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Ron Hart named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

Ron Hart named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

ATLANTA -- Morgan Stanley announced today that Ron Hart, Managing Director, Financial Advisor, in the Firm’s Atlanta Wealth Management office, has been named to Barron’s list of America’s Top 1,200 Advisors: 2014 State-by-State.

The “Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors” is a select group of individuals who are screened on a number of criteria. Among factors the survey takes into consideration are assets under management, revenue produced for the Firm and quality of service provided to clients.

“I am extremely proud that Ron Hart is representing Morgan Stanley Wealth Management on this list,” commented Michael Outlaw, Branch Manager of Morgan Stanley’s Atlanta office. “This listing recognizes an elite group of financial professionals who are dedicated to providing clients with exceptional wealth management services.”

RadioShack to close 1,100 stores

(USA TODAY) -- After reporting dismal fourth-quarter earnings, RadioShack said Tuesday that it would close about 1,100 poorly performing stores, roughly 20% of the electronic retailer's locations.

The store closings will leave about 4,000 locations in the U.S. The company has been struggling to revamp its stores for the past year.

Total net sales and operating revenues were $935.4 million in the fourth quarter, vs. $1,171.4 million last year, a 20% decline. Comparable store sales were down 19%, which the company blames on poor performance in its mobile phone business.

RadioShack stock was down more than 20% in premarket trading.

"Even in this environment, we're continuing to make progress on the five pillars of our turnaround plan: repositioning the brand, revamping the product assortment, reinvigorating the stores, operational efficiency and financial flexibility," CEO Joseph C. Magnacca said in a statement.

Best Buy to cut hundreds of jobs

(BUSINESS JOURNAL) -- Best Buy Co. Inc. plans to cut hundreds of jobs throughout its U.S. store operations, according to a report in the New York Post.

The article, citing anonymous insiders, says the "layoffs could affect upwards of 2,000 managers," though the exact scope isn't known. The retailer does not plan to close any of its 1,055 U.S. stores at this time.

Best Buy, which reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, declined to comment. The chain has 19 stores in metro Atlanta.

Late last month, Best Buy announced it was laying off roughly 950 full-time employees at its Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada as part of a store-restructuring initiative. The company said it will consolidate sales departments and reduce management layers in an effort to "streamline its store operating model as part of the company's long-term growth strategy in Canada."

Bill would unplug Georgia's $5K electric vehicle tax credit

ATLANTA -- Georgia ranked fourth in the U.S. in electric vehicle registrations last year - an impressive showing for a state notched squarely in the middle of the country's "truck belt."

Now, a bill introduced by state representative and former Alpharetta Mayor Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), threatens to suck the air out of electric vehicle adoption in the Peach State.

The bill would eliminate an up to $5,000 tax credit available to buyers of new zero-emission vehicles, no later than April 1. The tax credit - among the richest in the country - coupled with a $7,500 federal tax credit, has fueled electric vehicle adoption in the state. 

Electric vehicle advocates argue eliminating the tax will slam the brakes on sales of electric vehicles, which they say reduce emissions and dependence of foreign oil.

Jos. A. Bank buying Eddie Bauer in $850M deal

Jos. A. Bank buying Eddie Bauer in $850M deal

HAMPSTEAD, Md. -- Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. is buying the parent company of Eddie Bauer in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $850 million.

The men's clothing company, which itself is being pursued by Men's Wearhouse Inc., made the deal with Everest Topco LLC to buy Everest Holdings LLC, Eddie Bauer's parent company.

Jos. A. Bank said Friday that the transaction includes $564 million in cash and about 4.7 million new shares of Jos. A. Bank stock issued to Everest Topco at $56 per share.

Everest Topco may also earn up to an additional $50 million in cash based on Eddie Bauer's adjusted earnings for fiscal 2014.

Jos. A. Bank may end the deal if it receives an acquisition offer for its company that it feels is superior.

Tin Lizzy's could double its number of locations

ATLANTA -- Atlanta-based Tin Lizzy's Cantina is in a growth spurt.

The chain of "Flex-Mex" taquerias looks to more than double its number of locations over the next two years, according to Chief Operating Officer Tory Bartlett.

Tin Lizzy's today has six locations: Buckhead, Midtown, Grant Park, Perimeter, Emory Point and Mall of Georgia.

But, it wants to grow to 15 locations by the end of 2016.

That could bring the brand to new markets, such as Augusta, Ga. or Charleston, S.C. The company hopes to open its first restaurant outside of metro Atlanta in 2015.

"We want to grow the brand through the Southeast," said Bartlett, who was brought on late last year to aid Tin Lizzy's growth. He previously worked for Hooters of America LLC. In his 20-year tenure, he worked his way from dishwasher to director of operations, opening more than 120 Hooters locations.

Fiserv bringing 500 jobs to Alpharetta

Fiserv bringing 500 jobs to Alpharetta

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Fiserv Inc. will open a new Atlanta-area office in Alpharetta, creating 500 jobs.

The financial services company currently has six offices across metro Atlanta. Employees at those locations will move into the new Alpharetta office in 2015 and 2016.

"As a leading location for technology-focused businesses, we are confident that Alpharetta will be just the right fit for Fiserv, and we welcome the company and their area associates to our city," Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle said in a release.

The new Fiserv office will also bring a $41 million investment to the Alpharetta area.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Friday that Fiserv has had a presence in Georgia for more than two decades and is one of the largest technology employers in the state.