Stewart set to acquire Santa Cruz Title Co. in Santa Cruz County, CA

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HOUSTON (April 26, 2004) - The California Department of Insurance has approved the pending acquisition of Santa Cruz Title Co. by Stewart Title Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC).

Longtime owners Tom Kisling and Mardi Kisling are retiring from the firm and 20-year veteran Vickie Maddocks will be the new manager and division president of the company, which will retain its current name.

"Santa Cruz Title Co. is moving forward even stronger than before," said Maddocks. "We have the same great staff of key title and escrow professionals, led by a great management team - now coupled with the enhanced technology and financial strength that Stewart Title brings to the mix."

"Santa Cruz Title has a proud, 27-year history of serving our customers in Santa Cruz County," said Kisling. "We will continue to provide the very best in escrow and title services, and look forward to offering even better customer service, backed by Stewart Title, a company with strong roots in California real estate."

With eight title and escrow offices located in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Capitola, Aptos and Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz Title has more than 120 employees. According to Kisling, the company handled more than 45 percent of the Santa Cruz County real estate activity in 2003.

The company is especially proud of its title research, which is enhanced by its historical records dating back to the 1800s, including both the Penniman Title records and the Santa Cruz Land Title/Western Title records.

"Stewart has worked with Santa Cruz Title as an underwriter for many years," said Allan Wasserman, group president, Stewart Title Co., and president, Stewart Title of California. "We are especially pleased with the tradition of service that Tom and Mardi and their staff have established over these nearly 30 years of being in business. That's something that Stewart Title relates to, and something we want to keep and enhance for the real estate professionals, attorneys, lenders, builders and other customers who depend upon Santa Cruz Title for their escrow and title services."

The Santa Cruz Title Co. main office is located at 201 River St. in Santa Cruz, Calif., telephone number (831) 426-9090.

Stewart Information Services Corp. is a technology driven, strategically competitive, global real estate information company. Stewart provides title insurance and related information services through more than 7,300 issuing locations in the United States and several international markets. Stewart meets the needs of the real estate and mortgage industries through the delivery of information services required for settlement using e-commerce. These services include title reports, flood determinations, document preparation, property reports and background checks. Stewart also supplies post-closing services to lenders, automated county clerk land records, property and land ownership mapping, and GIS for governmental entities. Stewart provides expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information about Stewart can be found at www.stewart.com.

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