First American Launches Personal Finance Center on MSN

— 100 Percent Spanish Language Personal Finance Center Offers Guidance, Access to Trusted Service Providers for Major Economic Decisions —


March 23, 2005, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) today announced the launch of the MSN Latino Personal Finance Center, a premier Spanish language Internet destination offering an unparalleled collection of financial education and planning resources for the U.S. Hispanic market.

Accessible under the “Finanzas” area of the MSN Latino site (www.msnlatino.com), the MSN Latino Personal Finance Center provides resources for Hispanics about major economic decisions consumers face, including financial planning, insurance, banking, credit management, investing, home buying and more.  The center will direct visitors to a variety of online and offline financial resources from trusted service providers with established programs for Hispanic consumers.  Sponsor organizations, including First American, Freddie Mac, National City Mortgage, Operation HOPE, Inc., and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) will offer extensive, in-language educational content and direct links to special programs or customer service personnel dedicated to supporting business generated through the Personal Finance Center.  Additional sponsors will be announced at the First American financial literacy summit, scheduled for late April in WashingtonD.C. 

According to a 2004 study by Internet measurement firm comScore Media Metrix, Hispanic online activity increased 37 percent between March of 2003 and March of 2004, compared to only six percent growth in the general market.  Similar studies by Nielsen Media Research found that, in a given week, Hispanic Internet users spent twice as many hours at home visiting Web sites than reading Spanish language newspapers and magazines.   

“With more than 15 million unique Hispanic users now regularly accessing the Internet, the MSN Latino Personal Finance Center offers an opportunity to tap into a highly-sought-after target market,” said Joe Poletto, managing director of Emerging Markets for MSN.  “The Personal Finance Center is one of the most important content areas we offer on MSN Latino because it offers resources for guidance on wealth-building.”

As a leading provider of real estate-related data and services, First American will contribute to the Personal Finance Center the most comprehensive collection of housing, credit and mortgage-related tools and information for Latino homebuyers anywhere on the Web.  Through existing First American partnerships with leading real estate organizations, national mortgage lenders, residential builders down-payment assistance and home loan counseling organizations, MSN Latino visitors will have the opportunity to not only learn about homeownership, but to take the fundamental steps toward becoming homeowners.

“Sound financial management is the foundation for homeownership, which we at First American view as the cornerstone of true wealth creation,” said Parker S. Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer of The First American Corporation.  “Our company has taken a leadership role in helping identify and remove the barriers to homeownership faced by many minority homebuyers.  Through this relationship, First American has an unprecedented opportunity to extend our brand promise and demonstrate our housing industry expertise to a vast consumer audience within a market segment that will purchase more new homes than any other demographic group during the next decade.” 

“This alliance with MSN Latino demonstrates our continued focus on addressing the needs of the Hispanic community,” said Landon V. Taylor, vice president of Market Development at First American.  “Given the tremendous purchasing power of this demographic group and its increasing adoption of the Internet as a valued information source, First American and our financial services partners are fully committed to providing the services and products that will establish our companies as trusted advisors to Latino families for years to come.”  

The collaboration with MSN Latino is part of First American’s broader Emerging Markets initiative, launched in October 2003 to promote home buying among African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos.  The initiative includes philanthropic giving and investment programs, the development of alternative credit-screening products and discounted settlement services bundles, and an increased commitment to workforce and vendor diversity at First American.  The five-year, multimillion dollar program, which is endorsed by The Greenlining Institute—a multiethnic coalition that promotes homeownership and inner-city economic development—was received positively at its introduction by representatives from Fannie Mae, NAHREP, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers and the Asian Real Estate Association of America.  

The First American Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that traces its history to 1889. As the nation’s largest data provider, the company supplies businesses and consumers with information resources in connection with the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job; renting an apartment; buying a car, house, boat or airplane; securing a mortgage; opening or buying a business; and planning for retirement. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within six primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Mortgage Information, Property Information, Credit Information and Screening Information. With revenues of $6.72 billion in 2004, First American has 31,000 employees in approximately 1,800 offices throughout the United States and abroad. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.

 

 

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