Graphic with Great Place to Work 2022 certification badge announcing Alliant National is Certified™ by Great Place to Work® for the sixth year in a row.

Alliant National Title Insurance Earns 2022 Great Place to Work Certification™

Longmont, CO — (January 11, 2022) — Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position, is proud to be Certified™ by Great Place to Work® for the sixth year in a row. The prestigious award is based entirely on what current employees say about their experience working at Alliant National. This year, 96% of employees said that when you join Alliant National, you are made to feel welcome.

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention and increased innovation.

“Great Place to Work Certification™ isn’t something that comes easily – it takes ongoing dedication to the employee experience,” said Sarah Lewis-Kulin, vice president of global recognition at Great Place to Work. “It’s the only official recognition determined by employees’ real-time reports of their company culture. Earning this designation means that Alliant National is one of the best companies to work for in the country.”

“From the inception of our company, we’ve focused on building a culture at Alliant National anchored by our core value of caring — caring about our agents, our communities, and each other,” said David Sinclair, President and CEO of Alliant National. “To receive this certification six years in a row is a gratifying and humbling testament to those collective efforts.”

According to Great Place to Work research, job seekers are 4.5 times more likely to find a great boss at a Certified great workplace. Additionally, employees at Certified workplaces are 93% more likely to look forward to coming to work, and are twice as likely to be paid fairly, earn a fair share of the company’s profits and have a fair chance at promotion.

Alliant National distinguishes itself from competitors by combining strong underwriting capability with independent agents’ in-depth knowledge of local markets. The result is a nationwide network with deep roots in local communities, and a wealth of expertise that is flexible, nuanced, and continuously growing.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for the Independent AgentSM – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive. The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 600+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

ABOUT GREAT PLACE TO WORK CERTIFICATION™

Great Place to Work® Certification™ is the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition that companies aspire to achieve. It is the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience – specifically, how consistently they experience a high-trust workplace. Great Place to Work Certification is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is the global benchmark for identifying and recognizing outstanding employee experience. Every year, more than 10,000 companies across 60 countries apply to get Great Place to Work-Certified.

ABOUT GREAT PLACES TO WORK®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees worldwide and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Their employee survey platform empowers leaders with the feedback, real-time reporting and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Everything they do is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a great place to work For All™.

Learn more at greatplacetowork.com and on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Bravo Patrick Hagler

Alliant National Announces the Promotion of Patrick Hagler to Regional Counsel – Southeast  

Longmont, Colo. – (November 30, 2021) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position, announces the promotion of Patrick Hagler to Regional Counsel – Southeast.

For the past five years, Hagler has served as State Counsel-Georgia and South Carolina. From reviewing and approving transactions to supporting the company’s network of independent agents, Patrick has applied his vast industry knowledge and versatile skill set for the betterment of the organization and its agents.

In his new position as Regional Counsel, Hagler will expand his purview to cover the entirety of the Southeast region, working to find creative solutions to title issues and helping Alliant National’s agents and their clients successfully get to the closing table. He will also assist in developing Alliant National’s market opportunities in the Southeast.

“I am honored and excited to expand my position with Alliant National and take on a leadership role in the Southeast region. Growing our Georgia operations for the past five years has been challenging and rewarding,” said Hagler. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with Tracey Webb and our entire Southeast team to further expand Alliant National’s footprint and grow our network of independent agents in the area. Furthermore, I welcome the chance to work with Jeff Stein, Chief Underwriting Counsel; our Southeast legal team; and the entire legal department. We have some of the best in the business, and I’m continually learning and growing by working alongside our knowledgeable team.”

“Patrick has been critical to our company and the growth of our business in Georgia,” said Jeff Stein, Chief Underwriting Counsel and Senior Vice President for Alliant National. “He has also been an invaluable help to me in assisting our counsel and agents in the Southeast states in which we do business. I am thrilled for what lies ahead. I know that with his leadership, our team of Southeast attorneys will do great things and provide extraordinary support to our independent title agents.”

Hagler received his J.D. from St. Mary’s University. He previously obtained his B.S. from Texas A&M University. He is a member of SLTA and ALTA, and lives in North Georgia.

Alliant National distinguishes itself from competitors by combining strong underwriting capability with independent agents’ in-depth knowledge of local markets. The result is a nationwide network with deep roots in local communities, and a wealth of expertise that is flexible, nuanced and continuously growing.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relations
e: cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p: 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for The Independent AgentSM – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive.

The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 600+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 30
states and the District of Columbia.

rendering of a compass with a CMS icon

What Content Management System (CMS) Does Your Organization Need?

Your CMS is what supports your business’s digital front door. Be sure it’s the right one!

Last month, we shared a post on selecting the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution for your business. At the time, we highlighted the fundamental importance of such platforms, in that it’s difficult to make sales without first having access to the clean, organized and insightful customer data that CRMs provide.

All of this remains true; a good CRM can help make or break a business. Yet if there is one solution even more important, it would be your content management system (CMS). While CRMs can help you sell better and optimize your processes, without a great CMS you may not need processes as you likely won’t have customers to sell to. CMSs let users create, manage and modify content on a website even if they don’t possess specialized technical knowledge like coding. And since we live in a digital-first world, without a website it is extraordinarily difficult to find, attract and establish an audience for your products or services.

Here’s how to select the right CMS for your business needs and ensure that you’ll always have an easy way to manage your content.

CMS Platforms 101

What do we mean when we say that CMS platforms allow you to create and modify content without advanced knowledge of computer programming? Well, without a CMS, you would need to write a static HTML file and upload it to your server if you wanted to present your audience with a fresh piece of content. A CMS does all this heavy lifting for you. With an interface roughly comparable to Microsoft Word, these platforms make it a breeze to compose, format and optimize your content with elements like links, videos, polls or photos.

In addition, CMS platforms assist users with designing the look and feel of their site. They also often support functionality like eCommerce, blogging, forums, portfolios, social networks and more. The amount and variety of features vary across platforms and price points, but increasingly, most leading CMS brands, such as JoomlaTM, DrupalTM, WordPress.orgTM, SquarespaceTM and WixTM, can accommodate a wide variety of different use cases.

What Type of CMS Do You Need?

Whenever investing in a new piece of software, you should always start by addressing who your stakeholders are. If your agency has a marketing professional on staff, for instance, they will likely need to be involved in the decision. The same goes for IT and, of course, sales. Gather their input before moving forward with a vendor and be sure that they are a part of the conversation during the implementation process.

It is also crucial to think through your priorities and the priorities of your stakeholders. Consider what CMS features are organizational needs or, in other words, your “must-haves,” and what are your organizational wants or “nice to haves.” Write these down to help guide your conversations with vendors. If you’re finding it difficult to think through the features you do or do not need, never fear. There are plenty of articles online that can help get you up to speed on the features offered by many top platforms.

Next, you must grapple with the logistical question of how your CMS will be hosted, choosing between either cloud or on-premise; each have their pros and cons. Of course, these days when it comes to new software solutions, many people extol the values of a cloud-native approach, and it’s not difficult to understand why. From lowering IT workloads to reducing costs, the cloud clearly holds some major advantages. However, you must carefully consider the merits of each option to decide what will work best for your organization.  

After that, take a good, hard look at your internal capabilities – that is, the technical competency of you and your staff. This is a pertinent question to explore, as the amount of digital acumen required to fully leverage a CMS depends completely on the brand you select.

There is no need to worry too much on this point. Many of the leading CMS brands have reached their current market position due to their incredible usability. But there are still major differences between systems, and the last thing you want is to invest in a new solution that is difficult or impossible for your staff to use.

CMS: A Pathway to Sales and Business Success

CMS platforms have been around for decades now, and it’s quite likely that you have already had some experience operating one. Still, you may never have gone through the process of implementing such an important system. Thinking through the questions outlined here can be a helpful exercise. It can ensure that you and your agency create a dynamic digital experience for your customers, which, of course, is a sure-fire way to start bettering your sales.

FTC Complying with the Safeguards Rule

FTC updates Safeguards Rule: here’s your overview

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is updating a key data security rule, and the changes will place new compliance requirements on nonbank financial institutions including title, escrow and settlement agents. Among other things, the Safeguards Rule amendments finalized October 27 will require covered institutions to beef up their information security programs (ISPs). The changes are a response to widespread data breaches and attacks that have caused significant consumer harm in recent years, the FTC said.

Before surveying the changes, it may be helpful to review the state and federal compliance framework of which the Safeguards Rule is an important element.

GLBA, state law and the Safeguards Rule

The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. Chapter 94: Privacy, establishes basic privacy standards for “financial institutions,” including title insurers, title agents, and settlement/escrow agents. Unique in their role as third-party vendors to lenders, real estate settlement service providers also have a separate obligation to comply with the GLBA on behalf of the obligations owed by their lenders.

As long as states afford consumers the same or greater protection as GLBA, they can enact their own privacy laws, and they have all done so to different degrees and standards. Asserting their own authority, many states have privacy laws that substantially mirror GLBA, while others have their own, distinctive laws; and still others simply point to GLBA and mandate compliance with it. 

Typically, state privacy laws and the federal GLBA overlap in the following general categories of privacy protections:

  1. Disclosure Protections consisting of a privacy notice, “Opt Out” or “Disclosure Authorization” notice, and limits on what types of disclosures of Nonpublic Personal Information (NPI) may be made by a nonaffiliated third party who receives the information from a “financial institution”;
  • Security Protections consisting of a written security program, including administrative, technical and physical safeguards;
  • Security Breach Notification Requirements consisting of laws requiring a business to send out notice of any improper disclosure of NPI in its possession or control. 

The FTC’s Safeguards Rule (16 CFR Part 314) is one of the federal regulations that implements the GLBA by requiring a written security program; the FTC offers guidance on its website regarding compliance with the “Safeguards Rule.”  The rule provides “elements” in 16 CFR 314.4 to develop, implement, and maintain the Information Security Program (ISP), including risk assessment, management and control, oversight of service providers, evaluation and adjustment. 

Rule changes

On October 27, 2021, the FTC issued a news release announcing that the agency was updating the Safeguards Rule to provide better protection against breaches and cyberattacks; it includes a link to the Final Rule containing the amendments (beginning on page 123) and the proposed text of what you can expect to see upon publication in the Federal Register.   

In recent days, there have been numerous newsletters and blog articles buzzing about the final rule’s new requirements. Davis Wright Tremain LLP has a particularly good blog that summarizes the key requirements of the final rule.

There is a lot to talk about, and while the amended final rule is much more prescriptive in its approach, it is also drafted to provide flexibility and clarity. In particular there are helpful suggestions and information about alternative security options for small businesses who may qualify for limited exemptions discussed above. It also makes it clear that the ISP is intended to protect information in both its digital and physical forms. 

The final rule contains tons of commentary, including discussion regarding stakeholder input and the commission’s rationale behind its final decisions. Some noteworthy highlights, as abbreviated, are:

  • designating a single, Qualified Individual as responsible for overseeing, implementing, and enforcing the ISP;
  • base the ISP on a written risk assessment which includes specific criteria described in the amendment;
  • designing and implementing safeguards, including:
    • access controls;
    • system inventory (i.e. knowing where the data is kept, and how everything is connected);
    • encryption;
    • secure development practices for in-house developed applications, and security assessments for externally developed applications (reference applications involving customer information);
    • multi-factor authentication; 
    • disposing of customer information which hasn’t been used for two years (unless required for a legitimate business purpose);
    • periodically reviewing record retention policies to minimize unnecessary retention of information;
    • change management procedures;
    • monitoring and logging user activity;
  • biannual vulnerability testing on information systems, and additional assessments when there is an elevated risk of new vulnerabilities (e.g. when there are material changes to operations or business arrangements, and those changes will have a material impact on the ISP);
  • implementing policies and procedures – which include training, updating, and verification requirements –  and ensuring qualified personnel are available to enact the ISP;
  • overseeing service providers, requiring them by contract to implement and maintain appropriate safeguards;
  • evaluate and adjust the ISP due to circumstances which may have a material impact upon it;
  • establish a written incident response plan which addresses specific areas described in the amendment;
  • required regular reporting, in writing, by the Qualified Individual – at least annually – to the board of directors, or to a senior officer (when there is no board of directors) responsible for the ISP, concerning 1) the overall status of the ISP and its compliance with the final rule; and 2) material matters related to the ISP; and
  • exemptions for financial institutions which handle the information of fewer than 5,000 customers, from the requirements of (referring to sections of 16 CFR Part 314, as amended by the final rule):
    • 314.4(b)(1) – a written risk assessment
    • 314.4(d)(2) – continuous monitoring or annual penetration testing and biannual vulnerability assessment
    • 314.4(h) – a written incident response plan
    • 314.4(i) – an annual report by the Qualified Individual

Effective dates

The anticipated date of publication in the Federal Register is not yet known, but that date will control the effective date(s) of the amendments. The effective date is one year after the publication for the following amendment provisions (referring to sections of 16 CFR Part 314, as amended by the final rule):

  • 314.4(a) – appointment of a qualified individual
  • 314.4(b)(1) – conducting a written risk assessment
  • 314.4(c)(1)-(8) new elements of the ISP
  • 314.4(d)(2) – continuous monitoring or annual penetration testing and biannual vulnerability assessment
  • 314.4(e) – training for personnel
  • 314.4(f)(3) – periodic assessment of service providers
  • 314.4(h) – a written incident response plan
  • 314.4(i) – annual written reports from the qualified individual

The remainder of the final rule’s amendments are effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

This article is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. Any opinions, or perceived opinions, are strictly those of the authors and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Consultation with an attorney for specific advice based upon the reader’s situation is recommended.

Welcome graphic of Perry Craver, Underwriting Counsel Florida for Alliant National

Perry Craver is hired as Florida Underwriting Counsel

Longmont, Colo. – (October 27, 2021) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position, announces the hiring of Perry Craver as Florida Underwriting Counsel.

A seasoned and knowledgeable professional, Craver brings over 25 years of experience in the title insurance industry – having worked on both the underwriter and agent sides of the profession. Well-versed in title production, production management, agency management, underwriting and claims, Craver is a proactive problem solver and takes pride in getting transactions closed as planned and on schedule.  

At Alliant National, Craver will be busy as part of the Florida regional team. He will be primarily focused on working with Alliant National agents, its searchers and other title professionals on how best to insure real estate transactions. He is looking forward to getting to know the company’s Florida-based agents and supporting them through their title challenges so they can close transactions quickly and smoothly.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the Alliant National team,” said Craver. “My co-workers and managers are some of the most talented, hard-working and dedicated individuals you will find in the industry, and I am truly honored to be working alongside them. Drawing upon my diverse title background and experiences, I am looking forward to doing my part to ensure that Alliant National continues to be Florida’s premier agent-focused title underwriter.”

“Perry is an incredible underwriter and title professional who brings a seasoned outlook, deep industry knowledge and an amazing passion for all things title,” said Brenda Cannon, Alliant National’s Regional Counsel Florida and Senior Vice President. “With over 25 years of experience under his belt, he will be a great addition to the Alliant National team in Florida.”

Craver received his J.D. from Nova Southeastern University – Shepard Broad Law Center. He previously obtained his B.S. in political science from North Carolina State University. A member of the Florida Bar, Craver is a licensed title agent in 25+ states, including Florida. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Jacksonville, Florida.

Alliant National distinguishes itself from competitors by combining strong underwriting capability with independent agents’ in-depth knowledge of local markets. The result is a nationwide network with deep roots in local communities, and a wealth of expertise that is flexible, nuanced and continuously growing.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relations
e: cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p: 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for The Independent AgentSM – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive.

The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 600+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 30
states and the District of Columbia.

This blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on this blog.

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