Emerging Underwriter Opens Headquarters in Oregon
June 24, 2010
Williston Financial Group and its wholly owned subsidiary, WFG National Title Insurance Co., opened their national headquarters in Lake Oswego, Ore. WFG is currently licensed and operating in 33 states. The company is a full service provider of title insurance and real estate settlement services for lender, commercial and residential transactions.
WFG President and CEO Patrick Stone asserted the company is dedicated to taking time and cost out of real estate transactions. Much of this will come from focusing on the client and its processes. By enabling client processes, WFG will increase closing rates. By minimizing corporate infrastructure, WFG will 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.
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. WFG has made three significant acquisitions since the end of 2009, acquiring New Millennium Title Group and two companies from TransUnion, TransUnion National Title Insurance Co. and TransUnion Title Insurance Co. According to a report, Stone said the company has seven letters of intent pending to acquire other operations.
“We will be growing rapidly, as it is the most opportune time in the market’s history to make cost effective acquisitions,” he said. “Moreover, the real estate settlement services industry has become internally focused, creating a disconnect with clients forced to adjust to a challenging market dynamic.”
Stone 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 Corp. prior to founding WFG. He is also a frequent key note speaker at a wide variety of industry conferences, including the 2010 ALTA Business Strategies Conference.
Stone indicates that WFG, which is backed by San Francisco-based private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, should have offices or agents in over 40 states before the end of the year.
“We already retain some of the best and most experienced people in the industry,” he said, “and are actively processing a significant number of real estate transactions on behalf of our clients nationwide.”