As an entreprenuer who watched these two company's closely, and had direct dealings before, during and after the Chicago takeover and FNIS development on other matters, I drew my own sets of conclusions as to where I'd put my money - which is the purpose of investment. Words such as "fine", "old", etc., don't exist for me - merely performance. And that performance must be consistently shown in earnings. And if the company doesn't like such a judgement - then it shouldn't be a public company, but a private one - then it can be whatever it wants to be. FAF is not a bad company - but it doesn't merit my investment because management does not perform to the level of the competition. It should have another 4% on the bottom line - and doesn't. This indicates that it's less efficient, and that it has too many employees. It's not difficult to look good in a rising market, but it's much tougher to perform when the market begins to fall off - as will be happening to title insurance. Both company's will have falling revenue's on the title side - but what about earnings? Have you thought about that. Will the fall off in earnings match the fall off in revenues - or will the less efficient company have a greater relative fall off in earnings? That's the issue you have to answer. Now, if being a fine old company is your criteria, there are lots of those. But, I must admit, I've never seen that "FOC" criteria before.
Actually I've never been in the title business or worked for Fidelity, just got interested via owning stock in FNIS and predecessors. As I've said here before, it's an industry where even the worst player is probably a more solid company than the leader in many others.
I don't question that FAF is a fine old company with many merits, and a strong number two in the industry. I just can't get anywhere near as excited about it as I can every time Foley pulls off another low cost, accretive, acquisition and then integrates it quickly and smoothly.
By the way, I know what Redlac does for a living. Like Mr. Foley, he's an entrepreneur. Unlike Bill, he doesn't work for Fidelity.
Actually, you are absolutely correct. FNF bought a "broken down" Chicago Title (once the untouchable leader)and integrated it with tremendous skill, unlike the horrible way Chicago tried to integrate its mergers, e.g., TICOR. This catapulted FNF into the lead. It was widely expected that this merger might implode with the former CTIC talent running for the exits. It didn't happen. Somehow (maybe you know), FNF was able to integrate an extremely top heavy MBA loving management and make it work in a streamlined environment.
FNF is a great company, but so is FAF, and you recognize that fact. You really should try to get the word out to people like Redlac and Brody that they have nothing to be defensive about. They work for a great company and they don't have to knock their good competition.
For years FNF was the red headed step child to FAF.
FNF had a strategy and in California which is a very , very healthy market area,
FNF took FAF head on and knocked FAF easily into 2nd from the dominant position they used to have as numero #1.
FAF and FNF are heavy duty competitors.
as are all the Title companies in California.
Its a brutal business environment.
Come on Son. Redlac threw out the challenge. Give us some metrics or strategy to support your contention that FAF is the better company. Besides the fact that they may have written the title insurance for the Louisiana Purchase.
You're a small investor in FAF who came on the board and combined insinuations with unsupported criticism that invited a response which then evolved into your petty name calling. You initiated it, which led to the FAF/FNF comparisons. You don't like the response - go somewhere and make a contribution. The people here aren't into your style - that's all. Now, if you want to dig and present an actual argument - we're all ears.
You people are so defensive. That usually denotes a certain inferiority. Wish I was a psychologist because there is something quite deep in your defensive hostility. Are you employees? Think of me as you wish. I am not employed at FAF, and I hold only small position, having switched over to mostly gold shares some time ago.
If I did have any psychological expertise, I would certainly try to analyze why this board constantly knocks its competition (FAF) while you never see that on the FAF board. Could be that the FAF staff are just a little more mature and gentlemanly and ladylike. It is, however, quite interesting. Hmmmm......
Name calling is generally the last resort of those who can't support their position. Nice to know that's all you've got left in your arsenal. However, must tell you that the comment on FAF becoming the "one-stop" information shop was very amusing. FNF has locked down that 50% mortgage processing share - something FAF can now never do - because you can neither build it to that level, nor acquire it to that level. Poor Kennedy just didn't have the money to play. So, having locked down the lions share of the back end of the real estate transaction, as well as having locked down the 50% of the MLS share while Kennedy was apparently focussed on those wonderful consumer credit reports, you now have FNF passing FAF on the flood side, as well as firmly taking the title leadership in Florida - to add to title leadership everywhere else that counts. And Bill, with a bigger check book, just continues merrily on his way. So, yes, you have added some humore to the board. Poor Kennedy - outflanked everywhere by a better run company - must be sucking rather hard on that silver spoon these days.