As the Co-Founder and Advisor to Wakabayashi Fund, LLC, Mr. Stone is responsible for trading the firm’s proprietary capital. In addition to managing the Hedge fund / portfolio management, his duties include business valuation, corporate finance and institutional sponsorship. Mr. Stone originates all new investments and negotiates transaction documentation for the firm.

Throughout the 90s, Mr. Stone served with Lehman Brothers where he was First Vice President and held a seat on the Chairman’s council based on annual production, whereby Stone ranked in the top 25% of the firm. His duties at Lehman were both on the institutional and retail sides of the markets. His responsibilities included portfolio management for institutional and high-net worth individuals.

Prior to Lehman Brothers, Mr. Stone served as Senior Vice President with Prudential Securities and was appointed to the Directors Council of the Corporation Based on annual production.

Mr. Stone received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas, Austin and is currently preparing for entrance exams to pursue an MBA. He is fluent in English and currently studying Japanese.

For Further details / clarifications please contact:
Tokyo Office: 4-13-20 Mita Minato-ku Tokyo Japan 108-0073.
Phone Number: +81 03 6657 8339

New York Office: 110 Wall Street, 11th FL New York New York 10005
Phone Number: +01 914 613 3002

Website: Wakabayashi Fund LLC

 

This is my response to The Motley’s Fool post “Remember Our Friend Jeff “Wakabayashi Fund” Stone?”. I thought it’s important I get my word out on this blog.

To: Matthew Goldstein

Kevin Krolick: by Reuters

For quite some time, I have been reticent to respond to your story and negative aspersions regarding myself and my wife pertaining to the “Web Sky” civil settlement. Yet now, no longer…  I feel there is a significant injustice being done to myself and family if I don’t provide a retort due to your reckless and pathetically fact deficient indiscernible babble.

For starters, the only person I granted an interview with pertaining to this matter was yourself (Goldstein) which entailed a phone interview. Thereafter,  you sent one of your colleagues (Krolick) to my office without first obtaining an appointment – completely unannounced; a “sneaky” attribute which I am certain shared within your type of industry… deficient in decorum.

It is disturbing and dishonest  that both yourself-Goldstein as well as your colleague, Krolick assured me that the interview and “story-line” was not going to be subjective and I would be quoted verbatim in order to provide the “other side of the story” - our story which would have yielded an objective outcome;  this did not occur. In short, and for lack of better words, your distortion, your mendacity has caused us harm.

The entire article is fraught with inconsistencies- one paragraph after another. My better judgment told me I should  have recorded the interview whereby, I could have had more control over your “spew”.  Accordingly, to list the following inconsistencies and fabrications:

1.       “One-time operator of a now- defunct New York investment firm called Crescent Fund- Response: The entity never evolved into a “defunct status”  and never has been-the assets were acquired by another entity we control.

2.       “Former Greenwich, CT. residents owe U.S. regulators nearly a half-million dollars in fines and restitution for their part in a five year-old penny stock manipulation scheme”.                       Response: we are not former residents of Greenwich, CT., we are still residents. Our primary residence remains Greenwich, CT. Further: we do not “owe $500,000” in restitution and fines in a five year penny stock manipulation scheme. We disgorged and conveyed profits in stock over to the SEC that had an equivalent value of the assessment. The various stock positions depreciated over time and  at the point the SEC got around to liquidating. The contract activity between our firm and the client project involving this SEC civil case transpired for 6 months-not five years.

3.       Referring to your comment referencing-my retort: “They’ll have to beat it out of me and that I have no intention of ever paying the U.S. regulators who secured a civil judgment against Stone and his wife in Jan. 2009, referring to them with an expletive involving “mothers…”

Response: That is not what I said-you contorted my words – I said they would have to pull it from my clutched fist with respect to paying any “additional money” and I did not refer to “them”  as “mothers…”, I referred to them as “nefarious cock suckers”.

4.       Your inference that  I make “no apologies for raking in more than $ 1 million from the sale of shares of Websky, a tiny San Francisco broadband company. Further,  referencing that regulators call the Stone’s scheme classic “pump and dump” charging that they artificially drove up the price of the stock by issuing spam emails to prospective investors and then unloaded millions of shares”.

Response: Your “sleuthing” has provided you with fragmented data. And again, you choose to “deep-throat” everything you hear or read or rather, what the SEC purports. More specifically, we purchased this stock in a 504 offering and transferred our funds; thereby, taking a risk by doing so. If we choose to take profits in a stock that has appreciated in value which this position did by up to 800-1000%, it is our business!  It is our prerogative and “market-acceptable right” - we bought this stock and paid for it as well as rendered legitimate services. Furthermore, you infer that we sold the stock to unsuspecting “windows and orphans”- this is pure babble. We do not deal with retail investors-individual investors. We sold our position to Qualified Purchasers-sophisticated institutional investors that had done their research prior to purchasing and had due diligence contact with management of WebSky.

In the interest of fairness though, we were retained to help provide consulting services for fund raising and market sponsorship which we did but only to institutional investors. We do not communicate our flow to the retail public as you constantly infer. We direct our communication largely to the institutional “buy-side” industry. So, the classic phrase of “pump and dump” used by the SEC and scholastically deficient is a misnomer. I assume you could apply the same context to an investor or Investment Banking firm that bought Facebook at $17 and sold at $38; (or purchase at $17 with a run to $38 and revert back to $17 level) simultaneously,  providing Investment Banking consulting advice-could also be construed as “pump and dump”… this is an exhausted, nebulous and accusatory indicting phrase which should be removed from regulatory arsenal.

5.       Another prevarication on your part- You indicated my wife sat for 2 hrs. of questioning in an SEC deposition while having to take care of an infant less than a year old.

Response: In fact, it lasted for approximately 8-9 hrs. Get your facts straight or rather, ask the attorney for the SEC to stop garbling the truth - as this is where you most likely received this info. Better yet, refer to the court reporter in order to provide you an accurate accounting of the time spent – the tape will provide an accurate occurrence of time. Additionally, my wife goes by Diller-Stone not Dillerstone.

6.       Another inaccuracy- “The Stone’s operated Crescent out of a so-called virtual office on Wall Street paying about $ 100 a month to a company that answered phone calls and collected mail for them. 

Response: “ We have rented the space for 12 years” and the Executive service structure we utilize in the building has been able to modify our growth and contraction during this time frame.  Additionally, your cost metric is off exponentially.

Either you are too indolent with respect to doing your homework or you are just another reckless journalist with a dark soul intent to gurgitate a story regardless of the impact it has on people. If you continue this practice, you should either be removed as an employee of your firm or alternatively, endure a swift combat boot right up your ass by the next guy you try to tear apart. If it were not illegal, I would oblige you.

7.       You also reference that there was a “ruling” in the WebSky case and that U.S. District Judge Harold Baer said he was “wary” about some of my wife’s representations”.

Response: I do not understand why you are not aware that this case was a settled civil case and did not go to court whereby, there was an agreement to settle with neither  “admit or deny”? Meaning, there was no comment from the Judge-either in our favor or the SEC. It was an agreement involving two parties - only signatures not commentary nor courtroom discussion.

Lastly, to avoid any further confusion, I founded the firm- act as an Advisor and along with other partners in the firm provide directive. Further, my regulatory history is a personal matter-meaning, it is my business. However, if people want to inquire and engage in the media sensasionalism, it is there prerogative and is “public record”. We have a real franchise, mechanism to help these small, obscure, illiquid micro-cap companies move from point A-B- execute their business plan properly and within industry standards. If an entity chooses not to do business with me due to my purported “regulatory inconsistencies”, then that too, is their prerogative and I wholeheartedly understand. Either way, I do not need a job.  On the other hand, it is unfortunate that there remains a significant base of folks that choose to “deep-throat” everything they read or hear that the regulatory bodies espouse and make public-media-yourself  included.  It is scholastically deficient and the mere fact that the SEC (in many instances, not all) has such a history of turning something  which started out nice to ugly should be pondered more closely and a stop imposed.

To bring this dark and ugly matter to an end - at least for me, I feel incumbent to expound on my initial regulatory infraction that resulted in an SEC charge-it is a matter of public record. Everyone knows it is out there. This matter has resulted in the SEC referring to me as a “recidivist” – an unfortunate tag that I endure. It is what it is but, in order to illuminate the terrain and provide  maximum clarity on the event, I will give you the other side of the story and in the process, could careless who may or may not believe what I profess…

16 years ago, 1997, I was involved with a business colleague which ran a small Investment Banking boutique separate from my firm. Both of our firms raised capital and brought companies public. To make a long story short, this gentlemen I refer to became a target for prosecution for securities violations sanctioned by the SEC.  Upon a forensic accounting into the dealings and transactions of his firm, I was contacted by Federal authorities and questioned regarding my relationship and transactions with his firm.  Within minutes, I  was asked to be a government witness against this man… I refused. He and his family had grown to be close friends.  I was not about to “rat”, or “inform” (regardless of vernacular) on a friend.  It is not something I would do to anyone-friend or foe as I do not possess that type of internal make up.

What ensued thereafter, is “par” for the course when dealing with dishonest cretins within the government…  there were 2 agents that enunciated clearly that I was not a “target” but that they needed my help and if I did not assist them in order to “nab their man”, they would orchestrate “collateral damage” and cause me grief.  In the end, I would not relent and they fulfilled their threat, thereby, charging me for “commingling” funds and labeling it as wire fraud by taking a loan from my friend which made an investment into my brokerage operation. More specifically, to expound further, during this time, I formally raised capital and was in the process of building out my operation from a 20 man brokerage -100 man operation.  This colleague I mention above executed a subscription agreement and became an equity partner.  What the government failed to mention in their public postings is that I paid back every penny of  investor money based on performance. Succintly,  I have never taken a dime from anyone nor would I.

My explanation nor side of the story matters not at this point… I continue almost daily dealing with the stigma and ugliness of it all – no one forgets and I am not complaining – I am fairly a clinical guy. It is what it is…

The moral however is:

If you find yourself in the “cross-hairs” of the Govt., know this – cooperate at any cost because it matters not who you are nor how much money you have or who you know, you cannot prevail against a “stacked-deck”. These guys “control all of the marbles” and have the wherewithal to contort and twist an outcome.

This is my side of the story.

Logo Design Process: An Overview

In creating a logo design, the designer must follow a process to determine how to start and end the task. It is important to know every detail and information needed in creating a logo. This process, if done in an organized manner, will help make the work less time-consuming, less costly, and less-exhausting.

Setting aside the technical and specific details, the process of creating a logo design follows a series of general steps.  If you stick to the logical sequence of these steps, you can somehow ensure that you are following an organized process that can help you follow through your objectives.

Problem and goal identification. Before starting a project, you must know what the problem and goals are that the client wants to achieve. Conduct an interview with the client to know what is on their mind.

Get to know the company. Understand what is in the company. Know their history and their vision, their focused consumers, the industry where the company belongs, and their competitors. This will help you provide an idea on how to start with designing the logo.

Get an inspiration. Research about the popular logo designs and the current styles that are being used and are related to the company.

Creating a concept and sketching. Drawing a potential logo design on a paper is a start. It will be pointless to directly create the design on the computer because it will only take time especially if you pretty much give attention to the details.

Getting feedback. While in the process of sketching, ask your clients for feedback.  Ask them if they agree with your ideas from time to time. Also take time to improve and expand your ideas.

Rendering it digitally. Once you have set your mind on what the logo will look like, that will be the time you create it on the computer, polish it, and pay close attention to the details.

Presenting your output. Present your work to your clients. Show to them the best creations or the whole collection for the clients to choose. Though, it is better to show only those logo samples that you think are best. Ask for any improvement and feedback.

Putting final touches. After the client has chosen, make a final revision with your design.  Make sure you incorporate the suggestions and recommendations that your client gave.

It is necessary to always let your clients participate at every change or steps you make to the logo design. Inform them regularly of your progress. Through this, you will be able to build their trust, confidence and rapport. Always remember that pleasing your clients is also part of the job.

By: Paul Adrian Gonzalez

Source: Articlebase.com

Service Sector Grows More Quickly in July

By TALI ARBEL, AP Business Writer Tali Arbel, Ap Business Writer

NEW YORK – Growth in the U.S. service sector picked up in July, according to a trade group’s survey, in a good sign for the overall economy and the job market.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday its service-sector index rose to 54.3 last month, up from 53.8 in June. Economists had expected a pullback to 53 for July.

Levels above 50 signal growth. July was the seventh straight month of expansion.

The index shows service companies have been expanding every month this year, but at a less robust pace than the manufacturing sector. They are more dependent on consumer spending, which has grown only modestly because unemployment remains near 10 percent.

The slow recovery in the service sector this year had put a damper on overall hiring, since it accounts for about 80 percent of U.S. employment. Service jobs include those in hospitals, shops, restaurants, airlines, banks and consulting firms.

July’s report suggested improvement. The index showed businesses reported that new orders, an indicator of future business, grew faster last month. A measure of hiring expectations also expanded in July for only the second time since December 2007, when the recession began. It had ticked slightly over 50 in May before shrinking to 49.7 in June. The July reading was 50.9.

At that level, the hiring index typically corresponds to monthly increases of nearly 100,000 private-sector jobs, said Capital Economics analyst Paul Ashworth.

Economists expect that the economy lost 65,000 jobs in July because the federal government fired employees who had been hired temporarily as Census workers, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. Private-sector payrolls would rise by about 100,000 in July, predicted Ryan Wang, an economist with HSBC, about the same pace of job growth from earlier this year, on average. The private sector added 593,000 jobs in the first six months of the year.

Private-sector employers added 42,000 net jobs during July, according to payrolls processor ADP, which releases a monthly employment survey.

This summer, other economic reports have signaled weakening trends in the housing sector, manufacturing and consumer spending. The weaker data have triggered fears that the pace of hiring might slow, said Wang. The ISM data also suggest that hiring is “at least holding steady,” he said.

Wednesday’s ISM report helps reassure that the economy is not going to go back into recession, economists said.

Some business are finally seeing strong growth return. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., which provides consulting and information technology outsourcing, on Tuesday posted big gains in net income and revenue in the second quarter as corporate customers restarted projects that had been on hold during the recession. It said it added 3,200 jobs to its payrolls during the quarter, an increase in its workforce of nearly 4 percent.

Still, many other companies remain wary. Those businesses responding to ISM’s survey showed “cautious optimism about business conditions,” said Anthony Nieves, who oversees the ISM’s service sector survey.

Office supply chain OfficeMax Inc. said Tuesday that it expected small declines in sales for the year as the economic recovery is slower than company executives had expected. Grocer Safeway Inc. in July lowered its profit forecast for the year, saying it doesn’t expect supermarket prices to increase until the fourth quarter because shoppers remain frugal.

Of the 18 industries ISM surveyed, 13 reported growth in July, led by real estate and the arts and entertainment sectors. Construction and utilities were the biggest of four industries saying they shrank last month. Companies providing professional and scientific services said they saw no net change in growth.