insurance,” McIntosh told the Business Journal.

An Art Building On the Rise

OC’s Museum of Art’s Next Showing: Groundbreaking

After a decade of planning and a few controversies, the Orange County Museum of Art is a step closer to getting a new home.

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Flying High

PacLife Sells Stake in Aircraft Leasing Co. for $3B

Aviation Capital Group gets little attention as the relatively quiet affiliate of the giant insurance company Pacific Life Insurance Co.

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Alignment Aims To Be $1 Billion Company

HEALTHCARE: AI platform; 91% growth in 2 years

Alignment Healthcare, which began in 2013, is well on its way to becoming a billion-dollar business.

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Fast Grower Lists Show 48% Sales Rise

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.

Banc of California Says Defrauded of $36.1M

Shares of Banc of California Inc. (NYSE: BANC) plunged as much as 10% after revealing it would take a $36.1 million charge involving an alleged fraud.

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L Squared Invests $60M in Aerospace Testing

Newport Beach-based L Squared Capital Partners said it has formed Raptor Scientific LLC with a $60 million investment to acquire companies in the fragmented aerospace and defense-focused testing and measurement Industry.

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PacLife to Sell Aviation Unit

Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Co. said it will sell its aviation unit for an estimated $3 billion to minority stockholder Tokyo Century Corp.

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Chapman School of Engineering Debuts

5 Years in Making; Focus On Computing, High Pay

Five years in the works, Chapman University’s new engineering school is ready for its close-up.

Pacific Mercantile Gets New CEO

BANKING: Replacement has deep roots in OC

For three years, Tom Vertin made a long commute to his job at Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank.

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Mechanics Bank Completes Rabobank Purchase

Mechanics Bank said it completed its acquisition of Rabobank, N.A., a subsidiary of Rabobank Group, for $2.1 billion.

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Look North for OC’s Fastest-Growing City

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.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat in midday trading at 2,924.59.

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