Twelve Los Angeles-area branches of Puerto Rico’s Popular Community Bank are being purchased by an Orange County lender.
New licenses rev up auto insurer’s focus
Spain’s Mapfre hopes illegal immigrants obtaining drivers licenses will rev up its auto coverage market.
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.
The death of Mickey Rooney last week got Michael Levine reminiscing.
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.
Armstrong gardening business traces roots back to 1889.
Armstrong Garden Centers planted itself in Los Angeles way back in 1889.
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.
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.
Bizainy kits make kids bosses of their own businesses.
Bizainy makes a play for young entrepreneurs with its line of business-launching kits.
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.
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.
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.
LENDING: OneWest’s switch in charter could presage initial public offering.
It’s official: Pasadena’s OneWest Bank actually is a bank. And now Los Angeles County’s third largest by assets.
There’s one partner at Westwood law firm Liner who’s such an institution that he’s actually written into the terms of the lease.
FIRM: Todd Morgan and his partners weren’t ready to sell their firm. Then they found out how much they could get.
banking: Local lenders wait and weigh value of joining new over-the-counter market specifically for banks.
BANKING – L.A. institutions are waiting and weighing potential returns of joining a new over-the-counter market for banks.
PROFILE: Steve Lockshin sees rich possibilities in steering brokerage customers to agnostic advisers.
As wealth rebounds, so has wealth management. Banks, breakaway firms and out-of-towners are all clamoring to manage the money of L.A.’s elite now that cash is coming off the sidelines.
INVESTMENT: L.A’s growing concentration of wealthy investors is creating a new wave of money managers.
Jamie Montgomery sells bank but holds on to its conference.
INVESTMENT: Jamie Montgomery found it too tough to break connections with his former bank’s tech conference.
Making Her Mark In America
When Sunnie S. Kim left South Korea in 1974, it was a society that would have locked her out of nearly any career.
INVESTMENT: Trevor Saliba sees opening for licensed operator as money pours in.
Foreigners who put money into American enterprises in exchange for green cards through the federal EB-5 visa program have enjoyed the same protections from scammers that safeguard other investors.
Ten years ago, when Jeff Friedman and Mark Zytko were trying to secure their first deal, they had a nearly empty office, one employee and no track record.
Special Report: Who’s Who in Banking & Finance
Business Journal spotlights nonbank execs who provide business loans that institutions can’t or won’t.
“There’s always money available,” says Howard Levkowitz, “but not always for what people want.”
ACQUISITION: De La Rosa sees pickup by Stifel boosting its public bond business.
The partners at Century City investment bank and bond underwriter De La Rosa & Co. had wanted to sell to a bigger firm for a few years, and they’d had offers.
Banks never loaned to tech startups – until now
LENDING: Commercial banks hook up with tech startups through venture loans to be repaid after future funding rounds.
Rene Kaerskov is hoping the Federal Aviation Administration will soon clear Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic to take tourists to space.
Non-profit: Homeboy Industries’ new chief executive aims to make the gang rehabilitation program more self-sufficient.
Non profit: New CEO looks to reform rehabilitation-focused Homeboy Industries into a more self-supporting business.
Investor says it’s finally time to bet on L.A. banking
California Business Bank’s owner looks to be L.A.’s first new player in banking in almost five years.
Last year was a good one for Los Angeles County’s big banks, as the three biggest local lenders all reported solid earnings for 2013. All announced growing profits, assets and loan volumes.
Bankruptcy: Creditors protest as lawyers, others submit huge bills.
Ezri Namvar’s investors were ripped off when his Ponzi scheme collapsed, and now they say they’re getting shorted again by the professionals in charge of recovering their money.
Tour de Pier to set up stationary bikes by beach for benefit.
Tour de Pier offers a different spin on cancer fundraisers with its stationary-bike benefit by the beach.
Soaring stock mints first legal pot billionaire
Marijuana dispensing machine maker Medbox has turned into a pot of gold for its newly minted billionaire owner.
Investments: Diversis found target then lined up backing.
Investment: No money was no problem when fundless sponsor Diversis Capital went looking for its first deal.
Beverly Hills hotels to mark city’s centennial with themed rooms.
Hospitality – Beverly Hills hotels make room for the city’s centennial with themed décor based on different decades.
Investment: OpenGate sees cars, homebuilding driving up market.
The folks at Century City buyout shop OpenGate Capital think Europe’s automotive and homebuilding industries are primed for recovery, so they’ve lately been investing in manufacturers of plastics that go into cars and houses there, announcing three deals in the European plastics market last year.
Finance: Wipit looks to connect to underbanked with cards.
Finance – App developer Wipit issues debit cards to spur customers to open their mobile wallets.
Printing: Superior Press changes checks when lenders merge or are acquired.
Printing – Superior Press has built up a lengthy paper trail redoing checks for acquired and merged banks
Real Estate: Property in Beverly Hills pitched for hotel-condo development.
Real Estate – Price for Beverly Hills lot could step into the history books as L.A.’s biggest on a per-foot basis
Tom Gores’ firm Platinum Equity may be best known as one of L.A.’s most prominent buyout shops, but it’s also become an academy of sorts – many associates have graduated to start their own private equ
Investment – Working at Platinum Equity has paid dividends for former execs who launched their own firms
Century City’s OpenGate Capital said Friday that it had won a bid to take over bankrupt European plastics manufacturer Kem One SAS, its third deal in the European plastics market this year.
Security: Questions over Chinese parts cost OSI contract.
Security: OSI baggage-scanner contract falls to pieces over concern for the machines’ use of a Chinese-made part.
Lending: South Korean bank wins court round on use of ‘Hana.’
In Japanese it means “flower.” In Korean, it translates as “No. 1” or “first.”
Mike Burke will take over in March as chief executive of downtown L.A. engineering and technical services firm Aecom Technology Corp., the company announced Wednesday.
Leonard Green & Partners, the Westwood private equity firm that already has investments in retailers J. Crew and London’s Topshop, is getting deeper into denim, planning to buy Lucky Brand Jeans from New York’s publicly traded Fifth & Pacific Cos. for $225 million.
Lending: High-interest loans to small businesses yield big returns.
Direct Lending Investments is doing well as it buys up high-interest loans made to mom-and-pop businesses.
LENDING: Chase No. 1 in number of outposts but its market share declines.
JPMorgan Chase has branched out to have the most L.A. outposts, but still lags bank rivals on deposits
Rugulation: Hire by 1st Century to review money-laundering policies.
Century City’s 1st Century Bank is taking a hard look at its money-laundering policies after federal bank regulators ordered a review.
Shipping: Program to attract alliances may start price war with Long Beach.
Shipping: Port of Los Angeles hopes to make waves by offering rebates to cargo companies.
Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. reported wider losses after markets closed Monday, though the publicly traded real estate trust beat Wall Street expectations.