First American Title Insurance Company Acquires Escrow Partners, Inc. & Affiliates


July 2, 2003, 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 the acquisition of Seattle-based Escrow Partners, Inc. & Affiliates for an unspecified amount.  The acquisition, completed May 31, 2003, adds Escrow Partners operations and personnel to The Talon Group, First American’s new title division formed in February 2003.

“Escrow Partners provides a firm foundation for growing our Talon division in the Seattle area,” said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company.  “The company has a proven history of combining talented people and proprietary technology to provide great service.  We look forward to further developing this well-managed business.”

As a closing services provider, Escrow Partners does not perform title services directly, but it does have the ability to channel significant business to underwriters, largely due to its in-house, Web-based transaction management platform.  This system is expected to integrate seamlessly with First American’s FAST Transaction System, the backbone processing platform for all First American and Talon Group operations.

Formed in 1996 by Mike Stevens and Debbie Stevens, Escrow Partners’ 60 employees operate three offices in the Seattle metropolitan area.  The company’s founder/owners have both accepted employment with The Talon Group and will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. 

“This is a great starting point for us in the Northwest,” said William McKenna, executive vice president of The Talon Group.  “We welcome Mike and Debbie [Stevens] and the local expertise and operational experience they bring to the Talon team.”

Earlier this month, First American announced the addition of Michigan-based Midstate Title Company to its Talon Group operations.  Talon is currently operating in key markets such as Washington D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, Michigan, Ohio, Utah and Florida.

First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), traces its history to 1889. One of the largest title insurers in the nation, the company offers title services through nearly 1,200 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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