Executive of the Month: Tormey of TitleVest: A pioneer in developing the industry's most cutting-edge technology; diverse staff of all interests, backgrounds and pursuits - helps shape company's unique culture

July 13, 2015 - Front Section

Brian Tormey, TitleVest

The TitleVest team enjoyed celebrating First American's Employee Appreciation Week at TitleVest's headquarters in New York.

TitleVest Lobby, 44 Wall Street - Manhattan, NY

"Just take the elevator to the blue floor and find a seat at the Lego table."
It is clear that TitleVest is not your ordinary title insurance company - and Brian Tormey is not your ordinary executive.
Under the eccentric yet sound leadership of Tormey, TitleVest has long thrived as a leading New York City-based title agency known for operating far enough outside of the box to accommodate the ever-evolving needs of its client base while progressively revolutionizing the industry in speed, service and technology. Comprised of more than 125 employees, TitleVest's Wall St. headquarters, to some, may more closely resemble a new tech company than a title company.
Growing up on the family farm in Dallas, Oregon, Tormey's passion for hard work was instilled in him at a young age. His mother, single and raising two boys, was the embodiment of fortitude, never stopping the drive to take care of everyone around her while running her own small business and working full time.
Accordingly, Tormey has done it all - from bucking hay to managing a 100-mile paper route to creating 3D digital maps using GIS technology. While studying science, technology & society at Vassar College, Tormey took advantage of the many unique extracurricular activities the institution has to offer, and one of his most memorable experiences was being a member of the rowing team.
"There is a unison of repetitive effort and precise purpose required in rowing that is different from other sports," said Tormey. "It really helped me focus on engaging with my teammates to achieve true harmony in purpose, resolve and drive."
From college, Tormey took a position with the renowned law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP. An entrepreneur at heart, he soon realized he wanted to be a part of a young company that was intent on doing things smarter, better, faster. When given the chance to join the team at TitleVest, a small company of roughly 10 employees at the time, Tormey, then 22, saw it as an opportunity to do just that.
"TitleVest was a new company in a conservative industry that was receptive to doing things differently," Tormey said.
Tormey was quickly elbows deep alongside the CEO in helping to build the most client-centric, technology-enabled agency in the title space. He looked to hire people for their intelligence, personality and drive rather than their explicit knowledge of the title industry. He sought to understand the many moving parts of the title exam, clearance and closing processes, and to create opportunities to proactively service clients at every juncture. He worked to understand the challenges customers face, looking at them from different perspectives and having conversations to remedy them in innovative ways. Perhaps drawing on his rowing experience, Tormey created an organization of different players that, in unison, has become a synchronized force of forward thinking individuals driving creative solutions.
"I've always strived to find the interconnectivity between different people, environments and circumstances to understand how, together, they can be utilized for a new, unique purpose," said Tormey. "Identifying how different systems and personalities can work together to achieve a common goal is not only incredibly empowering, but it creates limitless opportunity. "
The TitleVest staff is composed of people of all interests, backgrounds and pursuits, which has helped shape the company's unique culture. Artists, writers, singers, medical students and entrepreneurs are few among many examples. But a common thread throughout the workforce is an extraordinary, almost uncanny dedication to client service and a sense of camaraderie shared in working to that common end. This, according to Tormey, is what sets TitleVest apart from the rest.
"We are people who care, we hire people who care and we design care into our solutions," said Tormey. "It's not only about getting our work done well, but also helping our clients and the related parties achieve the best outcome in the smoothest manner possible."
From Young Entrepreneur
to Young Executive
In March 2015, Tormey facilitated the sale of TitleVest to First American Financial Corp. (NYSE: FAF), one of the leading providers of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions that traces its heritage back to 1889. As part of the sale, TitleVest's former CEO retired, allowing Tormey to continue his leadership role, now as president.
"To be a part of the leadership team at a Fortune 500 company while maintaining TitleVest's entrepreneurial character is an absolute honor," said Tormey. "The sheer breadth of resources we now have available to us and the wonderful mentors I have gained along the way makes it exciting to wake up and come to work every morning."
TitleVest continues to provide the same products and services on which its clients have come to rely over the years, now with the backing of First American as an added bonus.
"There is a world of possibilities," said Tormey. "First American has a 126-year track record of delivering superior customer service and innovative products, and I am thrilled to be able to leverage its resources to achieve new heights for our customers."
Achieving new heights for his customers is something that, through market highs and lows, mergers and acquisitions, will remain an unwavering objective for Tormey. A pioneer in developing the industry's most cutting-edge technology and service offerings - ACRISasap, Interactive Online Report (IOR) and Offering Plan Library, to name a few - Tormey's goal has always been to help his clients help their clients. And with the backing of a substantial team that shares these core values, there is only more to come.
"We have always strived to make our clients' jobs easier and to help build their businesses where we can," said Tormey. "I am excited to leverage the resources at our disposal to execute the many plans we have in development which will allow us to do an even better job of this moving forward."

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