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50-Year Title Veteran Retires from Stewart’s Commercial Division

May 5, 2011

Stewart Title announces after more than 50 years in the title business, Jim Putnam, senior vice president – Commercial Division at Stewart Title – Houston, is retiring. Putnam is succeeded by industry veteran Randy Elkins.

“Jim has always approached the title business with a desire to continuously learn and hone his skills. He understands that this is a hands-on business, that to get better you’ve got to be involved at every level, and Jim’s done that for as long as I’ve known him.”

Putnam got his start in the title business at the Stewart Title office in Dallas in 1960. He moved back to the Houston area several years later and got a job with American Title Company where he worked his way up to president before returning to Stewart Title in 1996 at his current position.

During his long career, Putnam has been involved in some of the biggest commercial transactions in Houston – including the Galleria and many of the office buildings downtown – and come to know some of the most active market players in the commercial real estate industry. This experience enabled him to recall information and facts on a host of properties and transactions throughout the Houston area.

“Jim’s knowledge and wisdom have made him an incredibly valuable resource for our company and our customers,” said E.D. Lester, CEO of Stewart Title Houston, “but more than what he knows, it’s how Jim approaches the title business that has helped make our commercial division the best in the city.”

Stewart Morris, Jr., president and CEO of Stewart Title, agrees, “Jim has always approached the title business with a desire to continuously learn and hone his skills. He understands that this is a hands-on business, that to get better you’ve got to be involved at every level, and Jim’s done that for as long as I’ve known him.”

Putnam decided it was time to concentrate more on his personal interests and family, including his wife, Leslie, and his sons, spouses and grandchildren. He will continue to be involved in the business throughout the rest of 2011; however, acting as an advisor to Elkins..

Elkins, with more than 40 years of legal, banking, real estate and entrepreneurial experience, began his career with Texas Commerce Bank in 1971. He earned his law degree while working full time with the bank, then put it to good use in a variety of positions with Texas Commerce, Elkins & Yount, Baker & Hostettler, Hughes Watters Askanase, and Commerce Funding Group, LLP.

Elkins’ background enables him to provide a different viewpoint on commercial transactions and his extensive background in banking and law will help Stewart Title expand the layers of people we serve.

“Of course, I’m not replacing Jim,” said Elkins. “I was brought in to provide a different view of commercial transactions. And I’m excited to have the opportunity to use that alternate view to run a business that is in the center of all parts of the real estate transaction and to be involved in bringing about the culmination of each deal.”



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