Fidelity National Financial, the largest U.S. title insurer, promoted Raymond Quirk to chief executive officer as the company expands in the business of providing and analyzing mortgage data.
Quirk had been president since 2002 and will become CEO Dec. 7, replacing George Scanlon, 56, according to a statement today from Jacksonville, Florida-based Fidelity National. Brent Bickett was named president.
Fidelity National has advanced more than 80 percent since Scanlon became CEO in October 2010 through yesterday. The firm agreed in May to acquire its former unit, Lender Processing Services Inc., for about $2.9 billion in cash and stock to gain technology that's used by lenders for originations and foreclosures. Fidelity National has also invested in businesses including auto parts and restaurants.
"George has done an excellent job leading the company for the last three years," Chairman William Foley said in the statement. "As we are working towards the closing and integration of Lender Processing Services, Inc., we have decided to reallocate the CEO responsibilities."
Title insurers like Fidelity National and First American Financial Corp. use their records and public documents to verify a seller is a property's true owner and that it is free from liens. The companies collect a premium at the closing of the purchase and pay costs that may arise if someone disputes the new owner's right to the property.
Quirk will continue to manage title insurance operations. Bickett's new role will include oversight of companies in the insurer's portfolio, such as the J. Alexander's restaurant operation and Remy International Inc., the manufacturer of aftermarket equipment for cars and trucks. Bickett was previously executive vice president of corporate finance.
The stock was unchanged at $26.89 in New York trading as of 9:33 a.m. It has advanced 14 percent this year, beating the 3.7 percent advance of Santa Ana, California-based First American.