First American Title Co. of L.A. Once again, First American Title Co. of Los Angeles tops the list of the Valley’s biggest title companies. First American reached a peak in 1998, with an all-time record of $11 billion in the value of mortgages insured. While still number one on the list, business dropped substantially in 1999, with total mortgage value falling to $9.8 million and the number of mortgages insured dropping 22.8 percent from 1998’s total to 39,164. Like others on the list, First American felt the pinch caused by rising interest rates. As more title insurers enter the Valley, companies such as First American are also experiencing a drop in market share. In 1998, First American had a market share of 13.45 percent, which fell to 12.97 percent in 1999. First American was founded in 1964 by Matthew H. Suddleson under the name Los Angeles Land Title Co. The company changed its name to First American Title Co. on July 4, 1976, in accordance with the country’s bicentennial celebration. In 1999, the local branch got a new chief when Dennie Rowland was named president of First American Title L.A. and regional vice president of First American Title Insurance Co.