First American Corporation The

THE SCOOP

Biggest business information provider

With roots back to 1889, First American Corp. combines complex analytics with its vast data resources to supply businesses and consumers with information products to support major economic events, including getting a job, renting an apartment, buying a car or house, securing a mortgage and opening or buying a business.  First American represents America's largest provider of business information, figuring in at No. 312 in 2008 of Fortune 500.  The First American family of companies operates within five primary business segments: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Mortgage Information, Property Information and First Advantage.

The Real O.C.

When Orange County, Calif. separated from Los Angeles in 1889, two firms opened to handle title matters in the new county.  Five years later, businessman C.E. Parker merged the two companies and became president of the combined Orange County Title Company.  (Orange County Title Company represents the immediate predecessor of today's First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of First American Corp.)  In its first 70 years in existence, the company remained a local firm, experiencing modest but steady growth.  When C.E. Parker's grandson Donald Kennedy Parker graduated law school in 1948, he joined the company and promoted its expansion beyond the borders of Orange County.  In 1957, the board authorized an expansion plan aimed at making the corporation a strong player in Southern California.  By the time Donald Kennedy Parker became president in 1963; the company had changed its name to First American and had operations in four states.

In 1966, the company underwent restructuring to become a general holding company, The First American Financial Corp., which conducted title operations through First American Title Insurance Company and trust business through First American Trust Company.  It continued to expand and, by the 1980s, had operations in every region of the country.  In 1984, First American incorporated several new companies, including a home warranty subsidiary, a real estate tax service, a credit reporting company and a flood certification company.  In December 1993, First American moved its shares onto the New York Stock Exchange.  At the turn of the century, it changed its designation to First American Corp. to reflect its diverse business mix.  The company began an international expansion with operations in Canada in 1988 and currently has operations in almost 70 countries.  It became the first title insurance provider in Mexico, Korea and Hong Kong and has leading title market share in Australia and England.

Diversifying

In November 2007, First American announced it had expanded its efforts to guarantee greater diversity and inclusion throughout its organization.  The company also announced the appointments of Karen J. Collins as vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer; Michelle Cheney Donaldson as corporate director of diversity and inclusion; and Stephanie M. Swenseid as corporate director of supplier diversity.  The company hopes to increase diverse leadership at all levels of the organization and to create greater supplier diversity.

A rough year

By the second quarter of 2008, the firm brought in a bit of a mixed bag of results.  First American posted $42 million in net income compared with a $66 million net loss in the second quarter of 2007, due in part to the $500 million the firm earmarked for claims over the last two years.  The firm's revenue, however, dipped to $6.21 billion in 2008 from $8.22 billion in 2007.  The decrease continued until the second quarter of 2009, when it reported revenue of $1.5 million, a 9 percent drop compared to the same period in 2008.  However, Chairman and Chief Executive Parker Kennedy said that the good performance of the firm’s title insurance business and steady growth in its Information Solutions Group helped improve First American’s earnings.


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First American Corporation The


1 First American Way
Santa Ana, CA 92707-5913
Phone: (800) 852-3643
Fax: (714) 250-3000
www.firstam.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: FAF
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • Chairman and CEO: Parker S. Kennedy
  • 2008 Employees: 31,411

Major Office Locations

  • Santa Ana, CA

Key Financials

  • 2008 Revenue: $6,214 million

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