Los Angeles Business Journal

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Future Comes Down to Wire

FINANCE: Startup hopes to spur remittance shops to jump online.

WireCash looks to help remittance shops get a line on the future by translating their business to the Internet.

Earnings Roundup: City National, Skechers and Reliance Steel Perform Well

City National Reports Strong Earnings Downtown Los Angeles’ City National Corp., parent of City National Bank, reported first-quarter earnings on April 23 that met analyst expectations.

Ares Chief Antony Ressler to Buy Atlanta Hawks

Antony Ressler, the chief executive of Century City private equity and debt firm Ares Management, has agreed to buy the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks for about $850 million, sources told ESPN.

Earnings: Wilshire Beats, BBCN Meets Street Estimates

Koreatown’s Wilshire Bancorp Inc. reported second-quarter earnings Monday that beat Wall Street expectations by 20 percent.

Kicking Luxury Into High Gear

Fast Toys Club’s event to put public behind wheel of exotic, expensive cars.

Fast Toys Club looks to buckle up fans of fancy cars with its driving tour of Los Angeles.

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Investor Betting on Troubled Bank

LENDING: Alex Meruelo looks to vault NCAL into billion-dollar tier.

Alex Meruelo is ready to invest in transforming troubled NCAL Bancorp into the base of a larger institution.

True Religion Subcontractors Charged With Insurance Fraud

The California Insurance Commissioner announced Thursday that two subcontractors working with Vernon denim company True Religion Apparel Inc. and their accountant had been arrested and charged on 18 felony charges. The three are accused of having engaged in a conspiracy to conceal hundreds of employees and $78.5 million in payroll to avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums and payroll taxes.

Ares to Trim Stake in Smart & Final

With shares of warehouse grocer Smart & Final Stores Inc. up more than 50 percent since the company’s initial public offering last year, the chain’s biggest shareholder is taking some of its chips off the table.

Small Business Administrator Sees Big Role to Play

LENDING: Cabinet member talks jump to private sector, L.A.’s bank consolidation.

Small Business Administration’s Maria Contreras-Sweet discusses how her agency sows seed money.

Money Manager’s App Declares War on Robots

INVESTMENT: Chief exec of Gerber Kawasaki promises customers real-life advisers.

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management in Santa Monica is the latest money management firm to adopt an automated financial adviser product.

Wi-Fi Provider Details Deals to Investors’ Delight

INTERNET: Boingo shares rise after analyst praises strength of revenue sources.

Boingo Wireless’ breakdown of financial details helps the Wi-Fi provider’s shares break out on Wall Street.

SEC Charges L.A. Firm With Fraud Over Life Settlements

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday that it has charged Century City firm Pacific West Capital Group Inc. and its owner, Andrew Calhoun IV, with fraud related to the sale of life settlements to investors.

Facilities Manager Key to Broker’s Stock Bounce

REAL ESTATE: CBRE’s deal for GWS opens door to steady revenue stream.

Interest in CBRE’s stock picks up with the broker’s acquisition of a facilities management company.

Lawsuit Comes to Reel Life

When Brentwood lawyer E. Randol “Randy” Schoenberg decided to help a family friend retrieve a painting stolen by the Nazis during World War II, some joked that the tale could be made into a movie.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Publicly traded Santa Monica real estate investment firm Colony Financial Inc. announced Thursday that it has completed its combination with related Santa Monica private equity and investments firm Colony Capital.

Wilshire Bank Opens First Georgia Branch

Koreatown’s Wilshire Bancorp Inc. announced Tuesday that it has opened its first full-service bank branch in Georgia, located in the city of LaGrange. The bank, Los Angeles County’s ninth-largest, primarily caters to the Korean-American community.

University Aims to Make Waves in Silicon Beach

TECHNOLOGY: Venture by Arizona State seeks to link to new class of entrepreneurs.

Alumnus helps Arizona State University teach L.A. tech entrepreneurs how to launch a business.

Latest Offer for Mall Operator Proves Tough Sell

DEVELOPMENT: Shares slide as Macerich investors question chance of deal.

Wall Street isn’t sold on rival mall operator’s latest offer for deal-averse Macerich.

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Investment Firm Looks North to Tap Into Tech

EXPANSION: Bel Air opens outpost in San Francisco to help connect to startups.

From its office on Avenue of the Stars, Bel Air Investment Advisors has built a reputation as wealth manager to the stars. But today’s young A-listers are often found in Bay Area tech incubators, not Hollywood hot spots.

Coffee Maker Heats Up Machine War

Touch looks to crack Keurig’s dominance with speed, quality.

Touch looks to push rival Keurig’s buttons with a brewing machine built for speedy, tasty cups of joe.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Century City’s OpenGate Capital announced Monday that it has completed the sale of Kotkamills Oy, a Finnish specialty paper and wood products company, to Finnish private equity firm MB Funds.

Former FBI Agent Now Hunts for Cooked Books

ACCOUNTING: War stories of Ernie Cooper added plus for VLS’ forensic clients.

Ernie Cooper taps into his FBI past to make a case for VLS’ forensic services.

Strong Quarter Bulks Up Shares of Market Chain

RETAIL: Smart & Final credits strategy to attract typical grocery shoppers.

Investors buy shares of Smart & Final in bulk after a strong quarter from the market chain.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Sizing Up L.A.

Six local bank executives address regulatory, economic issues that have spurred institutions to seek deals to combine their strengths.

Bidders are going big for small and midsize institutions as bankers team up.

SPECIAL REPORT: Civic Life May Suffer With Loss of Local Firms

Royal Bank of Canada’s deal for City National is another example of L.A. losing a headquarters.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Westwood’s Leonard Green & Partners announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire health club chain Life Time Fitness in Chanhassen, Minn., alongside affiliates of other private equity firms.

Leonard Green, TPG Agree to Buy Fitness Chain

West Los Angeles private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners and fellow private equity shop TPG in Fort Worth, Texas, announced Monday that they have agreed to acquire publicly traded health club chain Life Time Fitness Inc. in Chanhassen, Minn. in a deal valued at about $4 billion.

Money Manager Hopes New China Office Pays Off

INVESTMENT: Industrial park in Suzhou tapped for Wilshire Associates outpost.

A lot of Chinese money has come to Los Angeles in recent years. Now, a big local money-management firm is heading east, seeing opportunities in China.

Wet Seal Slips Through B. Riley’s Grasp

West L.A. investment bank B. Riley Financial Inc. missed out on a chance to snap up Foothill Ranch teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. in a bankruptcy auction.

Philly Transplant High on L.A.’s Pot Businesses

MARIJUANA: Founder of Kind Financial sees green in banks’ shyness in sector.

Kind Financial looks to become buds with pot businesses as banks remain wary of the industry.

PacWest Pays Premium for Bank’s Cheap Deposits

BANKING: Analysts see PacWest’s bid for Square 1 as play for low-interest cash.

Analysts see PacWest securing its loan business through its move to acquire Square 1.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Platinum Equity of Beverly Hills announced Tuesday that it has completed the sale of Neovia Logistics, an Irving, Texas, industrial logistics firm, to affiliates of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York and New York investment firm Rhône Capital

Briefs: Wilshire Associates Opens China Office, Aecom CEO Named Chairman, New Boss at Marlborough School

Wilshire Associates Opens Office in China Santa Monica investment firm Wilshire Associates has opened an office in Suzhou, China.

PacWest Continues Buyout Binge, Grabs Tech Lender Square 1

Century City’s PacWest Bancorp announced Monday that it has agreed to buy Square 1 Financial Inc. in Durham, N.C., which specializes in lending to venture capital-backed companies, in an all-stock deal valued at about $849 million.

Lawyer Books Side Job as Author

Rumors started swirling that Michael Kun must have died after he published his first novel in 1990.

Exchange-Traded Fund Garners Mutual Respect

INVESTMENT: DoubleLine puts money on booming popularity of new product.

Jeffrey Gundlach has become the latest money manager to plant his flag on the booming exchange-traded fund landscape.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Michael Pinsker

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Century City private equity and debt firm Breakaway Capital Partners announced Wednesday that it has provided a senior credit facility to Wave Technology Solutions Group Inc., an IT consulting firm in Irvine. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Briefs

Restraining Order Closes Collective, Shareholders Approve Pacific Commerce Bank Purchase, Blackline Hires CFO, Lion to List on Nasdaq

San Dimas Man Arrested in $9 Million Scheme to Defraud East West Bank

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it has arrested Chung Yu “Louis” Yeung of San Dimas for his alleged role in a scheme that Pasadena’s East West Bank said cost it more than $9 million. Yeung’s alleged co-conspirator, Guo Xiang “David” Fan, remains at large.

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Bank Activists Get Say on Deal

LENDING: Hearing set on CIT’s acquisition offer for OneWest.

Community coalition achieves goal of getting CIT and OneWest to defend their merger.

Pair of Acquisitions Delivers for Postage Business

ONLINE: Stamps.com has investors in bag with hefty quarterly performance.

Stamps.com proves a popular address on Wall Street after strong fourth quarter.

Chinese City Opens Doors To L.A.

Coastal city Zhuhai sets up local office to raise business profile.

Chinese city of Zhuhai gets down to business at its new office in downtown Los Angeles.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

West L.A. private debt firm Crescent Capital announced Monday that it has provided a credit facility for the recapitalization of Interfloor Group Ltd., a Lancashire, England, flooring accessories company. Loan terms were not disclosed.

L.A. Firm to Buy Fresno’s Security First Bank

Downtown Los Angeles investment company SunPac Financial announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire Security First Bank in Fresno, its first step in establishing a new bank serving Los Angeles.

Herbalife’s Fifth-Largest Shareholder Sells

New York hedge fund manager Richard Perry, who recently became the fifth-largest shareholder of multi-level marketer Herbalife Ltd., liquidated his 5.6 million share stake in the company during the fourth-quarter, according to a Feb. 13 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Who’s Who in Banking & Finance: At Home With Region’s Appeal

I lead the syndication division of Bank of the West’s commercial banking group, raising capital by coordinating syndicated deals to help fuel growing businesses in Los Angeles and across the United States.

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Who’s Who in Banking & Finance: Banking on Past Careers

Betty Rengifo Uribe’s customers range from startup entrepreneurs to corporate executives to second-generation family-business owners.

Fund Manager Puts Money on Fee-Free Product

INVESTMENT: Cambria hopes cutting management costs will draw customers.

Cambria hopes its new exchange-traded fund without a management fee pays off in new business.

Chief Exec’s Departure, Death Revealed After Deal

lENDING: Manhattan also sold mortgage loan division in wake of pickup by Plaza.

At first glance, Irvine lender Plaza Bank’s agreement to buy El Segundo’s Bank of Manhattan last month seemed like just the latest deal between two small Southern California institutions, as many of them have been feeling the pressure from a more expensive regulatory environment.

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