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LandAmerica to Merge Underwriting Subs

LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. (LFG) said Monday afternoon that it would merge its Transnation Title Insurance Company subsidiary into its Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation subsidiary, as the company pursues what it called an "integrated and unified operating company." The process will leave the title services giant with two major title underwriting platforms: Lawyers Title and Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company. "The merger will enhance the delivery of title, closing and escrow services to its network of agents engaged in residential and commercial real estate transactions through more standardized business practices and operations," LandAmerica said in a press statement. Transnation is the smallest of the company's three major underwriters; it's unclear if the company has further plans to consolidate its title operations. LandAmerica did not specify the number of jobs affected by the planned merger, and had not returned a phone call from HW seeking comment by the time this story was published. Theodore Chandler, Jr., LandAm chairman and CEO, characterized the strategic decision as one that "strengthens" LandAmerica. The company could certainly use some strengthening. The Richmond, Virginia-based title services giant saw revenue fall by 27.6 percent to $686.4 million during Q1, leading the company to post a net loss of $24.2 million for the quarter. The company cut 300 employees during the quarter. For more information, visit http://www.landam.com. Disclosure: The author held no positions in LFG when this story was originally published. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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