First American Title Vice Chairman Kurt Pfotenhauer Named 2020 HousingWire Vanguard Award Winner

Pfotenhauer recognized for his leadership and influence in support of the mortgage finance industry and adoption of digital closing technology

October 6, 2020, Santa Ana, Calif.

First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), a leading global provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions, today announced that Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company, was named a 2020 HousingWire Vanguard Award winner.

Each year, HousingWire’s editorial board carefully selects 50 housing and mortgage finance industry executives as Vanguard Award winners for their vital contributions to their companies and the dynamic way they are changing the industry.

“The recognition is well deserved as Kurt’s leadership and advocacy on behalf of the industry amid the pandemic significantly benefitted the broader real estate and mortgage finance community,” said Dennis J. Gilmore, chief executive officer at First American Financial Corporation. “Kurt’s efforts embody First American’s commitment to the mortgage finance industry and to supporting the industry’s adoption of digital closing technology.”

Through his role as chairman of the board of directors of MISMO, the standards development body for the mortgage industry, Pfotenhauer was instrumental in accelerating the certification process for remote online notarization closing services, which can help provide consumers with a no-contact closing experience. When financial market liquidity was threatened during the initial stages of the pandemic, he played an important role in advocating for the mortgage finance industry. Pfotenhauer also helped accelerate donations to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Open Doors Foundation, which makes mortgage or rental payments for families with critically ill or injured children so parents may take unpaid leave from work and spend precious time with their kids.

“The achievements of this year's Vanguards are hard to overstate. They are leading some of the most iconic and successful mortgage and real estate companies in the world, and adapting and innovating, even in the midst of a global pandemic. The Vanguards represent the industry's best and brightest, and we are excited to celebrate their remarkable accomplishments,” said HousingWire Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler. 

About First American

First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF) is a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions that traces its heritage back to 1889. First American also provides title plant management services; title and other real property records and images; valuation products and services; home warranty products; property and casualty insurance; banking, trust and wealth management services; and other related products and services. With total revenue of $6.2 billion in 2019, the company offers its products and services directly and through its agents throughout the United States and abroad. In 2020, First American was named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the fifth consecutive year. More information about the company can be found at

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