Typically this story goes in the other direction. The large corporation buys out

a locally successful business and relocates the core to their home offices,

sooner or later. Here in West Michigan we have seen this happen frequently

to some of our large local companies.  Many long time employees lose their

jobs, must scramble to find a comparative position or relocate.  That is why

this is so newsworthy! We are encouraged for the local area by this

one reversal….

Do you think they have read  ” Small is Beautiful ” by E.F. Schumacher?


Transnation Title Agency Press Release:


National Company Goes Local

LandAmerica Financial Group (NYSE LFG) announced on July 1,

2008 that it has sold its twelve West Michigan Transnation

Title Insurance operations to a group of its senior Michigan

executives and key Western Michigan employees.

The purchaser, OFTA, LLC, has formed several title agencies and will

 be commonly known as Transnation Title Agency of Michigan. The agency

 has entered into a long term exclusive contract with LandAmerica and

will issue title insurance policies through LandAmerica’s two primary

underwriters, Lawyers Title Insurance Company and Commonwealth Land

 Title Insurance Company.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Transnation Title Agency of Michigan is led by Monte Reinert who most recently

served as the Michigan Manager for LandAmerica’s title operations. Joining

Reinert on the executive team will be title industry veterans Tom Olson, Tom

Host, Sharlene Shineldecker, Steve Barnum, William VanHulle, Ed Tuma,

and Gary Opper.

Reinert indicated that this transaction was quite unique within the title industry

 in the sense that a major underwriter had agreed to sell what is considered by

many to be its jewel operation in the Midwest. “We were successful in

demonstrating to LandAmerica that by selling the operations to us, we could

actually help LandAmerica increase its market share and operating margins

which, over the past few years, have become the overriding focus of all the

 national title insurance companies. That focus has resulted in strategies aimed

 at reducing costs through standardization of processes and centralization.

Centralization simply means that large segments of our day to day work is

relocated to work centers in other partsof the country. That strategy goes

 against our group’s belief that superior service can best be

achieved through the efforts of highly trained and dedicated people

that customers know and can interact with on a local basis.”

Transnation executive Tom Olson stated that as unique as it was for

LandAmerica to sell a prime title operation, it is even more unique

that the agency will be wholly owned by a large number of its

 75 employees rather than just a few individuals oroutside

investors. “It is exciting for me that so many employees were able to

 become direct owners of this venture. We believe that our ownership

structure will empower employees at the local level to make decisions,

 solve problems, and take whatever action necessary to get the job

done for our customers.”

Reinert further stated that Transnation was instrumental in negotiating with

LandAmerica to keep the Zeeland title production center from being closed and

relocated to Twinsburg. Ohio. This not only prevented most of the

positions associated with the Zeeland location from being

eliminated, it allows for Transnation to keep the preparation of its

 title products in the hands of local experts familiar with the title

intricacies of West Michigan.

Transnation will be a full service title operation offering title insurance

and related title products for both residential and commercial transactions,

transaction management, escrow and closing services, mobile and bi-lingual

closings, 1031 Exchanges, customer marketing materials, builder

services, and customer information services.


Copyright 2008 ~ All rights reserved

Terry Westbrook Five Star Real Estate LLC