WFG Marks 10-year Anniversary

October 8, 2020

Williston Financial Group (WFG) is marking its 10th anniversary in 2020 with record sales volume and three new fintech product releases.

While keeping the focus on employee, client and colleague safety, WFG's success despite the historic social and economic challenges of a global pandemic confirms its long-term stability, which is a testament to the principles upon which Executive Chairman Patrick Stone founded the company in 2010.

WFG's mission had a central goal of creating a single technology platform that could bring together all real estate transaction participants, then leverage it to provide maximum collaboration and efficiency.

In 2020, examples of this came from WEST, WFG's wholly owned technology and data security services subsidiary. By enhancing and expanding the availability of three of its proprietary technology offerings, WEST allowed WFG to advance the industry at large. DecisionPoint, an award winning, automated title-decisioning system enables lenders to know almost instantly a loan's application-to-close time. The WESTprotect cybersecurity helpdesk service now includes a new self-service cybersecurity website. Introduced in September, enables real estate agents, lenders, title agents, and other settlement service providers to sign up for alerts about active Internet fraud threats and submit questionable emails for evaluation. Later this month WEST and WFG Lender Services are formally co-launching MyHome for mortgage lenders. This is a greatly expanded version of the company's consumer collaboration portal service, which has been in use for several years within WFG’s direct title operations. MyHome provides transparency to every participant in the real estate transaction—consumer, Realtor, lender, loan officer, processor and funder—through direct, immediate web and mobile access.

In 2010, still in the shadow of another financial crisis, Stone saw great opportunities for a client-centric, tech-focused family of companies in the title insurance and real estate settlement services industry. He had already built a prominent career in C-level positions with three public companies and directorships on two Fortune 500 boards, and nine years as president and COO of the nation's largest title insurance company.

According to Stone, WFG had an advantage then because, although established title insurance underwriters had made some changes to take advantage of new technologies, those companies remained burdened by sunk costs and committed to traditional operating standards.

In just five years, WFG National Title Insurance Company, WFG's Portland-based flagship, had become one of only six national underwriting firms.

The emphasis on technology has allowed WFG to grow both steadily and securely into a family of companies providing products and services across much of the real estate and mortgage spectrum. Its Enterprise Solutions group includes title and closing service providers WFG Lender Services, WFG Default Title Services and Valutrust Solutions, a national appraisal management and property valuation provider.

"The market remains underserved in the sense that the mortgage lending market has changed so quickly that everyone is still trying to keep up," Stone said earlier this year. "The opportunity for a new player to come in 10 years ago, and be client-oriented and use technology to replace hierarchical management structures, is exactly the kind of firm lenders want to partner with today. In these uncertain times, we see our vision of a fully integrated tech stack as the main force of customers' stability."

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