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Florida insurance giant buys stake in Title Guaranty

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    A stake in Title Guaranty is being sold, but the Pietsch family will continue to be part of the operation.

Title Guaranty, a title and escrow company with Hawaii roots going back to 1896, has sold a stake in the business to Fidelity National Financial Inc., one of the nation’s largest title insurance companies.

Title Guaranty announced the deal to its 380 employees at 5 p.m. today. Financial terms were not disclosed. However, Title Guaranty Chief Executive Michael A. Pietsch said in an email that the Pietsch family will continue to manage the company and maintain partial ownership.

Pietsch, whose father David T. Pietsch created Title Guaranty with Kenneth Makinney, said the decision to join the Fidelity National Financial “will, for the most part, not change day-to-day operations.”

Title Guaranty will retain its name. There will be no staff changes as a result of the partnership, which is expected to take effect in the next 60 days. The deal is not anticipated to impact any of Title Guaranty’s 17 office locations statewide, Pietsch said.

“Title Guaranty will still be the locally owned, locally operated company it is today,” Pietsch said. “The role that Fidelity National Financial will play will be to bring its significant financial resources and expertise, including the areas of cyber security and fraud protection.”

Officials from Jacksonville, Fla.-based Fidelity National Financial could not be reached, but the company reported $9.6 billion in total 2106 revenue. The Fortune 500 company’s title insurance underwriters include: Fidelity National Title, Chicago Title, Commonwealth Land Title, Alamo Title, and National Title of New York.

The new relationship establishes Chicago Title as Title Guaranty’s primary underwriter, Pietsch said.

“This innovative partnership means our clients and our employees get the best of both worlds — national support and resources, coupled with island-style values and our 121-year-long-legacy of providing quality real estate services in Hawaii,” he said in a statement.

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