PropPoint officially opened its doors in Santa Monica on March 7 to assist real estate investors with Tenant-in-Common (TIC) 1031 exchanges, which are so named because section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code allows property owners to defer taxes on the sale of their property under certain circumstances. Ryan Bristol, chief executive officer, said, “PropPoint was founded to [provide] education and access to TIC 1031 exchange real estate investment opportunities.” Bristol was a regional director of SCI Real Estate Investments in Los Angeles after positions at Goldman Sachs, the Investment Management division of Morgan Stanley, and the Private Bank of Bank of America. Also on PropPoint’s management team are co-founders Gregory Lampert, president, and Brett Voris, chief marketing officer. www.PropPoint.com Interscope Geffen A&M (“IGA”), a Santa Monica based unit of Universal Music Group, has named Step Johnson as President of Urban Music. Mr. Johnson, a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans in the early 1970s, worked with ABC Records in New Orleans, moved to A&M in Los Angeles in 1981, and was appointed Sr. VP and General Manager of Urban Music at Capital Records in the mid-1980s, where he worked until joining IGA in 1992. “Step Johnson has been an enormous part of Interscope’s success from the beginning,” said IGA Chairman Jimmy Iovine.BTC Elements on March 15, 2006 opened a new online store from its Wilshire Boulevard office in Santa Monica. The store sells clothing, accessories, home furnishings, and beauty products that it promotes as being “earth friendly and fairly traded products that are also functional and stylish.” Before starting the company, founder Summer Bowen was a full-time humanities teacher who had studied sociology and conservation and resource studies at UC Berkeley. The firm’s name is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s statement, “You must Be The Change you wish to see in the world.” www.btcelements.com Dimensional Fund Advisors, Inc. of Santa Monica, an investment advisor registered with the Securities Exchange Commission, has this month launched four new equity funds. Three of these are designed to offer total market diversification while seeking to capture the return premiums associated with small cap and value stocks by weighting securities across asset classes; the fourth is designed for investors seeking more concentrated exposure to the small cap and value risk dimensions. David Booth, co-founder and CEO, said the company, founded in 1981, has “sought to add value relative to traditional benchmarks by targeting key risk factors with greater precision . . .” The firm and its affiliates have offices in Chicago, London, Sydney, and Vancouver, in addition to its Santa Monica headquarters. www.dimensional.com Bryan Spaulding has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Architecture at Movielink, an online video-on-demand (VOD) movie download service in Santa Monica, where he will be advancing technology strategy and defining architecture for new product development initiatives. “Bryan has an extraordinary ability to shape cutting-edge technology to the distinct desires of both consumers and content owners, producing robust solutions,” said Movielink CEO Jim Ramo. A Stanford graduate, Mr. Spaulding was VP, Technology, Digital Distribution at Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment before coming to Movielink. The download service is owned and operated by Movielink, LLC, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros. Movielink: www.movielink.comNeven Vision, headquartered in Santa Monica with sales offices in Japan, Germany, and the U.K., announced that its biometrics face recognition software has been adopted by NTT DoCoMo mobile communications company to enhance the privacy and security of transactions and personal data on cell phones. Neven’s software enables automated authorization of cell phone users by comparing registered facial images with the face captured by the phone’s camera. www.nevenvision.com UMe Digital of Santa Monica, which bills itself as “the world’s first digital major label,” announced that one of its newly signed artists, Wild Colonials, will be presented in a quarterly series of single/EP releases rather than the traditional full-length album format. “This marks the first time a series of quarterly digital EP releases for one artist has been offered by any major label,” said UMe (as in Universal Music Enterprises). www.umedig.com
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