Talk of the bay

By Times Staff writer
Published February 20, 2007

Cryo-Cell's move to quell dissent just stirs it up

Cryo-Cell International Inc.'s board changed the Oldsmar company's bylaws and meeting rules in mid December to mute shareholder dissent. Turns out the effort just riled them up. Andrew Filipowski and Matthew Roszak, two North Carolina investors who hold 6.2 percent of the company, urged Cryo-Cell's directors last month to retract its actions or face an opposition slate at the next annual meeting. David Portnoy of Bal Harbour, who represents 12 percent of Cryo-Cell's shareholders, voiced much the same concern about the board's behavior and "excessive management compensation" in a letter to the company in late January. Both shareholders invited Cryo-Cell's board to discuss their concerns; at last word, both are waiting for a response.

Network with your bathing suit on

Most networking meetings don't ask you to bring a bathing suit. But this is not like most networking meetings. Free Networking International, a bay area group, is hosting a "Business EXCEL-eration Networking Cruise" aboard Carnival's Inspiration, above. The cruise, from Tampa to Cozumel, leaves Thursday and returns Monday. About 40 people are signed up. The cruise costs about $300 per person, plus $100 for sessions with five speakers. To register, e-mail Sheryl Nicholson at Sheryl@Sheryl.com">href="mailto:Sheryl@Sheryl.com" mce_href="mailto:Sheryl@Sheryl.com">Sheryl@Sheryl.com or visit www.carnival.com. The cruise is a first for the networking group, but not the last: Free Networking is planning a cruise to China in September.

We're not flipping over flipping now

In Florida's housing market, flipping has flopped. Dreams of turning a fast profit mostly squashed in the down market, home speculators are operating at their lowest level in more than three years. Flipping, defined as selling a house within six months of purchase, peaked in third quarter 2005. In Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties, flipping represented up to 9 percent of home sales in late 2005, but 3 percent at the end of 2006. The stats, from HomeSmartReports.com, highlight what you probably know: It's unwise to flip in a dip.

Raymond James produces producers

Raymond James Financial says its million-dollar producers have nearly tripled in the past five years. In fiscal 2001, the company's two U.S. brokerages had 45 brokers who generated at least $1-million in fees and commissions. Last year, there were 126, or one out of every 34 brokers. Of course, a better-performing stock market helped.