March 15, 1999, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the leading provider of real estate-related financial and information products and services, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 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 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. There will be no operational changes, with Roger N. Bell continuing to serve as president, and John M. Bell as executive vice president and Jennifer L. Weast as senior vice president-secretary. Security Title was founded 55 years ago on April 1, 1944, by Orville A. Bell, and had remained in the Bell family since then.

"With the changes that we see occurring in the real estate industry, my brother and I felt that we needed to affiliate ourselves with a national title insurance company," said Roger N. Bell. "First American gives us more access to expertise and capital than we have access to locally. The acquisition is going to position our company to better handle whatever comes down the pike."

"The acquisition will enable First American to establish and build market share in the Wichita area," said Gary Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company. "Security Title's strong ties to the community as well as the knowledge and expertise of its staff will be a valuable asset to us."

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation's leading provider of real estate-related information products and 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, loss mitigation services, mortgage loan origination and servicing systems, and mortgage document preparation nationally; First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company; First American Capital Management, an investment advisory firm; and First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern California. The company also offers automotive and direct-to-consumer credit reporting, multifamily resident screening and pre-employment screening through its Consumer Risk Management division. First American Financial has nearly 20,000 employees in more than 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 on the Internet at


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