The commercial real estate market continues to improve across the country. There’s a lot riding on these transactions, particularly when they get into the $100 million-plus range, and the list of title companies with the financial strength to handle deals of this magnitude is short. We are proud to say that Stewart is one of them.
Since January of 2012, Stewart has been the sole underwriter for 50 transactions valued at over $100 million – 11 of which were over $200 million. And our ability to meet the needs of the largest commercial real estate transactions in the country has continued to grow, further emphasized when Kroll Bond Ratings® recently upgraded our commercial capacity limit.
Kroll helps commercial transaction participants such as financial institutions, major insurance companies and real estate attorneys, among others, judge an insurer’s single risk limit. Based on the size of our policyholders’ surplus – one of the largest in the industry – as well as our liquidity, asset quality, capital and earnings, the agency rated Stewart Title Guaranty Company as capable of being the sole underwriter on transactions of up to $210 million. This increase represents a greater opportunity to serve our customers, simplifying the transaction by eliminating the need for reinsurance in some cases, and providing our customers with the peace of mind that we can underwrite the entire transaction.
While being the sole underwriter for a transaction has its advantages, it’s not the only attribute that makes Stewart attractive to those making large commercial investments. In addition to our financial strength, the depth of experience on our bench is second to none. We’re fortunate to have some of the most skilled underwriters in the industry within our national commercial division to help our customers mitigate risks, resolve issues and make it to the closing table with confidence. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, that kind of peace of mind can be invaluable.
Indicators right now show that commercial real estate market will continue to improve in the short term. At Stewart, we’ve already seen a significant uptick in our commercial business this year and anticipate that it will continue to grow, along with our capacity to handle the largest transactions. With our financial strength, underwriting expertise and unmatched customer service, Stewart is more equipped now than ever to help our commercial real estate customers with the heavy lifting.