WFG’s Drum Receives Prestigious Casa Award

June 25, 2013

Joseph Drum, executive vice president of WFG National Title Insurance Co., recently received October Research Corp.’s prestigious Joe Casa Leadership Award.

The Joe Casa Awards for Leadership, Innovation and Philanthropy were named after the late founder of October Research. The awards are intended to recognize the highest standard of professional achievement in the title insurance and settlement services industries, and were presented during the National Settlement Services and Compliance Summit in Cleveland.

Last year, ALTA board member Stewart Morris of Stewart Information Services Corp. received the inaugural Joe Casa Award.

Drum was selected from a number of industry nominees on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Length of career and positions held; integrity
  • Unsurpassed demonstration of leadership throughout the course of his career
  • Clear and beneficial impact of his leadership on the industry throughout his career
Drum currently sits on the executive committee for Williston Financial Group and oversees the agency division for WFG National Title Insurance Company. In its first three years, the business has grown to be the eighth largest title underwriter in the nation. His career in the title insurance industry spans 39 years.

Prior to joining WFG National Title, Drum was president of United General Title Insurance Co. and executive vice president at First American Title Insurance Co. and Fidelity National Title Insurance Co., where he was in charge of all agency operations and strategic initiatives for several brands.

Drum is the co-author of three books: Understanding RESPA (Library of Congress No. 94-78352), Understanding Reg X and Mortgage Financing. He has also been elected a Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, a national honorary organization that recognizes outstanding lawyers specializing in the field of real estate mortgage lending and related activities. He is a member of The Boston Bar Association, The Massachusetts Conveyancers Association, The Connecticut Bar Association, New England Corporate Counsel Association, past chairman of the Real Estate Committee of the Westchester and Fairfield County American Corporate Counsel Association and past president of The New England Land Title Association.

Among the acts of leadership cited in the presentation of the award was Drum’s role in battling the rise of alternative title insurance products, which many felt posed risks to consumers and the industry alike. In the late 1990s, a number of non-title insurers began offering various “mortgage impairment” products culminating in a product offered by Radian as an alternative to traditional title insurance. Working behind the scenes, Drum mobilized his employers and the industry trade association to actively fight these attempts to insure only the very low risk loans and leave the traditional title insurance industry with the higher risk loans. The effort culminated in a ruling by the California Insurance Commissioner in 2003 that the Radian product was, in fact, title insurance and that only a licensed title insurer could provide such coverage. Shortly thereafter, a large number of states nationwide followed suit, effectively ending the groundswell toward the alternative product.

“Joe has been one of the preeminent champions for the title industry for decades,” said Patrick Stone, president and CEO of Williston Financial Group. “His leadership has helped guide the industry through challenging times, and he has been the consummate spokesman in communicating the value of title insurance to consumers, regulators and clients alike.”

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].