Early in January RBC Capital Markets closed a deal to buy Carlin Financial Group, which has its technology team on Princeton-Hightstown Road in the Dataram complex. This operation, formerly called Carlin Equities Corp., has doubled its space, expanding to 12,000 square feet.
RBC Carlin is a broker dealer known for its direct market access trading system, a front-end trading system designed for institutional and professional traders and hedge fund managers. Trading more than 30 million shares a day, its execution platform is claimed to be among the fastest on Wall Street.
RBC Carlin is a division of RBC Capital Markets, the corporate and investment banking arm of RBC. A member of the NYSE and NASD, RBC Carlin has from 170 to 200 employees, most of them in its New York office.
In 2003, Upendra Shah, now a managing director at RBC Carlin, opened the application development unit in Princeton with 15 people in 2,500 square feet at Jefferson Plaza.
“One of the reasons was obviously, to save money on rent,” says Shah, “but we also had people who lived right around here. Quality of life is definitely one of the emphases when I hire. People give up their commute to start here.”
Shah is a native of Gujarat, India. His family migrated to New York in 1978, and he worked with his father in a small business. He graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1983 and worked as an engineer, first at Bridge Data, and then on Wall Street, joining Carlin in 1997.
RBC Carlin’s customers are broker dealers, institutional managers, and hedge fund managers. “We connect into the exchanges, take the market data and display it, and when the client clicks, the message goes out of our system into the exchange,” Shah explains.
“We are on a growth path,” says Shah, who expects to hire from 20 to 50 people for jobs in programming, quality assurance, product support, and project management. He will consider applicants experienced in Windows C++ and SQL even if they do not have a financial background.
RBC stands for the Royal Bank of Canada, the sixth-largest bank in North America and now among the top 10 in the United States in trading volume. It followed the lead of other large banks that bought front-end trading systems. For instance, Citigroup recently purchased Lava Trading, and Goldman Sachs acquired RediPlus.
RBC Carlin, 196 Princeton Hightstown Road, Building 1 A, Suite 9, West Windsor 08550; 609-514-0075; fax, 609-514-1087. Upendra Shah, managing director. Home page: www.rbccarlin.com
Spinal Alternative: Contract Awarded
Impliant, an Israeli developer of orthopedic implants, has put its first product on the market in Germany and has begun clinical trials in the United States. It moved its American headquarters from Connecticut to the Carnegie Center.
The Impliant device, an alternative to fusion surgery called Total Posterior Arthroplasty Solution (TOPS), is designed to promote mobility and alleviate pain. It employs four screws to fasten it to the spine.
Todd Potokar, president, says that Impliant opened its 3,000 square-foot office in order to employ regulatory and clinical experts. “When you are running clinical trials, one of the most important things is the management of that trial. We felt it was in our best interest to relocate the company to build the infrastructure around the clinical and regulatory departments. There is a lot of talent in New Jersey.”
Impliant has raised a total of $32 million and has 30 employees, including six in New Jersey, where Potokar focuses on regulatory and clinical matters and business development. Manufacturing and R&D takes place in Israel, where CEO Ron Sacher is based.
Potokar was raised in Wisconsin, where his father was a financial officer in a plastics firm and his mother was in the insurance business. He graduated in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and worked for SmithKlineBeecham in Pittsburgh (“when it was just Beecham”) and for a consumer products firm. Then he joined U.S. Surgical, leaving in 2001 to join the Link Spine Group, a Connecticut company that developed and manufactured an artificial disk for spine surgery. Potokar sold Link Spine Group to Johnson & Johnson in 2003, and now he commutes to the Carnegie Center from Westport, Connecticut, where his wife is a real estate agent.
“I started working in medical device business in 1987 and have enjoyed working with surgeons, spending many days in the operating room,” says Potokar. In 1989 he was involved in some of the early laparoscopic gallbladder surgeries. “If you spend the time understanding the surgeons’ area of expertise — the more competent you are, the more respect you get and the more you can ultimately influence and develop projects for specific needs.” Impliant is barely out of the incubation stage, yet Potokar and his team fly around the world to attend the pioneering surgeries that use their products. He has been to about 40 operations in two years, and patient reports — on how much leg and back pain they have — look good so far. The clinical trials randomly choose which patients get the Impliant device and which get the traditional fusion surgery. About 300 patients will participate in trials conducted at surgical centers around the country — New York City, Long Island, Buffalo, Utica, Bridgeport, New Haven, Boston, Baltimore, Oregon, Texas, San Francisco, Missouri, Wisconsin, Florida, and North Carolina. The first products are expected to go on the American market in 2010.
Right now the cost is very high for this device. It is made from titanium and polycarbonate urethane PCU, both currently accepted materials, and it comes in four different versions, depending on the anatomy of the patient. It is part of a new class of cushion-bearing orthopedic implants that are more similar to natural joints in the body than those made from metal, ceramic, or hard plastics.
Impliant uses a hard material for the joint structure, but it covers the joint with a new polyurethane material that resembles cartilage, so it can absorb shock and distribute stress.
Other improvements, such as injection molding techniques, have also been made. The first device is for the spine, but Impliant is developing devices for the hip, knees, and shoulder.
“Patients we treat have moderate to severe spinal stenosis,” says Potokar. “Their leg pain results from the impingement of nerve roots, and they get relief from the removal of some bony elements, which frees up the impingement. But if you remove bony elements, you have created instability.”
Today’s solution is to use pedicle screws and titanium rods to fuse one vertebra to another and try to stabilize it. “We allow surgeons to do the same decompression, putting in the same pedicle screws, but instead of putting in rods and biologics to fuse the spine, we put in a dynamic motion-sparing implant. It allows the stabilization that the patient needs but allows the segment to move in a near normal physiological way.”
Some patents have been issued, and more are being processed. Impliant’s competitors include Stryker Spine (based in Allendale, New Jersey, and Bordeaux, France) and Synthes (a global firm with its North American headquarters in West Chester, Pennsylvania).
Because Impliant already has an ability to sell its product in many European countries, it expects to start to generate revenue, outside the United States, in the fourth quarter of 2007.
— Barbara Fox
Einstein’s Alley Board Meets
The board of trustees for Einstein’s Alley has held its first official meeting, and its by-laws and incorporation are in place. Einstein’s Alley is a private sector economic development initiative that aims to promote Central New
Jersey as the destination for technology-based companies.
Co-executive directors, Katherine Kish, president of Market Entry, and Louis Wagman, principal of Technology Management Associates, have assembled an eight-person board:
Kenneth Kay, an angel investor who successfully sold his own firm and is now chairman, Jump Start New Jersey Angel Network;
Kenneth Traub, an entrepreneur who brought his second firm to Princeton. He founded Voxware, and is now CEO of American Bank Note Holographics;
Peter Yeager, a corporate representative of one of Princeton’s largest private employers, Educational Testing Service.
Thomas Bracken, president and CEO, Sun National Bank;
Herbert Greenberg, founder of Caliper, a 40-year-old human resources consulting firm;
Robert Gioradano, an independent military contractor, of RFG Inc. in Allentown;
Martin Bierbaum, executive director of a federally funded planning organization, Municipal Land Use Resource Center.
Sherrie Preische, executive director, NJ Commission on Science and Technology.
The various efforts to promote a regional economic initiative for Central New Jersey were jumpstarted by Congressman Rush Holt in 2003, who gave Einstein’s Alley its name and held meetings with all the stakeholders.
“Einstein’s Alley will provide a business overlay that will help focus the efforts of existing state and private organizations to establish the region as a magnet for entrepreneurial activity and as a globally recognized economic powerhouse,” according to a press release. “In order to use resources effectively, Einstein’s Alley will collaborate, coordinate, and communicate with public and private organizations, rather than duplicate existing efforts.”
The board’s first meeting was held at the David Sarnoff Library, a location rife with historic meaning. Sarnoff was the legend behind RCA Corporation and its many achievements in television, imaging, and semiconductor technology.
Said Holt: “I’m delighted this day has finally arrived. With the creation of this nonprofit, Einstein’s Alley becomes more of a focus around which individuals, organizations, and companies can shape the future of Central New Jersey.”
$45 Million Available
The state has contributed an additional $45 million to its Edison Innovation Fund, for a total of more than $100 million since 2006. This “fund of funds,” part of Governor Corzine’s economic growth strategy, is intended to help create, sustain and grow technology and life sciences businesses in New Jersey. What will be available to new and growing companies:
Angel guarantees. Jumpstart NJ, a member-led angel investor group, gets $1 million in guarantees. Last year it received the same amount. These guarantees encourage investments in technology start-ups.
Early-stage research. Companies can get up to $100,000 in equity-like financing for non R&D-related costs. Up to $500,000 in grant funding is also available from the New Jersey Commission on Science & Technology.
Product to market efforts. Up to $200,000 is available to early-stage companies for this.
Company growth Up to $1 million is available for companies that have an independent “reference-able” beta product and recently obtained match funding.
“Growing jobs and supporting economic growth in the technology and life sciences industries are the cornerstones of the Economic Growth Strategy,” said Carl E. Van Horn, chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, in a press release.
IBI Secured Transport, 814 Silvia Street, American Enterprise Park, West Trenton 08628; 609-883-1100; fax, 609-883-0343. Jack Elder, president. www.ibiarmored. com
IBI Secured Transport, a full service armored transportation company, operating in the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico, has expanded from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet.
The Laurel Communications Group LLC (), 719 Route 206, Suite 104, Hillsborough 08844; 908-431-3131; fax, 908-431-0290. Michael Cahill, president. www.laurelgroup.com
Michael Cahill expanded his creative marketing services firm from 2,000 square feet at 422 Commons Way at Montgomery Commons to 3,000 square feet in Hillsborough, where he has 15 employees.
Founded in 1991, the firm focuses on pharmaceutical and healthcare clients, such as McCormick and Co. in Baltimore and a variety of Johnson & Johnson companies.
Providian Health Care Systems, 3371 Route 1, Lawrence Commons, Suite 212, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-750-9777. Jack Anu.
The two-and-a-half year old Providian Health Care Systems moved to a different suite within Lawrence Commons.
New in Town
Princeton Accounting & Tax Services, 242 Wall Street, Princeton 08540; 609-924-6999; fax, 609-924-6911. Steven Atschinow CPA, CVA, MBA.
Princeton Accounting & Tax Services recently opened an office in Princeton. The firm does personal and business tax returns and tax planning, and it provides accounting and bookkeeping services for businesses. Principal Steven Atschinow is a CPA with a degree in economics and finance (Class of 1987) and an MBA in accounting, both from Rutgers University.
Clark Design and Build, 46 Heather Lane, c/o Suite 412, 66 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08542; 609-924-5576; fax, 609-924-7978. Stephen Clark, owner. clarkdesignbuild.com
After fourteen years in the building industry, Stephen Clark incorporated Clark Design and Build, a firm specializing in custom homes, renovations, and additions.
His projects are enumerated on his website, designed by Melissa Charry, Red Wolf Design Group’s creative director. They include the renovation of a 20,000 square-foot hotel, the historical restoration of a Victorian home, and numerous custom homes in Princeton, Spring Lake, and Rumson.
The son of a Boy Scouts of America executive, Clark grew up in Spring Lake, the 11th of 13 children. He graduated with a business degree from Brookdale Community College and has been business for himself since he was 20. He is studying project management at Rutgers University.
Think Language LLC, 83 Cherry Brook Drive, Princeton 08540; 609-466-7571. Anne Mette Pedersen PhD. Home page: www.thinklanguage.net
Anne Mette Pedersen opened a translation business last year. The daughter of a bookkeeper and retail buyer in western Denmark, she majored in Latin and comparative literature at Aarhus University, Class of 1988, and, through a Fulbright scholarship, earned a PhD in English literature from Yale. Her husband, Paolo Pesenti, an economist, works at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan. They have a school-aged daughter.
Her previous job was as a test developer in the foreign language area for Educational Testing Service.
Through contacts in Princeton, her company can work in all languages, but in addition to Danish and Latin, Pedersen speaks and translates in Swedish, Norwegian, German, and French. Her most recent big project, for the University of Maryland, was to devise tests for the French proficiency of government employees.
Her company name represents her conviction that learning languages can help achieve world peace: “If people learned more about other languages and cultures, it would facilitate communication at all levels, from political to individual.”
Medina, Martinez, Castroll, 65 South Main Street, Pennington Professional Center, Building C, Pennington 08534; 609-818-0068; fax, 609-818-0075. Victor J. Medina, managing partner. Home page: www.medinamartinez.com
The law office of Robert Martinez has changed its name to Medina, Martinez & Castroll, a firm specializing in education and school law and small business law. Managing partner Victor J. Medina graduated from Tufts University and Northeastern University School of Law.
Senior partner Robert P. Martinez is a graduate of Boston College and New York University Law School.
Tracy L. Castroll attended Pomona College and graduated magna cum laude from Seton Hall University School of Law, where she was articles editor for the Law Review.
Castroll is married to an attorney, Ian Bratlie, who has an office in Trenton and whom she met at Seton Hall (see following story).
Law Office of Ian Bratlie, 206 West State Street, Trenton 08608; 609-656-2800.
Ian Bratlie opened an immigration law office in Trenton and expects to be joined by Steve Roiger. His wife Tracy Castroll, whom he met in law school, works is a partner in the Pennington firm, Medina Martinez and Castroll.
Bratlie grew up on a farm near Rush City, Minnesota. He majored in history at University of Minnesota, Class of 1999, and went to Seton Hall Law School, where he began to focus on the plight of immigrants. He got involved with Amnesty International and studied with Lori Nessel, who runs the asylum law clinic. He interned with the Safe Horizon Legal Immigration Project in Queens and then worked at the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center in York, Pennsylvania, the location of the largest immigration detention center on the east coast.
Bratlie is admitted to the bar in Minnesota and New Jersey and is also member of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
N.L. Garlic Law, 36 South Broad Street, Suite C 32, Trenton 08608; 609-396-3100; fax, 866-882-5817. Nicole Lemire Garlic Esq., managing attorney. Home page: www.garliclaw.com
N.L. Garlic Law opened a real estate and construction law practice in Trenton.
William S. Clarke PA, 65 South Main Street, Suite A-202, Pennington 08534; 609-921-3663; fax, 609-921-3933.
William S. Clarke PA, who does commercial, securities, and corporate finance law, moved to Pennington from 457 North Harrison Street in Princeton.
Princeton Diehl Financial Group, 812 State Road, Suite 101, Princeton 08540. Hector J. Colon, investment advisor representative.
Hector J. Colon, formerly with Princeton Diehl Financial Group, has closed his office. He offered tax and investment advice, tax preparation, insurance, and residential and commercial mortgages. After his partner left he reportedly changed the name to Princeton Financial Group.
Important to note: Colon’s company has nothing to do with Princeton Financial Group LLC, located at 2 King Arthur Court, Suite D, North Brunswick 08902 www.prinfin.com), founded by Andre J. Bakhos in 1998. The eight-person Bakhos firm is an NASD broker-dealer for institutional investors, and it also offers technical analysis for institutional investors.
Emtec Inc. (ETEC), 525 Lincoln Drive West, Marlton 08053; 856-552-4204; fax, 856-552-4298. Ronald Seitz, CEO. www.emtecinc.com
Emtec Inc., a 25-year-old communications technology firm on Whitehead Road, has moved to Marlton. The move resulted from a merger with a company in Westwood.
James Hillier,, 91, on January 15. The developer of the first commercially available electron microscope and the holder of 41 patents, he was executive vice president at RCA and later director of the David Sarnoff Research Center. He is the father of J. Robert Hillier, founder of Hillier Architecture. A memorial service will be held at the David Sarnoff Library at Sarnoff on Thursday, January 25, at 4 p.m.
Alfred Engel, 79, on January 15. A mathematician physicist who recently translated Einstein papers for Princeton University Press, he created simulation programs for the early years of the U.S. space program.