Kensington Vanguard Opens First Washington, D.C. Area Office with Acquisitions of New Era Title and Clear to Close Settlements

Company Continues Acquisition-Driven National Expansion

Mar 17, 2014, 11:00 ET from Kensington Vanguard National Land Services

NEW YORK, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kensington Vanguard National Land Services, one of the largest independent full-service national title insurance and settlement agencies in the United States, today announced that the Company has opened its first office in the greater Washington, D.C. market with the acquisitions of New Era Title and Clear to Close Settlement Services, two leading northern Virginia-based title agencies.

The acquisitions, which mark the second and third acquisitions completed by Kensington Vanguard in the last 12 months, provide a strong footprint for the Company in the highly attractive Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area and further the Company's acquisition-driven national expansion. Lawrence Tucker and Sean Wiltshire, former principals of the acquired firms, will lead the Company's regional efforts as Vice Presidents of the DC Metro Region. Regional operations will be consolidated into Kensington Vanguard's new office, located in Tysons Corner in Vienna, Va.

In acquiring Fairfax County-based New Era Title and Clear to Close, Kensington Vanguard has become one of the largest title agencies in Virginia. The acquisitions significantly expand the Company's diverse clientele of investors, attorneys, realtors and lenders. 

Brian Cooper, Co-CEO of Kensington Vanguard said, "Clear to Close and New Era Title are both great franchises and established market leaders with excellent client bases and reputations for best-in-class service and expertise. While Kensington Vanguard has conducted business in the greater Washington, D.C. region for years, we are excited to now have a far more robust presence in this market led by Lawrence and Sean. They are extremely talented professionals who understand our client-centric culture and objectives. We look forward to continued growth and success together."

Added Jarett Fein, Kensington Vanguard's Co-CEO, "We could not be more pleased with the strategic acquisitions of New Era Title and Clear to Close. In keeping with our firm's commitment to service of the highest quality, our expansion strategy has been to identify and acquire like-minded companies in target markets. This strategic approach has allowed us to forge continued growth while maintaining the core values and culture of performance that form the basis of Kensington Vanguard's success. We had looked at several different companies in the region in an effort to establish a strong presence in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area and, after connecting with Lawrence and Sean, it quickly became evident that they were the perfect partners to help grow our business and brand in this market."

Founded in 2003, New Era Title was owned and led by Tucker, a 10-year industry veteran whose team brings a uniquely high level of legal sophistication to the closing process.

Commented Tucker, "Kensington Vanguard is the right strategic partner for us. The Company has the strategic foresight, financial wherewithal, national commercial title insurance capabilities, institutional lender vendor management relationships and - crucially - the commitment to client service that is needed to thrive in this extremely competitive market and exacting regulatory environment. We are thrilled to be part of the Kensington Vanguard family."

Prior to entering the title insurance industry, Wiltshire worked in the mortgage banking business in business development and management roles with Saxon Mortgage. He built Clear to Close with a customer service-driven philosophy, resulting in a robust and loyal client base.

Wiltshire said, "Our customers will continue to receive the intimate and local service to which they have grown accustomed, with the additional benefits offered by Kensington Vanguard's national platform. This deal allows me and Lawrence to focus exclusively on servicing our clientele and growing the business."

After a strategic private equity investment led by Red Oak Partners in 2012, Kensington Vanguard positioned itself to be a consolidator in the title insurance market through financial strength, leadership in both the commercial and residential markets, a national platform and a commitment to top-tier regulatory compliance. In June 2013, former Deputy Director of the U.S. Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Raj Date, joined the Company's board of directors.

Date, now Managing Partner of venture investment firm Fenway Summer LLC, said, "I'm looking forward to the Kensington Vanguard team continuing to gain share and bring on great new teams like the ones at New Era Title and Clear to Close. It's an entrepreneurial culture, and a firm that does the right thing by its clients every day. In a regulated business, and in a business where your reputation matters, that's the way to win."

Kensington Vanguard operates three divisions: its High Liability Division, National Lender Services Division and 1031 Exchange Services Division:

  • The High Liability Division is a market leader in handling the largest and most complex commercial real estate transactions in the marketplace, servicing a prominent and diversified clientele consisting of leading property owners, developers, REITs, private equity groups, law firms, private investors and institutional lenders, such as Blackstone, Starwood Capital Group, UBS, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Silverstein Properties and Guggenheim Commercial Real Estate Finance.
  • The National Lender Services Division provides title and settlement services for a high volume of residential refinances driven by both regional and national mortgage lenders, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citibank. A member of the exclusive approved vendor lists for leading lenders, this division's technology, operating model and quality of service are unparalleled in the industry.
  • The 1031 Exchange Services Division's seasoned experts support clients in gaining IRS Section 1031(a) recognition, enabling corporations to defer realized gains/losses during the exchange of select properties.

About Kensington Vanguard National Land Services
Kensington Vanguard National Land Services, headquartered in New York City with offices in Florida, New Jersey, Virginia and Texas, is one of the largest independent full-service national title insurance and settlement agencies in the United States. Resulting from a 2008 merger between Kensington National Land Services, LLC and Vanguard Title Agency, Inc. (both founded in 2002), Kensington Vanguard provides commercial and residential title insurance, settlement, escrow and 1031 exchange services. Operating in all 50 states, the Company serves as agent to the nation's largest and most prestigious title insurance underwriters. Kensington Vanguard's client base is a highly diversified mix of law firms, investors, developers, operators, opportunity funds, commercial lenders, family offices and high-volume regional and national residential lenders. For more information, visit


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