FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY ACQUIRES SOUTHERN ESCROW TITLE COMPANY


January 31, 2002, 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 has acquired Southern Escrow Title Company (SETCO) of Memphis, Tenn., from its owner, Richard McNeese. Terms of the acquisition, which closed on Jan. 1, 2002, were not disclosed.

SETCO, in conjunction with other title companies owned in part by McNeese and known collectively as the SETCO Companies, processes more than 250 title transactions per month.  SETCO employs an experienced team of title searchers, examiners and attorneys that has established its position in the Memphis real estate market as one of the top two title and escrow firms in the area.

“SETCO has been a leader in Memphis for more than a decade, and we’re really pleased to be working with them,” said Mike Conway, Southeast region vice president for First American Title Insurance Company. “Our approach to the Tennessee title market is to have a combination of direct operations and agents.  This acquisition will strengthen our presence in the area and help us further develop agent relationships there.”

SETCO will operate under the name Memphis Title as a First American branch office.  McNeese will serve as president of Memphis Title and as a vice president of First American Title Insurance Company.   

“I’ve worked with First American as an agent for more than a year, and I’ve been very impressed with the caliber of its people and the way it does business in Memphis,” said McNeese.  “This is a great opportunity for us.”

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 www.firstam.com.

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