IN BRIEF

Ex-Southwest Gas exec chosen for commission

Thomas Sheets, former general counsel and senior vice president of Southwest Gas Corp., was named general counsel to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Chairman Jon Wellinghoff announced Thursday.

The independent agency regulates interstate transmission of electricity, and natural gas and oil pipelines. The office of general counsel represents the commission before the courts and Congress and is responsible for legal activities at the commission.

Sheets, a partner in the Las Vegas office of McDonald Carano Wilson, has 32 years of experience in the energy industry and regulatory cases.

Sheets worked previously as an attorney at NV Energy, the Nevada electric utility holding company, and at Toledo Edison Co. He has been chairman of the Nevada Tax Commission for four years. He is former chairman of the Nevada Commission on Ethics and former president of the Clark County Bar Association.

Utilities commission taps executive director

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday named its first executive director.

A new state law created the position, which current commission Secretary Crystal Jackson will fill full time beginning Oct. 1.

Jackson joined the commission in 1996 as a legal case manager and has served as its secretary since 1999.

Jackson will act as the agency’s chief financial officer and direct the commission’s daily operations. She’ll oversee budgets, administration, human resources and purchases made and contracts entered by the commission.

Jackson, who recently earned her undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix, previously worked for the state Department of Information Technology and as the Reno office manager for former Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev.

The proposed salary for the job is $106,875, which is comparable to the Gaming Control Board’s administrative-division chief position.

Bank holding company could miss deadline

The holding company for Irwin Union Bank and Trust Co., which operates a branch at 401 N. Buffalo Drive, has reported that it has “no realistic prospect of achieving” capital or net worth requirements of regulators by a Sept. 30 deadline.

Irwin Financial, the holding company, reported Wednesday that regulators issued a cease-and-desist order that included the capital requirement and deadline.

The bank has lost more than $450 million in the past six quarters as home equity and residential mortgage loans became delinquent in Western areas. The institution traces its history to 1871 in Indiana.

NEW YORK

As stocks continue to rally, IPOs return

Coming off its worst year in three decades, the market for initial public offerings is starting to show signs of life.

Eight companies are looking to raise as much as $3.7 billion when they go public next week, the most activity the U.S. IPO market has seen in a single week in nearly two years and a clear sign that Wall Street’s appetite for risk is returning.

IPOs all but dried up in 2008 as investors shunned the traditionally risky bets and moved into safer assets like cash and Treasurys as the stock market tumbled.

Only 43 companies completed IPOs in the U.S. last year, down from 272 the year before and 221 in 2006, according to Renaissance Capital’s IPOHome.com. It was the slowest year for IPOs since 1978.

NEW YORK

Madoff’s home sells for more than $8.75 million

It boasts ocean views, an infamous former owner — and now a buyer willing to pay more than $8.75 million.

An unidentified would-be buyer or buyers snapped up Bernard Madoff’s Long Island beach house within days after the U.S. Marshals Service put the seized property up for sale, a spokeswoman for the broker the Corcoran Group said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Anne Lacombe said the fallen money manager’s Montauk retreat was under contract for more than its $8.75 million asking price. She didn’t have the exact figure, any information on the intended buyer or the closing date.

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