The latest economic and policy trends facing mortgage servicers

Join this webinar for an in-depth roundtable discussion on economic and policy trends impacting servicers as well as a look ahead at strategies servicers should employ in the next year.

2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.

Steve Murray on the importance of protecting property rights

In this episode, Steve Murray, RealTrends advisor and industry stalwart, discusses some of the issues facing private property rights, including how a case in Germany could potentially affect U.S. legislation.

Lenders, it’s time to consider offering non-QM products

The non-QM market is making a comeback following a pause in 2020. As lenders rush to implement, Angel Oak is helping them adopt these new lending products.

ClosingIPO / M&A

Stewart Title acquires Informative Research for $192M

M&A deal brings title firm closer to creating an "end-to-end" experience for customers

“Big Four” title firm Stewart Title has struck yet another acquisitions deal. And this one’s a big one.

Stewart has acquired Informative Research, a mortgage-focused data and analytics tech company based in Houston, the companies announced on Thursday.

Informative Research said the deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, values IR at about $192 million.

Stewart has been on an acquisition tear in the past 18 months, closing deals to acquire over a dozen companies — including CloudvirgaNotaryCamPro Tek Valuation IntelligenceUnited States Appraisals, and A.S.K. Services, just in March. In late 2020, Stewart acquired a significant number of Western U.S. operations from ET Investments, and even expanded into Alaska with the acquisition of Yukon Title.

In late July, Stewart acquired Title First Agency, one of the country’s largest independent title agencies.

In acquiring Informative Research, Stewart is buying a company that uses proprietary tech to create workflow automation tools and lead generation insights. It claims to have more than 3,000 customers in lending and real estate.

“Stewart continues to invest in the creation of an end-to-end, customer-focused real estate services and technology platform,” Stewart CEO Fred Eppinger said in a statement. “By bringing IR into the Stewart family of companies, we further reflect that commitment and advance our data and analytics capabilities. I’m excited about the possibilities our service platform offers as we add IR to Cloudvirga, Signature Closers, and NotaryCam as well as our existing appraisal and title capabilities to provide customers with superior performance and ease of use across the transaction lifecycle.”

Stewart Title reported $802 million in total revenue for the second quarter, including net income of $94.8 million at $3.50 per diluted share. That’s up from $54.2 million net income, at $2.01 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2021, and up from $34.1 million, at $1.44 per diluted share, for the second quarter 2020.

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