Old Republic announces new chief financial officer

Old Republic is making some changes to its C-Suite. The title insurance giant announced that Frank Sodaro will succeed Karl Mueller as chief financial officer when Mueller retires at the end of June. Mueller has been with Old Republic since 2004.

Sodaro, who joined the company as deputy chief financial officer in 2017, will officially begin as CFO on July 1, the company said in a press release.

“Frank’s extensive accounting, corporate finance and insurance business experience adds substantial depth and bench strength to our corporate accounting and finance group, as well as to Old Republic’s most senior operating management team,” said Al Zucaro, Old Republic CEO and chairman.

Chris Lieser will move into Sodaro’s role as deputy CFO. Lieser has worked in Old Republic’s title insurance business for 37 years.

Mueller will work with Sodaro, a CPA by training, in an advisory role until he retires, the company said.

“The appointments of Sodaro and Liester reflect the board’s confidence that they will continue to serve with excellence — affirming the great tradition of professional and loyal service Karl Mueller exemplified,” said Craig Smiddy, Old Republic president.

The company posted a total operating revenue of $2.3 billion for the first quarter 2021 — up from only $764 million in the first quarter of 2020. Income was reported at $502 million, a huge recovery from the first quarter of 2020 when Old Republic reported a loss of $605 million. Total expenses for the first quarter were $1.7 billion, a 12.4% increase from the first quarter of 2020.

Old Republic saw a total of $670 million in net income in 2020, excluding investment gains or losses, up 21% from $554 million in 2019. For all of 2020, the company reported a 20% increase in title insurance income, rounding out at $3.29 billion — compared to $2.74 billion in 2019.

Last year saw a boon for title agencies across the board, as insurers wrote $19.2 billion in premiums in 2020 — a nearly 22% increase from the $15.8 billion in 2019. Interestingly, though, Old Republic saw a slight drop in its marketshare from 2019 (15.4%) to 2020(15%).

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