A Tulsa company that pre-dates the Great Depression has changed hands.
Guaranty Abstract Company, a third-generation firm founded in 1928, has sold its assets to Oklahoma Abstract Partners and Oklahoma Title Partners, Luke Strawn, CEO of the buying arms, announced this week.
Guaranty Title Company became the name of the new business at the time of the transaction in mid-June, Strawn said. Guaranty Abstract Company, 320 S. Boulder Ave., had been owned by the Kirkpatrick family since its inception, CEO Jack Kirkpatrick said.
“It’s an incredible legacy,” Strawn said. “We’ve acquired about 11 companies in the last five years, but none of them had the legacy that Guaranty had, which is one of the reasons we’re taking the name. It was a big honor. Jack could have done a lot of different things with this.
“Credit to him. We’ve been competitors for a few years, but he saw past that. My job now is to make sure I do everything so he looks up in a couple of years and says that this was the right guy and the right group.”
Kirkpatrick, who turns 81 this month, cited his age as among the reasons for releasing the reins.
“I didn’t have any family to succeed me,” he said. “The opportunity came along. There are natural emotions when you’ve been 60 years doing the same thing and you wake up and you’re not doing them. ... But I feel very excited about it, and I’m very convinced that it was the right thing to do.”
Oklahoma Abstract Partners has 248 employees companywide in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, said Strawn, who envisions Guaranty Title Company doubling its staff to about 50 in the next year or two.
“The Guaranty Title brand is going to be focused on commercial because that is really a lot of the legacy that the company had,” he said.
John F. Kirkpatrick started Guaranty Abstract and passed it on to his sons, Glade and Clay. John C. (Jack) Kirkpatrick, whose father was Glade, started full-time with the company in 1960.
“Through the love of my father, I wanted this company to be the best it could be,” Kirkpatrick said.
Guaranty handled the title work and closings for many major transactions in Tulsa, including the BOK Tower, Woodland Hills Mall and One Technology Center.
“We were involved in a lot of the growth of commercial projects in Tulsa,” Kirkpatrick said. “Those times I will never forget. ...
“We had great times, and we had tough times; 1980 was really a tough time for us when the oil boom busted and credit got tight. We had to make quite a few changes here. But we survived that, and those are all good memories.”
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