August 12, 1999, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the leading provider of business information and related products and services, announced that its largest subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, has completed its acquisition of Wichita, Kansas-based Security Abstract and Title Company, Inc. from co-owners Roger N. Bell and John M. Bell. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Security Abstract and Title, which will continue to operate under its present name, has 91 employees in four offices: three offices in Wichita and one in Derby, Kan. Roger N. Bell will continue to serve as president, with John M. Bell continuing as executive vice president and Jennifer L. Weast as senior vice president-secretary. Security Title was founded in April 1944, by Orville A. Bell and had remained in the Bell family since then.

"We are excited about expanding First American's reach in the Wichita area," said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company. "Security Title's competent and experienced staff are a welcome addition."

The acquisition of Security Abstract and Title gives First American its first direct branch offices in the Wichita area, expanding First American's geographic coverage and complementing its strategy of offering a centralized title-searching facility that will allow nationwide, one-stop shopping for its customers.

"I've known Don Kennedy for over 20 years and we share a common philosophy of how the title industry should be conducted, both for the benefit of our customers and employees," said John M. Bell. "The completion of this acquisition reinforces our commitment to those ideals. First American's reputation as an industry leader also better positions us for future growth and expansion, giving us access to the latest technological advances in the industry, of which First American is at the forefront."

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation's leading provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation's three primary business segments include: title insurance; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage origination, mortgage servicing and database products and services; and consumer information and services, which provides home warranties; automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; insurance and automotive tracking services; resident screening; pre-employment screening; lender-placed flood and hazard insurance; investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Through its family of companies, First American Financial has nearly 20,000 employees in more than 600 branch offices in the United States and abroad. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at


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