Los Angeles Business Journal

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Special Report Banking & Finance: Driving Interest

Investors tired of spinning their wheels in pursuit of returns have turned to packaged securities of auto loans, some even made to the riskiest borrowers.

Hunt for returns drives lenders and investors to portfolios of auto loans, some to subprime borrowers.

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Cars Hit Road With Cheap Leases, Easy Credit

Easy credit and low lease rates boost traffic at car dealerships.

Healthy Payoff From Microloan

Celia Rivas turned life around by opening her own gym business.

Gym owner Celia Rivas credits a Grameen America microloan with getting her life back in shape.

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Veteran Executive Puts Retirement in Turnaround

INVESTMENT: Lunch leads to new job for Eric Beckman at friend’s Breakwater.

Saif Mansour took Eric Beckman to lunch in February at Toscanova in the Westfield Century City mall.

Keeping Cool, Kosher

Ryan McKim is actually kind of a morning person. But getting out of bed at 6 a.m. on a recent Sunday took some extra motivation.

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Will Holiday Season Bring Deal for Mall Operator?

Real Estate: Recent stock moves by Macerich spur talk of acquisition.

Real Estate: Macerich’s stock deals may mean the mall operator is preparing for a sale – of itself.

East West Bank Opens Shenzhen Branch

Pasadena’s East West Bank became the first Los Angeles bank with a branch in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, as it opened its newest storefront in the coastal boomtown on Tuesday during a ceremony attended by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Lender Borrows Former U.S. Chief Exec for Event

TRAINING: Bill Clinton speaks on financial literacy for Banc of California.

If you want to explain economic concepts to everyday Californians, you could do a lot worse than enlisting Bill Clinton.

Brokerage’s Liquidation Business Makes Splash

INVESTMENT: B. Riley’s shares climb on strong earnings after merger.

B. Riley sees positive returns on Wall Street from the broker’s liquidation business.

Charney Investigation Costs American Apparel

American Apparel announced a substantial quarterly loss on Monday, but a large part of that was due to one-time charges relating to an internal investigation of former chief executive Dov Charney.

TrueCar, Investors to Sell Shares

Santa Monica car sales portal TrueCar Inc. announced in a Monday SEC filing that it plans to sell 6.4 million shares in a secondary offering.

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Chicago Equity Firm Shores Up Westside Office

INVESTMENT: Pritzker execs relocate to pursue business in blossoming market.

Chicago’s Pritzker Group Private Capital bets on L.A. market with beefed-up outpost.

Who are Robert Zuckerman and Michael Meyer?

Robert Zuckerman is chief executive of Woodland Hills real estate development firm Continental Communities Group. His father, Edward Zuckerman, bought 150 acres of coastal real estate on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the 1950s.

Life Investors

Backers, operators sue over DOA insurance fund

Investors sue operators of life settlement fund, alleging they were dead wrong on policy payouts.

Single Has Value For Some Banks

LENDING: Chinese-American sector bucks consolidation trend.

Chinese-American banks prefer to fly solo as consolidation gains ground among other institutions.

Surfer Goes for Broke

A surfer for 14 years, MomentFeed Chief Executive Robert Blatt, 54, woke up before dawn about a month and a half ago to hit the waves at Topanga State Beach.

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Health care hospitals: Taking Shot

Investors fail to check in despite promising prognosis

Technical difficulty makes products hard to assess for venture capitalists.

Ares Acquires Energy Investment Firm

Century City private equity firm Ares Management announced Friday that one of its subsidiaries will buy Boston’s Energy Investors Funds, an asset manager focusing on energy infrastructure with about $4 billion in assets under management.

Pacific Commerce Bank to Acquire Vibra Bank

Pacific Commerce Bank in Little Tokyo announced Thursday that it had reached an agreement to buy Chula Vista’s Vibra Bank, becoming the latest L.A.-area bank to hop onboard the merger train.

Gold Broker Blames Google, Not City, for Closure

METALS: Merit chief exec says loss of Internet ads forced business to close.

Mike Getlin, the former chief executive of defunct Santa Monica precious metals broker Merit Gold, blames the city of Santa Monica for tarnishing his reputation and smearing his business.

Engineer Has Designs On Style

Sam Wang makes case for chic accessories for businessmen.

Engineer Sam Wang has designs on a career in stylish accessories for businessmen.

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Rapper Cues Up Career In Venture Capital Sector

INVESTMENT: Nas, partner assure musician takes serious approach to funding firms.

Rapper Nas is looking to spin his music-made money into hefty returns as a venture capitalist.

Activists’ Protest On the Money

BANKING: Coalition scores concessions in lender unions.

BANKING: California Reinvestment Coalition looks to lock up concessions from OneWest and CIT or trip up their merger.

Wall Street Flees From Poor Hepatitis B Results

Health Care: Shares of Arrowhead tumble after human results disappoint.

Health Care: Investors check out of Arrowhead Research’s stock after disappointing hepatitis B tests.

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Leasing Firm Commits Long Term to Equipment

Finance: Enverto envisions traditionally staid sector as ripe for app, investors.

Finance: Enverto banks on equipment leases with customers who have been spurned by other lenders.

Gores Group Sells Car Fabrics Maker to Clearlake Capital

Beverly Hills private equity firm Gores Group announced Thursday that it sold Sage Automotive Interiors to Clearlake Capital Group, a private equity firm in Santa Monica. Terms were not disclosed.

Community Group to Oppose CIT-OneWest Deal

The California Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that advocates for banks to do more for low-income communities, will oppose the planned purchase of Pasadena’s OneWest Bank by Livingston, N.J., finance firm CIT Group Inc.

Regulations Vault Lender Into Acquisition Deal

Banking: Simplicity CEO says expenses prohibitive for smaller institutions.

Banking: Simplicity Bancorp agrees to be acquired after new regulations do a number on the lender’s bottom line.

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Departure of Rival Pays Off for Fund Managers

Banking & Finance: DoubleLine, TWC see gains in wake of exit by Pimco’s Bill Gross.

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross, the Bond King of Newport Beach, has been dethroned – and Jeffrey Gundlach of downtown L.A.’s DoubleLine Capital is one of the biggest beneficiaries.

Phone Hang-Up on Hold

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As chief executive of DesiHits, an L.A. music-focused digital media firm, Anjula Acharia-Bath connects pop stars such as Lady Gaga with audiences in India, and Bollywood stars with U.S. fans.

Bill Clinton to Headline Banc of California Event

Former president Bill Clinton will keynote Banc of California’s financial literacy event on Nov. 9 at USC’s Galen Center. The event sponsored by the Irvine bank will provide personal finance training to 5,000 “at-risk” young people from the area.

Seattle Lender to Buy Covina’s Simplicity Bank

Covina savings and loan Simplicity Bancorp Inc. announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement to be purchased by Seattle bank HomeStreet Inc. in an all-stock deal. The combined company will have about $4.1 billion in assets under management.

L.A. Bank’s Survey Reports Optimism for 2015

The majority of local small and medium-sized businesses expect revenues to increase next year, according to a survey taken by downtown Los Angeles bank CTBC Bank Corp.

Debit-Card Firm Has More in Store for Wal-Mart

FINANCE: Green Dot stock rises after signing exclusive deal with retail giant.

Wall Street warmly greets debit-card company Green Dot deepening its ties to Wal-Mart.

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All That Glitters May Be Going

METALS: Another gold broker closes after accusations by city.

Santa Monica proves its mettle by going after a gold dealer accused of bait-and-switch scheme.

All That Glitters May Be Going

Santa Monica proves its mettle by going after a gold dealer accused of bait-and-switch scheme.

BBCN Expands Into Korea

Koreatown’s BBCN Bancorp Inc. announced Monday that it would be taking its business to Seoul, South Korea’s capital city. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the city, affirming its plans to expand operations there and work to promote Seoul’s Yeouido International Financial District as an Asian financial hub.

Dividend Recaps Done by the Numbers

Dividend recaps come down to number-crunching.

Hyped Sci-Fi Shooter Misses Target for Publisher

VIDEO GAMES: Activision shares fall despite ‘Destiny’ setting sales record.

Activision Blizzard’s shares slide after “Destiny” title shoots wide of hoped-for first-day sales.

Smart & Final IPO Set for Next Week

Commerce warehouse retailer Smart & Final Stores Inc., which filed for an IPO in June, will begin trading Wednesday according to Reuters PEHub. The company will offer about 13.5 million shares, priced between $12 and $14. At the midpoint of that range, the IPO would raise about $175 million and value Smart & Final at about $925 million.

Freight Forwarder’s Shares Advance on Wall Street

SHIPPING: UTi’s new IT system wins over investors despite poor quarter.

UTi’s new IT system helps the freight forwarder make up ground with investors.

Venture Capital Veterans Put Money on New Firm

INVESTMENT: Duo launch Basepoint to build future away from Rustic Canyon.

Rustic Canyon partners aren’t scared to bid the firm’s brand farewell as they carve out a future as Bravepoint.

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Learning By Degrees

Finance: Executives value relationships, experience over big-name business schools.

Finance: Local executives share how relationships and experience paid off more than a big-school business diploma.

Wall Street Doesn’t Cotton to Poor Denim Sales

Fashion: Guess shares fall; CEO admits latest dresses, jeans unseemly.

Fashion: Denim maker sows trouble on Wall Street after its latest dresses and jeans fail to find fans.

Rough Road for Family

Ari Bass was one of many L.A. dads who spent a couple weeks in August driving a van on a family vacation.

Drug Developer Turns Page With Published Trial

BIOTECH: Findings for cancer treatment send shares of Kite soaring.

Investors are high on Kite Pharma after the results of its drug trial are published in a medical journal.

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Clippers Deal Took Six Days of Sleepless Nights

LAW: Dealmaker gives play by play of fast-break NBA team sale.

Attorney Bob Baradaran worked like mad for days to shepherd Shelly Sterling’s sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer.

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Luxury Offerings, Chinese Buyers Rev Up Car Sales

Low interest rates and Chinese investors have helped put L.A. dealerships on the road to a record year.

Clippers Deal Took Six Days of Sleepless Nights

It started with a phone call Friday night at the opening of Memorial Day weekend.

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Niche Focus

INVESTMENT: VentureOut looks to back LGBT entrepreneurs but some investors may question breadth of opportunity.

VentureOut sees an untapped niche in LGBT entrepreneurs.