August 7, 2001, SANTA ANA, Calif.

 First American Title Insurance Company, one of the nation’s largest title insurers and a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, today announced that it will acquire The Associated Group from its founder and sole shareholder Bill Wirthlin. Wirthlin will retain a minority ownership interest in the combined title and escrow operations and will assume the role of state manager for First American.  Terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close in September 2001, were not disclosed.

The Associated Group, headquartered in Salt Lake City, consists of four distinct companies:  Associated Title Company, Associated Escrow Company, Western National Title Insurance Company and Alliance Home Warranty. Associated Title Company, formed in 1976, has grown to become the largest, independently owned title company in Utah with six county title plants and 14 branches in several Utah counties. Western National Title Insurance Company, formed in 1987, is the only title insurer based in Utah. Associated Escrow was formed in 1997 to distinguish the escrow and closing functions from Associated’s title operations. Alliance Home Warranty, also formed in 1997, provides home owners with home warranty products in the states of Utah and Nevada. 

“The Associated Group is an excellent company with a solid history and extensive resources, which will complement our robust Utah operations,” said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company.  “I am delighted that Bill Wirthlin is staying on as state manager. He is an astute business man, and as a Utah native, he is well established in the local real estate community.”

First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of The First American Corporation, traces its history to 1889. One of the largest title insurers in the nation, the company offers title services through more than 900 offices and an extensive network of agents throughout the United States and abroad. The company has its headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. Information about The First American Corporation’s subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at


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