MIAMI, Dec. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — North American Title Group (NATG), a wholly-owned subsidiary of homebuilder Lennar (NYSE: LEN and LEN.B), today announced that it plans to combine its underwriter and the majority of its retail title business with States Title, Inc.
States Title is a Silicon Valley-based “insurtech” startup that uses predictive analytics to underwrite the title on a property nearly instantaneously, helping customers close real estate transactions safely, quickly, and inexpensively.
The deal, which is expected to close in January 2019 if pending regulatory approval in California and Arizona is obtained by year end, calls for States Title to acquire NATG’s underwriter, North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC), and the majority of the retail business of NATG’s national title agency, North American Title Company (NATC). The new company will continue to operate under the North American Title brand and Lennar will assume a substantial minority equity ownership stake.
“By partnering with North American Title, we accelerate our shared vision to build the title company of the future,” said Max Simkoff, States Title’s founder and CEO. “Buying a home, and refinancing that home, are among the most important financial decisions in a person’s life. We believe that the experience of doing so should be fast, simple, safe and affordable. Title and settlement are critical to every real estate transaction. Modern technology and powerful analytics will supplement and enhance our associates’ ability to deliver outstanding service to every single one of our customers.”
“This transaction builds on our strategy of aligning with technology innovators to streamline and enhance the overall customer experience,” said Eric Feder, Senior Lennar Executive, who will join States Title’s board of directors. “Partnering with States Title keeps us at the forefront of innovation while maintaining the integrity of the title insurance that people have trusted us with for decades.”
Max Simkoff will remain the CEO of the combined company, and the newly-formed management team will include current leadership from both States Title and North American Title, as well as new hires with relevant expertise. Title industry veteran Judd Hoffman, formerly President of the Direct Division at First American Title, has joined the new company as Chief Transformation Officer and Noaman Ahmad will join as Chief Financial Officer. Matt Zames, President of Cerberus Capital Management and former JP Morgan Chief Operating Officer, has joined the board of directors.
NATC’s builder business, which delivers settlement services to Lennar’s homebuyers, and a portion of its retail business, will remain with Lennar and operate as CalAtlantic Title. Approximately two-thirds of NATG’s current associates will transition to the new company, while the balance will remain with CalAtlantic Title.
Fifth Wall, a real estate technology-focused fund, introduced States Title and Lennar (a Fifth Wall Strategic Limited Partner) after initially co-leading States Title’s Series A financing round in 2016.
Founded by Max Simkoff and backed by leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, States Title uses predictive analytics and cutting-edge technology to deliver a modern title and escrow platform. As part of the digital transformation occurring in the mortgage industry, States Title believes that all underwriting, settlement and closing will be quickly and efficiently administered using technology that is built with the lender, agent and customer’s experience in mind. States Title is headquartered in San Francisco, California. To learn more, visit www.statestitle.com.
With well over 1,300 associates and a network of branches from coast to coast, North American Title Group, LLC (NATG) is among the largest real estate settlement service providers in the United States. Consisting of both agent and underwriter operations, NATG reported annual net revenues in fiscal 2017 of $272.7 million. North American Title’s agency network operates nationally under the name North American Title Company and similar names (NATC) in 19 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia, in addition to the District of Columbia. Through its relationship with its expanding affiliate network, NATC provides real estate settlement services in all 50 states. NATIC, its underwriter subsidiary, is licensed in 40 jurisdictions and issued 315,000 policies in fiscal year 2017. NATG is headquartered in Miami, Florida. To learn more, visit http://www.nat.com.
Lennar Corporation, founded in 1954, is one of the nation’s leading builders of quality homes for all generations. Lennar builds affordable, move-up and active adult homes primarily under the Lennar brand name. Lennar’s Financial Services segment provides mortgage financing, title insurance and closing services for both buyers of Lennar’s homes and others. Lennar’s Multifamily segment is a nationwide developer of high-quality multifamily rental properties. For further information about Lennar, please visit www.lennar.com.
Some of the statements in this press release are “forward-looking statements,” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the expected time of completion of the transaction and the expected management of the combined company. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the risk that pending regulatory approvals are not obtained, the transaction does not close, or closing is delayed. Accordingly, these forward-looking statements should be evaluated with consideration given to the many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. They include the risks detailed in Lennar’s filings with the SEC, including the “Risk Factors” section of Lennar’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2017. It is not possible for management to predict all the possible risks that could affect Lennar or to assess the impact of all possible risks on Lennar’s business.