S.C. beach house in SEC probe up for sale


A palatial piece of paradise along South Carolina's Waccamaw Neck area is up for grabs to help repay investors who lost money to a hedge fund manager who owned the property.

The six-bedroom, 5,000- square-foot home on the northern tip of Pawleys Island is being auctioned off by the court-appointed receiver for SJK Special Opportunities Fund LP.

Nicknamed "Nothin But," the three-story spread at 105 Atlantic Ave. boasts three-way water views of the ocean, an inlet and Pawleys Creek, according to a market brochure.

The home set a high-water mark for the Grand Stand residential market in 2010 when Stanley J. Kowalewski, then of Greensboro, paid $3.9 million for it.

"Kowalewski said he thinks he got the unique property at a good price," The Associated Press reported at the time.

In November, Kowalewski was indicted by a grand jury in Atlanta and then arrested in Florence on multiple counts of wire fraud, conspiracy and obstructing a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. The criminal charges allege he diverted money among accounts and then used it to benefit himself and his family, including the Pawleys purchase.

Before that, he had been socked with a 2012 civil judgment totaling $16.8 million for mishandling investments. He lost the beach house in that proceeding.

The receiver already has a bid of $2.825 million for the Georgetown County property, which rents for nearly $8,000 a week in the peak summer season. Deposits of $141,500 and competing offers are due by 5 p.m. Friday to Atlanta-based Hays Consulting.

If that firm's name has a familiar ring, it's because it also liquidated the myriad assets of Al Parish, the former Charleston Southern University economist turned financial fraud. Parish is about a quarter of the way through a 24-year sentence in a North Carolina prison.

As for Kowalewski, his criminal case is pending in Georgia. He recently asked to revise the condition of his $25,000 bond so he could leave the country for work reasons. The judge had this to say, according to an online notation posted May 15: "While the offer to surrender the passports of his family members would provide some assurances that he might be inclined to return under ordinary circumstances, a defendant who is facing serious charges and who is subject to 'hefty financial obligations' . back home simply cannot be allowed to travel overseas for business purposes."

One of the finalists who vied for the top job at the Medical University of South Carolina has landed in the corner office at a New England health care provider.

Dr. Joanne Mather Conroy will become chief executive officer of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., on July 10.

Conroy was in the running to replace Ray Greenberg as president of MUSC. She received seven of the 17 board votes last month when she and another candidate were up against Dr. David Cole, chairman of the university's Department of Surgery and president of MUSC Physicians. Cole got the other 10 votes - and the job - on April 17.

Conroy has previous ties to MUSC, where she was an anesthesiologist from 1986 to 2001. Her current job is chief health care officer for the Washington D.C.-based Association of American Medical Colleges. She said in statement that she looks "forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead" in her new role.

The State Ports Authority traveled far from its Charleston base to sell South Carolina to an influential crowd.

The locally based maritime agency held an invitation-only sales pitch May 12-14 in downtown Greenville, near its new Upstate port and rail yard. The "Site Selector's Summit" at the Hyatt Regency was closed to the media and the general public. The idea was to get in front of consultants who advise companies where to invest and expand, the SPA said.

"The atmosphere is friendly. The discussion is candid. The scale is small and exclusive," according to the summit's website.

Matt Tomsic, a spokesman for the SPA, said the private event allowed port staffers to have frank discussions with potential customers.

"Having a small, closed event helped people to be very candid about the state and the ports and to discuss what their needs are and have a free conversation," Tomsic said.

The SPA declined to say which site selection consultants or businesses attended the summit. Private sponsorships ranged from $2,500 to $10,000.

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The agenda included presentations by logistics officials from companies such as Adidas, as well SPA staffers and CEO Jim Newsome. Tours of BMW's Spartanburg County plant and the SPA's new Inland Port in Greer also were offered.

South Carolina ranked in the lower half of states for retirement in the nation, according to a new report by Bankrate.com.

The Palmetto State ranked 32nd, paling in comparison to neighboring states North Carolina at 25th and Georgia at 21st.

South Dakota came out on top for the nation as best for retirement because of its low tax burden, low crime rate and high wellness score, Bankrate.com said. The firm's analysis looked at cost of living, taxes, health care, crime and climate.

South Carolina scored high for its tax burden - 9th lowest in the U.S. - and mild weather, but it lost points for a high crime rate and "well-being score" that looked at how satisfied people are with their surroundings.

In a separate survey released by CreditDonkey.com, Charleston was ranked No. 7 of the 10 best cities for retirement. In yet another list, Forbes magazine named Mount Pleasant among its "25 Best Suburbs for Retirement in 2014."

The South Carolina Research Authority increased its economic reach by about 9 percent last year. So says a study by the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business that determined the government-chartered applied research entity had a $1.35 billion impact on the Palmetto State last year. That's about $110 million more than in 2012.

Over its 31-year history, SCRA's cumulative output stands at $16.65 billion.

Led by USC economist Doug Woodward, the study incorporated the agency's three sectors: technology ventures, applied research and development, and research and development facilities. It found that the SCRA continued to successfully manage federal and corporate R&D contracts, house and equip high-tech start-ups at its three innovation centers - including one on upper Meeting Street in Charleston - and invest in and grow the state's tech-based economy.

SCRA has an office in North Charleston near Charleston International Airport. It will move by this fall to the Nexton development in Summerville because Boeing South Carolina will expanding onto that.