California Refinance
Golden State Finance News

Three senior finance executives have been announced by Banc of California, which will head the Company’s Office of Finance. The names of executives are as followed; Brian Kuelbs as Chief Investment Officer, James McKinney as Chief Finance Officer and J. Francisco A. Turner as Chief Strategy Officer.


Steven Sugarman said that, ‘“We continue to experience substantial growth in assets and profitability’. Chief Executive Officer of Banc of California and Chairman, supported positive achievements made to reach future plans accordingly. Both California management and board would equally be committed in the enhancement of financial, analytical and strategically capabilities.


The three declared names of finance executives do play a significant role, in order to persistently keep the mission thriving. These three senior executives would certainly perform their duties of responsibilities individually. ‘Brain Kuelbs’, the Chief Investment Officer, would be responsible for Company’s execution and level of capital allocation strategy. The responsibility over capital market, secondary market, balance sheet management and corporate treasury also falls under Brain authorities. He offered services as a CEO, Managing Director of Capital Markets, President and Founder of GMAC Mortgage Asset Management Inc. He’s also appointed as a part of Company’s wholly owned subsidiary. Earlier, Brian served at Aurora Bank FSB; and EVP and GMAC Bank, as a Chief financial and investment Officer.


‘James McKinney’, the Chief Finance Officer, would be responsible for financial analytics, tax, accounting, financial and regulatory reporting. He holds B.S. degree in Computer Science and Economics. Previously, James held valuable positions at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, KPMG and RBS Asset Finance as, Controller and Principal Accounting Officer and Vice President.


‘J. Francisco A. Turner,’ the Chief Strategy Officer, would take in the responsibility of mergers and acquisitions, investor relations and capital offerings, strategic planning and corporate financial planning. Mr. Turner is occupied with A.B from Harvard University and his career began at Spectrum Equity Investors and Robertson Stephens. Previously, he served as a helper in leading the Company’s acquisition of Banco Popular’s California branch network. He also served as a Managing Director in Financial Institutions Bank.  


The Banc of California is currently operating over 100 offices in West and California. It provides the complete package of banking services to California’s homeowners, entrepreneurs and private businesses. It is a company holding finance under the supervision of Federal Reserve Board. It is charted by the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, whereas its stocks deal in Comptroller of the Currency under ticker BANC.


According to press release statements, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 is the center of attraction involving forward-looking statements (Safe-Harbor provisions) to come along. The forward-looking statements would be mandatory, in terms of both risk and uncertainty. On the basis of various factors, there is a possibility of discreet actual results, highlighting Securities and Exchange Commission in association with filed documents by Banc of California; Inc. Depending on both forward-looking Statements and Banc of California, Inc. shouldn’t be your priority, as they do not take obligation of reflecting circumstances.   


The state’s largest public pension plan has been suspected of wildly overestimating how much money their investments would earn, which would put the pressure on taxpayers to make up the difference. And now that fear has come true.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, is reconsidering and restrategizing, and state taxpayers will likely be the ones to cover the costs of their mistake. This week, the board could potentially approve a plan that would lower their earlier estimate of 7.5% earnings on investments to just 6.5% gradually over a period of time.

It’s not much of a jump, but to the taxpayers it’ll be a significant (and costly) leap.

This change to CalPERS’ plan means that if your salary is around $100,000, then at the current CalPERS rate of 7.5%, taxpayers are paying about $47,000 for your pension fund. But with the lowered CalPERS rate of 6.5%, taxpayers will start having to pay about $68,000. That’s more than a 40% increase for taxpayers.

CalPERS has designed their plan to work gradually enough to make less jarring to taxpayers, but the issue that raises anger from California residents is the gross overestimation of earnings that the group claimed for too long.

“They’ve been able to convince a lot of people things are OK when they aren’t,” said a professor at Stanford’s Institute for Policy Research, Joe Nation. “[CalPERS] has understated pension debt dramatically.”

The change to the estimations won’t happen in any noticeable way for years. It’s designed to make the transition slowly to acclimate taxpayers to footing the bill for pension costs. It could take up to 20 years to reach the new estimate of 6.5%.  Some experts even believe that the new estimate of 6.5% is overly optimistic, and that CalPERS is trying to make their miscalculations seem less pronounced.

This shift in CalPERS’ plans could signal similar changes to be made to government pension plans around the U.S. CalPERS is the largest pension plan of its kind, covering more than 1.7 million employees and retirees of the California government, and other groups have looked to it as a financial barometer, and will likely follow suit in readjusting their estimated earnings.

While the shift is less than good news, experts agree it’s better for CalPERS and similar plans to announce these more-accurate estimates rather than continuing to misinform taxpayers about the realistic costs of pensions in the U.S.

At this moment, CalPERS estimates that they’re about $117 billion in debt for pensions that are already owed to the government employees they cover in the state of California. That debt amount could dip even further to $178 billion owed with the new estimation rate of 6.5%.

In response to the increasing costs paid to CalPERS, California government agencies have already begun to lay off government workers like highway patrol officers and are cutting back on government-funded public services like libraries.

SeaWorld is in serious trouble. The chain of theme parks owned by the corporate entity SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has been struggling with sagging revenue and declining attendance every since 2013. In that year, the documentary Blackfish was released to the public. In the film, the park’s mistreatment of killer whales was exposed for audiences around the world. The filmmakers documented numerous exploitative tactics used by the parks to kidnap baby whales from their mothers and then exploit them for their entire lives all to keep people coming to the parks for the financial benefit of the company. Since the documentary release, animal rights activists have boycotted the company and have even protested outside of their theme parks in California and around the country.

Now, SeaWorld is trying to rebrand itself as an “entertainment company” in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Part of the plan includes building a hotel on park premises. Transforming SeaWorld into a resort is an obvious business move for Chief Executive Joel Manby. He called it a “very proven model” of business, one that he hopes will overshadow the company’s poor treatment of its killer whales. Room rates in resorts and hotel properties on park premises around the country in places like Disney World are often two or three times higher than immediately outside park grounds.

As part of the plan, SeaWorld will partner with a proven hotel operator with a long history of hotel management in southern California. The San Diego resort will be run by Evans Hotels. The company already operates two Mission Bay resorts near SeaWorld. By operating a third on park grounds, they will have the market power to set monopoly level room rates the immediate area.

Experts expect the hotel to only be 2 to 3 stories tall, but to cost as much as $60 million to $80 million to construct. There is no specific design yet, but real estate attorneys have indicated that any plan for an additional structure will require approval from the city. That process will likely bring out animal rights advocates, who will use it as a platform to advocate for better treatment of animals. For its part, SeaWorld claims that building the hotel will help the company diversify away from animal shows and into other fields like hotel and resort entertainment. Leisure industry insider Bob Boyd is not so sure that the park can turn a corner. He notes “With the growth of the Internet, which has made minority voices louder than they normally would be, there is a good percentage of the population that doesn’t like SeaWorld having orcas in captivity. And if they see SeaWorld on the hotel name, they won’t go there.” Hedge Fund Manager Vito Brown believes that the anti captivity voice may not be a minority at all. “The entire brand is built on the mistreatment of Orcas and no hotel will turn that around. Most Americans will not put up with that kind of animal abuse, which is why I am short on SeaWorld for the foreseeable future.”


California hasn’t always received a lot of attention for its financial responsibility, but it looks like there’s one area where Californians shine – student debt. One ranking places California as the state with the second-lowest student debt levels at graduation, trailing only New Mexico. So just what is the state doing to keep educational costs manageable?

Cal Grants

Every California high school senior knows about Cal Grants. But what those who are lucky enough to receive them may not know is that their counterparts in other states generally aren’t so lucky.

California’s Cal Grants system pays up to the full cost of systemwide tuition and fees at public universities in the state, including within the UC and CSU systems, and up to a certain dollar amount ($9,084) at many private schools in the state.

These grants are there to help specifically low and middle income students in the state, and they’re working. While tuition at California state schools rose 128% over the past decade, student debt rose only 43%. Compare that the 56% increase in student debt nationwide, and California is faring better than many other states.

Cal Grants also don’t exclude students from receiving need-based money from the state, school, or private organizations, meaning that they leave more financial opportunities open for students.

The California School Systems

Cal Grants aren’t the only thing keeping student loan debt rates low for California college students. 4 out of 5 students in California opt to attend a public college or university. The dual public university system, with both CSUs and UCs available to students, greatly increases the number of universities that can take students while simultaneously offering a broader accessibility spectrum to students of all means and academic histories.

Universities such as UC Berkley and UCLA allow illustrious education to be sought at a fraction of the cost of comparable private universities, while on the other end students can seek to transfer to a 4 year university or complete a technical degree or certificate from some of the best nationally ranked community and city colleges in the nation.

California’s comprehensive university system affords students at all levels more opportunities, which has the distinct advantage of keeping students away from heavy debt-inducing for-profit universities.

None of this is to say that student loan debt isn’t a problem in California. While less than the national average, in 2013 California residents were still graduating with over $20,000 in student loan debt, a number that will still be difficult to manage for many, especially in the early stages of their careers.

California’s approach does show that there’s something that can be done about managing student debt on a state level, though, and that the solution can be proactive instead of reactive. It is by no means a perfect system, but it’s one that’s working to a visible degree for one of the largest student markets in the nation, and that is something worth noting.

The year 2015 has undoubtedly had its fair share of investment downturns and upturns. While some investors calculatedly strategized and made promising moves that ultimately minted millions of dollars, others proceeded to make losses from poor moves — and cannot wait for the year to end already.

So, what did the former group do that the latter hasn’t? What are some of the best investment ideas and strategies that have yielded excellent results by the end of the year? And where did the latter group possibly go wrong? To help you comprehend these contrasting extremes, here are some of the best and worst investment ideas of 2015:

Best Investment Ideas


As previously predicted by many industry experts, including Charlie Morris — the HSBC Global Asset Management head of absolute returns — the industry has indeed made phenomenal gains throughout the year. As businesses boosted their spending on tech solutions due to increased enterprise tech demand, tech businesses, including service providers, continued making increased profits — which in turn, reflected in their share prices and returns. Zendesk Inc for instance, has enjoyed stock price increment rate of more than 200% since last year’s IPO.


Companies like Synageva, BioPharma, Horizon Pharma, and Heron Therapeutics have demonstrated just how good pharmaceutical investments have been in 2015. After Synageva developed Kanuma, a fatty liver drug that’s currently being reviewed by the FDA, Alexion acquired it for $8 billion — a move that subsequently saw its shares increase 157%  through the year. Horizon Pharma, on the other hand, made stock gains of 144% while Heron Therapeutics pulled a 200% gain courtesy of a drug that eliminates nausea resulting from chemotherapy.



The woes in the oil industry began last year when panic spread among investors following the collapse of oil prices. Although it was hoped that the trend would be short-lived, it subsequently spread to 2015, and oil prices plummeted even further. As consumers continue rejoicing, investors have been counting their losses. Offshore drilling contractor Transocean is one of the companies that have been significantly affected. Along with other companies like Denbury Resources, the S&P 500 enterprise has seen a stock price decline of over 45%. 

Oil companies suffering losses can get back on their feet with title loan refinance.

Selected Stocks

The stock market has experienced mixed results this year. While some stocks that tremendously shot up are still soaring high, others have been on a sharp decline the past couple of months. Micron technologies, for instance, has gone through a drop of 45% due to what experts term as “reduced demand for personal computers.” Zulily, on the other hand, has seen a 47% drop, from a high of $23.40 in January to $12.40, which is in fact, an improvement from a low of $9.9.

Although these are reportedly the best and worst investments, the final decision lies on you, the investor. Do a comprehensive analysis of the respective investment variables and consult widely from experienced investors before placing your money on any of the ideas.

Equal pay for equal work isn’t a novel concept. It’s been on the minds of working class women since the late 19th century, and it’s been addressed multiple times in law here in the US and even by international human rights law. Despite over a century of attention and multiple pieces of legislation, in 2014 the average American woman made $0.79 per dollar made a male worker in the same role.

California has decided that this isn’t ok. Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 to give women and men equal pay, the first such measure in the state since 1949 and the strongest currently in place in the nation. But what does this new act mean for businesses?

What Businesses Need To Know

The law goes in to effect January 1, 2016, and there’s the potential for some major legal implications. The new “substantially similar work” standard is going to be of key importance as companies gear up to deal with the law’s implementation. Previously, the equal pay statue prohibited employers from paying employees of the opposite sex less for equal work within the same establishment. The new Act extends that sentiment to state that an employer is prohibited from paying employees of the opposite sex lower wages for “substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.”

This means that the matter is no longer limited in scope to looking simply at the employer’s pay distribution. Employees thought to experience pay discrimination based on gender can now look at comparables across their industry for male and female workers performing the same or substantially similar roles to make their case. In all cases, it’s up to the company to demonstrate that the inequity is based on a “bona fide factor other than gender.” The Act, however, makes no mention of what such a factor may be. Employees also do not have to exhaust any potential administrative remedies before beginning legal action.

The Act also demands more transparency of employers, prohibiting them from enacting rules, policies, or otherwise engaging in conduct that would prevent employees from disclosing their own wages. Hand-in-hand with this, employers must maintain records of employees’ “wages and rates of pay, job classification, and other terms and conditions of employment” for a three-year period.

What To Do In Advance

Corporate attorneys are suggesting preemptive examinations of a company’s pay scale in order to probe for any potential issues of pay equity. If inequities exist, a business needs to begin looking for the root cause of the matter and if not based on a bona fide factor, internal policies and practices should be put up for immediate review and revision.

It’s advisable for companies to seek out legal assistance in this review process to have guidance interpreting the law and how current practices comply with or violate it. Having counsel on hand as the law is enacted could spare a considerable amount of grief come January.