Los Angeles Business Journal

Molina Net Income Falls Short

Molina Healthcare Inc. reported meager earnings after markets closed Wednesday, falling well short of Wall Street expectations on profits.

Why Rival Banks Put Money in East L.A. Lender

BANKING: Investment in Pan American could pay off in public-service benefits.

Investing institutions expect to buoy their business by sinking $6.3 million into floundering Pan American.

Credit Union Channels TV Spotlight

SCE Federal staff takes turns offering financial tips on daily program.

SCE Federal Credit Union hopes its star rises with employees’ daily appearances on TV show “Tu Mundo Hoy!”

Advocacy Group Casts Lot With Former Mayor

LENDING: Non-profit seeks Villaraigosa’s help on local impact of bank acquisition.

An advocacy group protesting a local bank transaction wants former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to broker a deal and end the dispute.

City National Beats Expectations

City National Corp. reported strong second-quarter earnings after markets closed Thursday, posting net income of $66.7 million ($1.11 a share), up 12 percent over the same period a year ago.

Fellow Lenders Save East L.A’s Pan American Bank

More than a dozen West Coast banks, including eight in Los Angeles County, pumped $6 million of new capital into East L.A. lender Pan American Bank, which was on the verge of being shut down by regulators.

EARNINGS: BBCN, Hanmi, Wilshire

Shares of Koreatown lenders BBCN Bancorp Inc., Hanmi Financial Corp. and Wilshire Bancorp all closed slightly down Tuesday after the three banks reported earnings.

Television-Film Company Makes Noise With Library

MEDIA: Lions Gate among content owners boosted by bid for Time Warner.

Producer-distributor Lions Gate’s star rises on increased demand for TV and movie content.

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Investors Return To Small Banks

FINANCE: Capital raises show strength of once-snubbed sector.

Small lenders look to capitalize on big investors’ surging interest in the sector.

Car Lender Eyes Lots of Growth

finance: Westlake expands services to major dealerships.

Subprime auto lender Westlake Financial Services has taken a turn for major dealerships.

OK, Soccer Break’s Over...

Most bank executives wouldn’t brag about how many of their employees were watching sports during the workday. Then there’s Alan Rothenberg.

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Metal Broker Aims to Take Shine to British Market

GOLD: Rosland Capital to adapt U.S.-centric pitch in hopes of stoking interest.

Expansion into Britain may test the mettle of brokerage Rosland Capital.

City Seeks Receiver for DWP Institutes

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has asked a court to appoint a receiver to oversee the actions of two organizations run by the Department of Water and Power and a local union.

Westwood Law Firm Acquired

Washington law firm Venable has acquired Westwood firm Weingarten Brown, the firms announced Tuesday.

Lender Accuses Ex-Exec Of Working on Its Dime

FINANCE: Monroe Capital says Warren Woo used its assets to set up his business.

Ex-employer of Warren Woo alleges high-profile executive went for broke using its assets to launch firm.

‘Hana Bank’ Battle Faces Supreme Test This Fall

LENDING: High court may decide whether Korean or L.A. business can use name.

Downtown L.A. lender Hana Financial Inc. lost the latest round in its long-running trademark fight with South Korean banking conglomerate Hana Financial Group last year.

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Expansion Plans

Engineering: Firms have noticed that there’s plenty of work in Los Angeles, so they’re opening offices and beefing up here.

The development boom is luring out-of-town firms to Los Angeles and leading local firms to expand.

Faithful Fan Waits for Cleveland to Rock

On a Thursday in May, Hugh Hewitt was not at the Burbank studio where he records his nationally syndicated radio program or at the downtown Los Angeles law firm offices where he is a partner.

Carson Lender Had Big Role in Somalia Money

International: Small L.A. bank halts remittances to war-ravaged nation.

Carson lender Merchants Bank of California is one of the smallest banks around, but it plays an outsized role in war-ravaged Somalia: The bank processes about two-thirds of the $215 million sent from Somali immigrants in the United States to their relatives back home, according to non-profit groups there.

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Bank Scene Rich In Hiring Options

Market consolidation has allowed remaining lenders to fill their executive ranks with top-drawer veterans.

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Taking Stock Of Trades

Brokerage’s app lets family, friends share investment moves social-network style.

Ditto Trade’s app lets friends and family share and share alike by tracking their stock moves.

Payday Loans May Have Cost Bank Needed Sale

LENDING: Borrowers fault National Bank of California for role as processor.

Class-action suits against payday lenders might have stalled a life-saving sale of National Bank of California.

Repo Firm Hopes to Seize Regulation Opportunity

LENDING: Remarketing sees increased need for its services among financial institutions.

One firm’s regulation is another’s windfall.

El Super Workers Picketing

Workers at an El Super grocery store in East Los Angeles picketed Thursday in what could be a prelude to a strike at a handful of the chain’s locations.

Assembly Approves Hollywood Tax Credit Expansion

Trying to match generous tax incentives in other states and keep entertainment production jobs here, the California Assembly on Wednesday approved an expanded version of its tax credit program for the film and television industries.

Giving Some Credit to Philanthropy

Pride looks to swipe customers with card donation program.

Pride Card Services takes credit for donating part of its processing fees to non-profits.

Reversed Course

INVESTMENT: Small private brokerage B. Riley to go public via merger with property appraiser Great American Group.

B. Riley looks to raise its stock by going public through a reverse merger with Great American Group.

Car-Shopping Site Steers Investors Right on IPO

INTERNET: Analyst credits TrueCar for backing off higher price projections.

TrueCar’s shares trade above IPO price after the auto-shopping site put the brakes on higher projections.

Grocers, Union Reach Tentative Deal

Three major grocery store chains and the union representing Southern California grocery workers have reached a tentative deal for a new contract, both sides have announced.

B. Riley Going Public Through Merger

West L.A. brokerage and investment bank B. Riley & Co. is going public in a merger with Great American Group Inc., a Woodland Hills liquidation company.

Sometimes Speaking Loudly Carries Day

Last month’s Walk to End Genocide at Pan Pacific Park drew more than 3,000 people, the largest iteration yet of what has become the biggest annual anti-genocide demonstration in the country.

Counting It Up

In the 20 years since the Business Journal began ranking the richest Angelenos, L.A.’s wealth has migrated from oil and show business to biotech, electric cars and private equity.

Twenty years after the Business Journal’s first list, wealth from tech and private equity are on the rise while show business and real estate have faded.

Concentrated Holdings Can Lead to Boom, Bust

Big stakes in a single business can offer more control but also heightened risk.

New York Lender Looks To Move In on Landlords

EXPANSION: FirstKey opens L.A. office to target sector in California, Western states.

FirstKey Lending, a New York firm specializing in loans to owners of single-family rental homes, has opened an L.A. office with plans to build business in California and other Western states.

15 Charged in Bank Fraud Case

Federal officials have charged 15 people, mostly from Los Angeles, with bank fraud in a $15 million check-kiting scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles announced Wednesday.

Cobbler’s Arty Sneakers Major Step Up

Buyers of Raul Ojeda’s Converse shoes tread into $25,000 territory.

Cobbler Raul Ojeda seeks buyers willing to foot the bill for $25,000 Converse sneakers.

A Deal That Banc of California Couldn’t Pass Up

SALE: Popular’s branches, $2.2 billion in assets, deposits to go to Irvine lender.

After buying two L.A. banks in the past 18 months, Steven Sugarman figured his Banc of California Inc. in Irvine was about done consolidating and ready to focus on organic growth.

The Royal Treatment for Fantasy Fans

Crystal Cruises offers visit to sets of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones.’

Crystal Cruises looks to ride HBO’s buzz with “Game of Thrones” packages – dragons not included.

New Owner for Popular Bank Branches

Twelve Los Angeles-area branches of Puerto Rico’s Popular Community Bank are being purchased by an Orange County lender.

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Latino Market

New licenses rev up auto insurer’s focus

Spain’s Mapfre hopes illegal immigrants obtaining drivers licenses will rev up its auto coverage market.

Breezing by Age Milestone In L.A. County

Armstrong gardening business traces roots back to 1889.

Armstrong Garden Centers planted itself in Los Angeles way back in 1889.

Bean Counter Looks to Grow Beyond Show Biz

ACCOUNTING: Nigro Karlin hopes to add sectors with its extra personal services.

Nigro Karlin looks to add more non-show business clients to its beyond-bean-counting personal service.

Taking Pass on Politics

The death of Mickey Rooney last week got Michael Levine reminiscing.

Risk, Returns

Banking: Low-profile First Credit rides bridge financing to become L.A.’s most profitable lender for three years running.

First Credit has crossed over into elite territory with its high returns from bridge financing.


Investment: Double M participated in Santa Monica firm MomentFeed’s A round in December after having made seed-round investments in the company.

Before Mark Mullen upped his investment in social media marketing company MomentFeed late last year, he wanted to know if customers liked the Santa Monica company’s product.

Turning Work Into Child’s Play

Bizainy kits make kids bosses of their own businesses.

Bizainy makes a play for young entrepreneurs with its line of business-launching kits.

Little Left for Lender After Sale of Loans, Deposits

ACQUISITION: Future of Wedbush Bank in question amid Grandpoint deal.

Wedbush Bank, a savings and loan owned by securities brokerage Wedbush Inc., is selling its loans and deposits to Grandpoint Bank.

PacWest Acquisition Gets Final OK

The Federal Reserve board on Tuesday approved a deal that will create the fourth biggest local bank: Century City’s PacWest Bancorp’s acquisition of downtown L.A. CapitalSource Inc.

Homed In

lending: Hard-money lenders welcome pricey property projects as supply of low-end homes dwindles.

Hard-money financiers move into the high-price home market as the low-end housing pool dries up.

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Overseas Appeals

LAW: Gibson Dunn touts recent Latin American wins for Dole, Chevron as it courts more work from multinationals.

Recent court victories for Dole and Chevron are helping Gibson Dunn make its case for more international work.