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Win One for the Old Broker

The best players in Los Angeles’ securities industry aren’t jumping through hoops. They’re aiming at them. On March 19, West Coast offices of several investment firms will compete in a tournament to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

The Wall Street West Basketball Challenge--to be held at the Great Western Forum--is modeled after a benefit in New York. Companies scheduled to field teams include Bateman Eichler, Hill Richards; Dean Witter Reynolds; Kidder Peabody; Morgan Stanley, and Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Some of the companies are taking the competition seriously. At Bateman Eichler, a 6-foot-8 employee in Anchorage who played college ball plans to try out. But he will be up against about 25 other hopefuls competing for three roster positions.

“We’re talking about a pretty competitive environment here,” says Sulfiati Magnuson of Bateman Eichler. “These guys like to win.”

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Marshalls Minds the Store

Marshalls, the nation’s largest off-price clothing chain, has taken a small step toward solving a big problem: finding a talented pool of retailers to run its fast-growing network of stores.

On a visit late last month to Los Angeles, Francis H. Arnone, Marshalls’ president and chief executive, formally agreed to sponsor a retailing internship at Cal State Los Angeles. Students selected for the program would be paid while getting on-the-job training and, in some cases, would qualify for a scholarship.

“We want manpower to come and run these stores,” Arnone said, adding that the program is “a way to reach out to minorities.” Arnone, a former chairman of the Broadway department store chain, now lives in the Boston area, where Marshalls is based. But clearly he’s still partial to California, where Marshalls has 46 stores and more than 4,000 employees. Plans call for opening 17 more stores in the state by the end of next year.

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MBA for Couch Potatoes

Would you hire an MBA who learned his stuff from the comfort of his couch?

A Colorado university and a major cable television firm have joined forces to offer a select group of Californians--among 4 million residents of 29 other states--the chance to earn a Master of Business Administration degree without leaving their living rooms. Beginning this fall, Colorado State University’s 20-year-old MBA program will be available through Mind Extension University, a cable-TV service of Jones International.

In the Southland, cable systems serving Oxnard and the Palmdale-Lancaster area will carry the program.

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Cable students will receive credit from Colorado State; actual MBA classes at the school will be videotaped to give students the benefit of classroom questions and answers. Assignments will be handled by mail, and students can call a toll-free number to talk to professors.

In Search of a Good Meal

When Californians let their fingers do the walking, it’s often because their stomachs are growling.

California residents look up restaurants more than any other category in their Yellow Pages directories, according to a survey of 7,000 households around the state. The survey was conducted by the San Francisco-based National Yellow Pages Monitor.

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A total of 7.6% of all consumer use of Yellow Pages directories was to look up restaurants, the report said. That was followed by airlines, with 3.5%, and physicians and surgeons, with 2.8%.

Also listed in the top 10: auto repair, beauty salons and pizza parlors.


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