Fiserv Inc. (Nasdaq:FISV) announced today that it has acquired an equity interest in Urban Settlement Services LLC, a vendor management company that provides title search, real estate appraisal and closing products and services supporting the home mortgage industry.
Urban Settlement, based in Pittsburgh, is the only national minority-owned settlement services company currently certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Urban Settlement serves a number of major financial institutions including Citizen's Bank, Bank of America, PNC Bank and Wachovia Bank. The company is owned by Charles Sanders, who also serves as its president.
"Fiserv's investment in Urban Settlement is consistent with our objective of providing high- quality products and services to the institutions we serve," said James Puzniak, president of Fiserv Lending Solutions. "Fiserv sought a company that is nationally recognized for providing settlement services that met minority-owner requirements. Fiserv's involvement will enable Urban Settlement to compete more effectively, and in return, we will be able to provide enhanced services to help our clients meet the needs of their marketplace."
Fiserv's investment will enable Urban Settlement to grow its business portfolio among current clients and new institutions, according to Sanders. "We expect this to result in greater business opportunities for people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. We are very excited about the partnership and the opportunities this alliance brings for our clients, banks and the customers they serve," he said.
Working with Urban Settlement Services will enable client banks to embrace diversity goals in a high-quality way while creating diversity plans for many of its banking products. In addition, Urban Settlement may serve as an outlet for other Fiserv lending products, while gaining the efficiencies of a much larger organization.
"We believe that incorporating additional diversity in our business model enhances our ability to deliver value now, and in the future," said Puzniak. "At Fiserv, it is our goal to bring value, opportunity and growth to clients and their customers so that everyone can participate equally in the reward of financial success."