First American Title Insurance Company acquires three branches of Charter Title ...


October 13, 1998, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the leading provider of real estate-related financial and information services, announced today that its primary subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, has acquired the operations of three branches of Charter Title Corporation in Washington. Prior to the acquisition, the three Charter Title branches and First American had an underwriting relationship.

The acquisition, which became final on October 1, 1998, includes Charter Title's Kitsap County main office in Silverdale and an escrow office in Port Orchard; an office in Port Townsend, Jefferson County; and an office in South Bend, Pacific County. Greg Wilson and Debby Bearden will serve as vice president-county manager and escrow manager, respectively, of the Silverdale and Port Orchard offices. Mary Wilson will serve as vice president-county manager of the Port Townsend office, and Sharon Williams will serve as vice president-county manager of the South Bend office.

Charter Title was founded in 1977 in Clark County by Bob Brine, who shortly thereafter became partners with Mel Russell, a Clark County resident. Pioneer Title of Jefferson County was acquired and merged into Charter Title in 1993. The Kitsap County offices were acquired by Charter Title in 1978, and the Pacific County office in 1983.

"This acquisition expands First American's network of direct operations into three more Washington counties, bringing our total to 11," said Thomas J. Brusca, regional vice president for First American's Seattle branch. "Kitsap County gives us additional strength in the Seattle metropolitan area, while Jefferson and Pacific counties give us a presence on the Washington coast. It is a real plus to add these three well-run operations to the First American family."

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, California, is the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and information 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, property data services, flood certification, field inspection services, appraisal services, mortgage loan origination and servicing systems, and mortgage document preparation nationally; First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company; and First American Capital Management, an investment advisory firm. The corporation also operates First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern California. First American Financial has more than 17,000 employees in over 400 branch offices in the United States and abroad. Information about the company's subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found

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