January 13, 1999, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and information services, announced today that its largest subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, has named Gary L. Kermott as president. Kermott, who has also served as a director of First American Title Insurance Company since April 1997, will be responsible for overseeing the company's title operations on a national level.

Kermott succeeds Parker S. Kennedy, who was appointed to the position of chairman of the board for the 109-year-old title insurance company. Donald P. Kennedy, the former chairman of the title insurance company, will now serve as vice chairman.

"At First American, we have always emphasized strong personal relationships among our people and our customers, and Gary is the perfect person to carry on this tradition," said Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Financial Corporation and chairman of the board of First American Title Insurance Company. "Gary has had tremendous success with every challenge he has taken on for First American. He is very well respected within the company and his orientation toward profit will prove to be a valuable asset in his new position."

Kermott began his tenure with First American in 1983 as a law clerk. Upon receiving his law degree in 1985, he was promoted to assistant counsel on national legal staff. He served briefly in Phoenix as associate counsel before moving to Tucson, Ariz., to manage First American Title's Pima County office. In 1990, Kermott was named president of the company's Arizona division, and also served as regional vice president for Arizona and Utah. He was promoted to executive vice president of the title insurance company in 1996, and named chief operating officer in December 1997.

Kermott was born in Minneapolis, Minn., and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, and a juris doctorate from Western State University in Fullerton, Calif. He currently resides in Laguna Niguel, Calif., with his wife, Debra, and their two sons, Crandall and Kyle.

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., 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, loss mitigation 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 branches 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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