I figured I might have missed on an item that ran in this space last October, speculating that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had an L.A. edition of his NYC-based Commercial Observer in the works. Then an editor’s note from the Commercial Observer’s Max Gross came to my attention last week, carrying a promise of a “Los Angeles newsletter” and “regular L.A. coverage” on the publication’s website … I might have been off the mark a bit but still in the ballpark in January, when I told you that Hanmi Bank might be on the hunt for a similarly sized outfit to acquire – and that the parameter pointed to the possibility of a cross-over deal that would go beyond the institution’s traditional place in the Korean-American market. Why? None of the other Kor-Am banks based in L.A. are close to Hanmi’s size of about $5 billion in assets. Bank of Hope is nearly three times as big, Pacific City Bank is less than one-third the size, and the rest are smaller. Now comes word that Hanmi is talking about an acquisition that would carve out the U.S. assets of Woori America, an operating unit of a South Korea-based bank. Woori’s operations here are a fair piece closer to Hanmi, with assets approaching $2 billion—information that came courtesy of an IPO filing by Open Bank (see story, page 1) … Call Jim Slouber a mild-mannered, detail-oriented accountant and director at CBIZ MHM LLC’s office in Century City by day. Nights find him in the role of free-spirited, L.A. Kings fanatic – a dancing dandy whose hard-rock moves regularly rally the crowd at Staples Center. Slouber recently extended his personal-best streak – he’s been featured on the Jumbotron at every Kings’ home-game this season. He’s a Chicago native, but he’s all in for L.A. now, and anyone in the crowd at the March 3 game knows he would have gladly traded his star turn for a Kings’ win over the Blackhawks … A suggestion for anyone concerned about the flap over Fergie’s rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at last month’s NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center: every sporting event should start with a recording of the straight-up version that anthem regular Pia Toscana did before the game against the Blackhawks … Congrats to longtime Downtown News scribe Eddie Kim, who’s heading to Dollar Shave Club’s online Mel Magazine … LA. Times veteran Robin Abcarian received plenty of kudos as one of several honorees at the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ annual Distinguished Journalists Awards at the Omni Hotel on March 1. She gave the crowd of 75 or so the sense that Patrick Soon-Shiong is being viewed in the newsroom as an outright savior from current owner, Chicago-based Tronc, whose executives she called “overlords” and took to task for being part of a “death-by-a-thousand cuts” strategy for the newspaper in recent years … KPCC’s Sharon McNary was honored in the radio category, and she shed some light on the public radio station’s recent move to acquire “the dead shell of [website] LAist” for its email and social media contacts … McNary did a stint in South America in the Peace Corp, in part, she said, to learn Spanish, so she could cover “the other half” of L.A. … There’s a reminder in there that Hispanic representation might still lag the ethnic community’s numbers in all sorts of market segments in L.A.—but classical music isn’t one of them. Note the term Hispanic, not Latino. And note that Gustavo Dudamel of Venezuela is the music director of the L.A. Philharmonic; Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, a native of Equatorial Guinea, a former colony of Spain, will soon arrive as artistic director of the Los Angeles Children’s Choir; and Jaime Martín is here from Spain to lead the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. They all matter to the community of business, by the way – the competition for executive talent often comes down to quality of life, and cultural amenities such as world-class musical companies can be a factor … Sullivan Says: A recent reception to welcome Martín served as a reminder that the Colburn School on Bunker Hill remains one of the overlooked gems of the City of Angels.
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