201 Main St.
Fort Worth 76102
Jack Rattikin III, President & CEO
Jack Rattikin Jr., Chairman
Throwing your company’s primary physical asset out the second-floor window usually isn’t a good way to start a business.
But that’s the first thing Rattikin Title founder Jack Rattikin Sr. did to help launch his Fort Worth business. Now, after 75 years – and three generations of continuous family ownership and leadership – that idea apparently had merit.
Rattikin Title issues title insurance policies that protect the owner’s and lender’s interest in a property if defects in the property’s title or liens on the property arise.
What Rattikin and others were throwing out the window of a downtown building in 1943 were tract books with records of Tarrant County property transfers, said Jack Rattikin III, grandson of the late Rattikin.
He’s been president of the company since 1999, and CEO since 2004. His father, Jack Rattikin Jr., preceded him as president (1968-1999) and CEO (1968-2004). The elder Rattikin is still active as the company’s chairman of the board.
In the early 1940s, when “title insurance was really a brand new thing,” Rattikin said, his grandfather was an attorney practicing in Fort Worth.
His grandfather decided he wanted to start his own title insurance agency. To do that, Texas insurance regulations required that his grandfather own a “title plant,” a set of comprehensive records of property transfers in Tarrant County going back to 1845, the year Texas became a state.
Rattikin explained that his grandfather was throwing a title plant out the window into a truck not to dispose of it, but to preserve it so he could launch his business.
His grandfather heard from a friend that “a plant was available from a man that didn’t want it,” Rattikin said. The man said Rattikin Sr. could have the records, but they had to be out of his office by 5 p.m.
The elder Rattikin accepted the challenge and the act of defenestration began.
From the beginning, Rattikin Title has always been a family business, Rattikin said.
Rattikin III grew up working for the title company every summer from age 15 through high school at R.L. Paschal, college at the University of Texas in Austin and law school at Texas Tech University. All Rattikin’s siblings are also employed at the company.
His brother, Jeff, is a real estate attorney and the company’s legal counsel. One sister performs marketing research, and the other sister, a CPA, does accounting for some partner businesses owned by the company.
And now, the fourth generation of Rattikins is also working in the family business, he said.
Rattikin said the company’s longevity and strength as a third-generation family-owned business “is almost a miracle.”
“To make it through three generations of running and owning a company hardly ever happens in America,” he said. “You rarely see a company go to the third generation without being sold or going out of business. So that’s a big deal to me that we made it 75 years. And you know, we’re looking forward to the next 75 years under the same family ownership. That’s a big deal.”
He also praised “the staff that we’ve employed over 75 years, many of whom spent their entire careers at Rattikin Title … That’s incredible. You know, you’re not going to see that much anymore.”
– FWBP Staff, FWBP Archives
When was your company founded?
Jack Rattikin Sr.
Type of Business
Commercial and residential title insurance
What differentiates your company from others?
Commitment to quality, integrity and customer service.
What was your greatest challenge and how did you respond to it?
Real estate recession of 2008-2010. Committed to retaining quality staff and improving our process.
The business climate is changing rapidly. What do you foresee as challenges?
Taxes including local, state and federal: Rising real estate tax is a challenge for consumers
Federal government regulation: Will continue to increase; we must adapt to increased government regulation.
Access to labor: We always continue to search for quality staff and train them well.
Do you see the present business climate as challenging, uncertain or optimistic and why?
Optimistic, but uncertain of potential downturn in economy.
If you could make one and only one change in the present business climate, what would it be and why?
Decrease real estate taxes.