HOUSTON (Jan. 17, 2006) - E. Ashley Smith has been named executive vice president, general counsel and chief legal officer of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC) and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Stewart Title Guaranty Co. and Stewart Title Co.
With an impressive, 35-year résumé in corporate governance, administrative law, governmental affairs and real estate, Smith most recently has served since 2003 as vice chancellor for governmental relations and policy for the University of Texas System.
"We conducted an extensive search involving our Stewart directors in making recommendations, and we are confident in the choice of Ashley Smith for this position," said Malcolm Morris, chairman and co-chief executive officer, Stewart Information Services Corp. "Ashley is an experienced general counsel, with an exemplary background and educated in issues facing public companies.
"He comes with an enthusiasm for the position, he supports the people he works with, and has an absolute reputation for integrity," added Morris.
"We welcome Ashley to our company," said Stewart Morris Jr., president and co-chief executive officer, Stewart Information Services Corp. "He will bring a broad scope of experience and interpersonal skills that are essential in our growing business."
A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Smith began his career working for Southwestern Group Financial, a publicly traded company, eventually becoming its vice president and general counsel. He also served as general counsel to the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7) that was held in Houston. A member of the Texas House of Representatives from Harris County for 14 years, Smith chaired several committees, including the Budget and Oversight committee that oversaw the Texas Department of Insurance.
Honored in 1991 as the High-Tech Legislator of the Year by the American Electronics Association, Smith was founding chairman of BioHouston, a non-profit corporation dedicated to establishing the Houston region in the life science and biotechnology commercialization arena. He currently serves on the group's executive committee as secretary and treasurer, and also serves on the board of the Houston Technology Center.
Prior to joining the UT System, Smith was president and chief executive officer of The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR), a nationally ranked rehabilitation and research facility with its main location in the Texas Medical Center.
"The reputation of Stewart Title and its demonstrated leadership in the title industry is well-known in the community and throughout the nation," said Smith. "I've known the company for a lifetime. I am looking forward to being in service to this outstanding institution under Malcolm Morris' and Stewart Morris Jr.'s proven leadership."
A licensed attorney in the state of Texas, Smith also holds a Texas real estate broker's license. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and in addition to his J.D. from the University of Texas, he holds a master of laws degree in international and environmental law from the University of Houston.
Stewart Information Services Corp. is a technology driven, strategically competitive, real estate information and transaction management company providing title insurance and related information services through more than 8,000 policy-issuing offices and agencies in the United States and several international markets. Stewart delivers via e-commerce the services required for settlement by the real estate and mortgage industries. Stewart also provides post-closing lender services, automated county clerk land records, property ownership mapping, geographic information systems, property information reports, flood certificates, document preparation, background checks and expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information can be found at www.stewart.com.