Numerous title insurance companies encountered considerable reductions in volume in 2022 following a year of remarkable growth in 2021. The sudden escalation of interest rates constrained refinance originations and created a dislocation in the home purchase market. It’s good to remember though that the mortgage market is incredibly cyclical. History suggests that origination levels are likely to bounce back soon making now a great time for buyers of title businesses.
Title underwriters are now acquiring title agents more rapidly than ever before and private equity firms are also vying for such acquisitions. Strategic acquirers can provide various advantages to agents, such as the creation of new revenue streams, back-office cost savings, and a viable succession plan for business owners. As seasoned professionals in the industry, we maintain regular communication with the most prominent M&A players and possess a track record of successfully identifying the ideal acquirers for title agents.
The advent of AI, machine learning, and blockchain is revolutionizing the underwriting process for loans and title policies. While we do not anticipate that blockchain will eradicate the need for title insurance in the foreseeable future, we are open to discussing this topic with any individual in their twenties who holds a differing perspective. In any case, we take pleasure in collaborating with technology firms that are dedicated to improving efficiency in the title industry and delivering an enhanced consumer experience.
There is an increasing demand from customers for quicker loan and title policy origination cycle times, necessitating operators to remain vigilant in meeting their clients' expectations. With every order carrying significant weight in the current market climate, we believe that operators should prioritize acquiring new business while retaining existing clientele. M&A and capital raising is a full-time job and management teams already have one (or more). Our team offers the expertise to promptly create professional offering materials and rapidly procure capital at an optimal valuation for your title business.
Former CEO of a national title insurance and settlement services company
Former CFO for a leading analytics, trading, and brokerage firm to the mortgage origination and servicing industries
Leading underwriting and compliance expert for residential and commercial title insurance
Former successful private equity investor alongside other financial services focused PE funds
We are subject matter experts in the title insurance industry
Steve founded Draycott Place Consulting in 2018 to assist companies to take advantage of growth opportunities and address operational challenges. Prior to launching Draycott Place, he was the CEO of Entitle Direct Group, Inc., the holding company of EnTitle Insurance Company, a nationally licensed Title Insurance Company for four years. Steve was responsible for setting strategy, and all aspects of the company’s operations including interfacing with the company’s clients, rating agencies, and regulators. He led the company to a sale to Radian Group (RDN:NYSE) in 2018.
Prior to leading Entitle Direct, Steve headed up the private equity group at PartnerRe Ltd, a global reinsurance company with $8 billion of total capital. While at PartnerRe, Steve originated, negotiated, structured, and monitored a portfolio of direct and fund investments many of which were designed to take advantage of the mortgage crisis that was unfolding at that time. For instance, Steve served on the board of directors of MountainView Capital Group, a leading mortgage advisory firm. Steve was also a board observer for Essent Group for four years beginning at the time of its founding.
Steve has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and is Chartered Financial Analyst. Steve maintains the Series 7, 63, and 79 FINRA Registrations through Weild & Co.
In addition to being a father of two young(er) children, he also volunteers with Hire Heroes USA, which provides job search assistance to US military veterans and their spouses and helps companies connect with opportunities to hire them.
Jerrod is a Vice President at Draycott Place Partners, where he joined in 2021 to help the firm expand its SaaS and fintech capabilities.
Prior to joining Draycott Place, Jerrod founded a management consulting firm that specialized in delivering high-quality services to growth-stage companies, with a particular focus on SaaS and fintech verticals. During his time in consulting, Jerrod worked with over 50 companies, providing expert guidance on the capital raising process, refining financial models, developing KPIs to showcase to potential investors, and forging relationships with key capital partners. Jerrod believes that every client is unique, and he prides himself on gaining a deep understanding of each client’s revenue and expense drivers to create tailored offering materials that deliver successful transactions.
Before launching his consulting business, Jerrod served as an Associate in the U.S. Equity Sales & Trading Division at Evercore, where he was involved in several IPOs and secondary offerings and developed strong trading relationships with large hedge funds and institutional money managers.
Jerrod began his career at J.P. Morgan Asset Management in the U.S. Equity Division, where he worked on a $60bn value-oriented U.S. equity portfolio. His experience included bottom-up equity analysis, macro research, and investor relations.
Jerrod holds a degree in Finance & Accounting from Kansas State University and maintains the Series 7, 63, and 79 FINRA registrations. He currently resides in the Bay Area and remains involved with Kansas State through participation in the executive mentorship and young alumni leaders’ programs.
Robert J. (Bob) Smith has enjoyed a diverse career in financial services, centered on the strategic and operational leadership of mortgage banks and affiliated businesses. His common sense approach balances service excellence, regulatory compliance and operational efficiency, while fostering a collaborative and engaging environment for his team.
During his tenure in the financial services industry, Bob has held numerous senior level positions for some of the most respected companies including Merrill Lynch, PHH, Discover Financial Services and BNY Mellon. He most recently served as EVP, Corporate Development/Strategy for Real Matters (TSE: REAL), a Canadian based fintech with affiliated businesses in the U.S., which included Solidifi Title & Closing, where Bob served as President since 2019. Bob began his career in public accounting with Deloitte, where he was recognized as a National Industry Specialist in the bank/thrift and real estate industries. He was a Senior Manager when he left the firm after eight years to join one of his clients, Merrill Lynch.
Bob has amassed vast subject matter expertise in U.S. housing finance, mortgage lending, capital markets, and regulatory matters. He has a proven track record of driving enterprise value through organic growth and inorganic strategies via small-medium scale M&A and strategic partnerships. He has operated with P&L responsibility in both bank and non-bank environments and led teams across multiple distribution/operating models.
He currently sits on two boards –the Gator Bowl Association (a501(c)(3) benefiting higher education) and AS Direct Mortgage Capital, a European mortgage bank and services company. From 2003-2011, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Atlantic Coast Bank (NASDAQ: ACFC), serving as Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Compensation and Corporate Governance Committees.
On the personal side, Bob is married with 6 children, enjoys travel, golf and is an avid snow skier. He and his wife Margaret split time between Atlanta and Steamboat Springs, CO.
Ed has been a practicing attorney for the past 45 years. He graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1968 and Duquesne University Law School in 1972 where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law in Real Estate Planning. His practice has consistently focused on real estate, lending and title insurance where he served as outside general counsel to several lending institutions.
In 1997 Ed joined Stewart Title Guaranty Company as Western PA Manager and Counsel and in 1999 was appointed Vice President for the company’s multi-state division. In 2001 he was hired as President and General Counsel of Service Link, LP, a Pittsburgh based Vendor Management Company specializing in title and settlement of residential transactions on a multi-state level. In 2005 Ed returned to private practice specializing in small balance commercial lending and closings.
Ed has been a licensed title insurance agent in PA since 1977 and is also licensed as a title agent in 21 additional states. He has served as a Counsel, Director and past and current President of TAVMA, The Title Appraisal Vendor Management Association. He has also served on the Board of Directors of RESPRO, the Real Estate Service Providers Organization. He has served as an Expert Witness for two major title insurance companies in class action litigation.