Business news roundup: APT gets investment from Goldman

June 27, 2013
Business services
APT gets infusion of cash from Goldman

Ballston-based Applied Predictive Technologies has received a $100 million minority investment from Goldman Sachs that might be one of the largest Washington area technology investments this year.

The investment was made through the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs, according to a statement released Thursday.

APT’s computer software crunches massive amounts of data to help Subway, Wells Fargo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and other clients understand how best to price, sell and market their products.

APT is known among colleges and universities for its aggressive recruitment of high-
performing technology students at top schools. Recruits often receive signing bonuses and six-
figure salaries. Some seniors even get chocolate, food or fruit packages from their future employer during final exams.

The company was founded in 1999 by Chairman Jim Manzi, formerly of MIT and Bell Labs, chief executive Anthony Bruce, formerly of Morgan Stanley and McKinsey, and Managing Director Scott Setrakian, formerly of Strategic Planning Associates.


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APT’s has offices in San Francisco, London and Taipei, Taiwan, in addition to its Ballston headquarters.

— Thomas Heath

Regulation
SEC nominees back shift in settlements

Two U.S. Senate staff members nominated to join the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that they support the agency’s new plan to seek admissions of wrongdoing in some of its settlements.

SEC Republican nominee Michael Piwowar and Democratic nominee Kara Stein spoke of their views about SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s new settlement policy during their confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.

White’s new policy, announced last week, marks a shift from the SEC’s traditional practice of routinely letting most defendants settle cases without admitting or denying the charges.

While that practice will continue, White said that the SEC will try to extract admissions in select cases in which there is widespread investor harm, egregious intentional misconduct or attempts to thwart an SEC investigation.

Piwowar works under the Senate banking committee’s ranking Republican, Mike Crapo of Idaho, as the committee’s chief economist. Stein is a staffer for Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.).

Piwowar and Stein faced no opposition from lawmakers during Thursday’s hearing. The committee and the full Senate are expected to move fairly quickly to confirm them. A committee aide said the panel may vote on the nominees as soon as July.

If confirmed, they will replace Republican SEC Commissioner Troy Paredes and Democrat Elisse Walter.

— Reuters

Also in Business

l  Nike, the world’s largest athletic shoe and clothing company, announced a 22 percent increase in fourth-quarter profits, with strength in North America offsetting weakness in Europe and China. The company said Thursday that it earned $668 million in the three-month period that ended May 31. That compares with $549 million in the year-ago period. Revenue increased 7 percent, to $6.7 billion from $6.24 billion. The Nike brand revenue was higher in running, basketball and men’s and women’s training products, offsetting slight declines in sportswear, action sports and soccer.

l  U.S. Bank and a non-bank partner will refund about $6.5 million to U.S. military personnel because of auto lending practices that regulators said were deceptive, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday. U.S. Bank and its partner, Dealers’ Financial Services of Lexington, Ky., failed to properly disclose all of the fees associated with auto loans made through a program targeted at military personnel, the bureau said. It said it would not require either company to pay a civil penalty, in part because they cooperated with the investigation.

l  European Union governments and lawmakers reached agreement on the bloc’s seven-year budget, as the continent’s economic crisis forced the first spending cuts in E.U. history. Leaders of the European Parliament accepted a $1.3 trillion subsidies package for 2014-20 as long as the governments allow some spending to be shifted between annual budgets. The amount is $44 billion less than that of the current budget cycle. The deal still requires approval from the parliament and from individual member states. The parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, said a vote would take place next week.

l  The head of the last U.S. agency reviewing SoftBank’s bid for control of U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Nextel recommended approval of the $21.6 billion deal. Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairman Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, asked her two fellow commissioners to vote on the transaction, the agency said in an e-mailed statement.

l  Carnival Cruise Lines is saying bon voyage to Norfolk. The company said that, beginning in November, it is moving the Carnival Glory to Miami. It was the cruise line’s only ship seasonally home-ported in Norfolk.Carnival will not deploy any of its ships from Norfolk next year, a spokesman told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

— From news services

Coming Today

l  9:55 a.m.: Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for June released.

l  Earnings: BlackBerry.

housing
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