Subsidiary of First American Financial acquires appraisal company operating in five states


July 11, 1996, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF) announced today that its subsidiary, First American Real Estate Information Services, Inc., has acquired 100 percent of the stock of Cuffaro Appraisal Services (CAS) in San Diego. CAS provides property valuation information to mortgage lenders. The appraisal business is comprised of local and regional companies across the country and CAS is one of the largest.

"We are especially pleased with this purchase because it adds a new component to our menu of real estate-related services requested by our lender-customers and offered by First American," said Parker S. Kennedy, president of First American Financial. "We announced earlier this year that the company was considering adding loan servicing software and first mortgage appraisals to its menu of services. With this purchase, and our April acquisition of Excelis, Inc., we have achieved that goal. Our management team held an extensive review of potential acquisitions in the appraisal industry, and decided on CAS because of its 20 years of experience and its excellent management."

CAS will be renamed First American Appraisal Services and will remain in San Diego. Anand Nallathambi, former senior vice president of business development at First American Real Estate Information, has been appointed president. Joseph A. Cuffaro, Jr., former president and founder of CAS, will be executive vice president and chief operating officer.

"The appraisal industry is in a process of change, and we plan to use the acquisition as a platform to be on the cutting-edge of that process," Nallathambi said. "First American's national presence, combined with the reputation CAS has as an innovator and its enviable client list, will provide a great starting point for the development of a national appraisal business."

"Given the consolidation of the mortgage industry and lenders' need to access a full array of services quickly and efficiently, this is a strategic move for CAS." Cuffaro added. "We look forward to joining First American, one of the leading service providers in the mortgage industry."

Based in San Diego, CAS performs appraisals in all counties in California, as well as Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon. The company's more than 600 clients are some of the nation's leading mortgage lenders, community banking institutions, credit unions and asset management companies. Focused primarily on the first mortgage business, CAS has pioneered centralized research, telecommuting and EDI capabilities. It has also structured cutting-edge outsourcing arrangements with national lenders.

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, California, is the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and informational services. The corporation's subsidiaries include First American Title Insurance Company, a national and international title insurer, First American Real Estate Information Services, Inc., which offers tax monitoring, credit reporting, flood certification, mortgage loan servicing systems and property information services nationally, and First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company. The corporation also operates First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern California. First American Financial has more than 10,000 employees in over 400 branch offices in the United States and abroad.

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