The First American Corporation Announces Appointment of Five Directors Recommended by Highfields Capital Management
April 15, 2008
SANTA ANA, Calif., -- The First American Corporation NYSE: FAF, America's largest provider of business information, today announced that it has elected to its board of directors five individuals recommended by Highfields Capital Management LP, the company's largest unaffiliated shareholder.
"We welcome these new directors and look forward to capitalizing on the breadth of experience they will bring both to First American and to the boards of our financial services and information solutions companies after the separation is complete," remarked Parker S. Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer of First American. "We also look forward to continuing to work with our entire board and with Highfields -- which has demonstrated confidence in First American through its meaningful investment -- in pursuit of the many business opportunities before us." The new directors include:
-- Glenn C. Christenson, formerly executive vice president and chief financial officer of Station Casinos, Inc., the largest provider of gaming and entertainment to Las Vegas residents, where he was the chief financial officer from 1989 to 2007 and a director from 1993 to 2007. Christenson is currently a private investor and a director of Sierra Pacific Resources.
- Patrick F. Stone, formerly the chief executive officer of Fidelity National Information Services and the president and chief operating officer of Fidelity National Financial, Inc., both of which are competitors of First American. Stone is currently the chairman of The Stone Group, which specializes in commercial leasing, real estate investment and development.
- Christopher V. Greetham, former executive vice president and chief investment officer of XL Capital, a leading provider of global insurance and reinsurance coverage to industrial, commercia and professional service firms, among others. Greetham currently serves as a director of Axis Capital.
- Thomas C. O'Brien, chief executive officer since 2001 of Insurance Auto Auctions Inc., where he has led the successful integration of businesses specializing in providing total-loss vehicle services to insurance companies, car rental companies and other vehicle providers.
- Bruce Bennett, founding partner in the Los Angeles, Calif., law firm of Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman LLP, where he specializes in complex corporate real estate, insurance, retail, telecommunications, banking and technology transactions.
"We believe First American can leverage its leading position in all of its businesses and drive stronger performance and profitability," said Jonathon S. Jacobson, senior managing director of Highfields. "Each of these new, high-caliber directors brings extensive expertise, operational discipline and a successful track record that will be invaluable to the management team as they pursue the company's strategic plans."
The First American board of directors has also elected Christenson and Stone to a special ad hoc committee that has been charged with overseeing the company's cost-cutting and operational-improvement efforts. D. Van Skilling, the company's lead director, serves as chairman of this committee and Stone will be vice chairman. In addition, Christenson has been appointed to the company's audit committee, and at least two of the new directors have been appointed to each of the company's other committees.
The new directors join the board pursuant to an agreement entered into between First American and Highfields, which owns approximately 10 percent of the company's shares.
Two of First American's directors have volunteered their resignations from the board. With these resignations and the appointment of the five directors announced today, First American's board now has a total of 17 members.
Source: First American