Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Title Firm Entering Aggressively

Things are brewing over on the title side of the business. Part of that may be that the government is trying to get lenders and title companies to work together more effectively for the benefit of borrowers. Not sure that's happening (or likely to happen), but the new RESPA rules certainly have created some movement in this part of the business.

Two of the firms likely to be making news in this sector are Williston Financial Group and its wholly owned subsidiary, WFG National Title Insurance Company. The two just opened their national headquarters in Lake Oswego, Oregon. WFG is currently licensed and operating in 33 states nationwide. The company is a full service provider of title insurance and real estate settlement services for lender, commercial and residential transactions.

The company is headed up by CEO Patrick Stone, who is no stranger to the settlement services and mortgage lending industry. He completed a lengthy and distinguished career with underwriting giant Fidelity National Financial by serving eight years as its president, COO and director, and was also the CEO of Fidelity National Information Systems. He has also been the Vice Chairman of Metrocities Mortgage and served as a director for First American Corporation prior to founding WFG. He is also a frequent key note speaker at a wide variety of industry conferences.

Stone says that his new company is dedicated to taking time and cost out of real estate transactions, which he says will come mostly from focusing on the client and its processes. By enabling client processes, WFG will increase closing rates, he said.

By minimizing corporate infrastructure, WFG hopes to avoid operating a costly hierarchical organization. Finally, Stone notes that WFG will take a collaborative approach to expediting the real estate transaction, empowering agents and industry professionals with information and technology.

He may be on to something. In less than six months, WFG has already hired almost 200 employees nationally. Stone notes that the company plans to continue its aggressive growth nationally.

“We will be growing rapidly, as it is the most opportune time in the market’s history to make cost effective acquisitions. Moreover, the real estate settlement services industry has become internally focused, creating a disconnect with clients forced to adjust to a challenging market dynamic.”

The company hopes to have offices or agents in over forty states before the end of the year.

Photo: Patrick Stone

3 comments:

Glenn said...

The business model that they are bringing to the agencies is a great one. No direct operations from what i understand. And with all the Players they have working along with Pat Stone, most notably Joe Drum, the Ultimate in Agent relations. I wish them all the luck,

Glenn
Family Abstract, Inc..

Glenn said...

I wish them a ton of success. I love the business model of not competing with its agents. And Joe Drum, who is a large part of the new company, is one of the best agency minded guys in the industry.

All the best,

Glenn
Family Abstract, Inc.

Rick Grant said...

We'll keep our eyes on them, Glenn. I know one of the communications guys who works with them and he's sold on their vision. I hope he's right.

Thanks for your comment!

Rick.