The Finders International team continues to go from strength to strength, and 2017 was our best year ever, writes Danny Curran, managing director and founder of Finders International.
Probate genealogy is a challenging and yet hugely rewarding area of work. Often, we reunite people as was the case with the relatives of Constance Doheny, whose case featured on BBC Heir Hunters show earlier in 2017. Constance’s rightful heirs, an aunt and her niece hadn’t seen each other in 30 years and were delighted to catch up.
But the BBC wasn’t the only media outlet to highlight our work in 2017. Stories, articles and reports about what we do ran in numerous newspapers, magazines, TV and radio shows. The London business-centric newspaper, City AM, profiled us, and we featured in Lawyer Monthly and the Evening Standard.
I was asked to speak at the Frankfurt opening of the new GEN Office (GEN are a very successful international probate research firm and member of IAPPR) and this resulted in a piece in the Boston Herald, taking the Finders International message to a new American audience. I was also interviewed for London Live and the BBC South-East lunchtime news. I’ve now done many TV interviews, and they don’t get any less nerve-racking… They do get more comfortable, though, and I generally know what interests interviewers and the audience about the probate genealogy business.
One interview I’m very proud of was a feature in Forbes magazine. Most people will have heard of Forbes magazine, but in case you don’t, it’s an American business magazine that has been around for more than one hundred years. It has a print circulation of almost one million and massive traffic to its website. It was a tremendous privilege to feature here.
Over the last few years, our work has taken on an increasingly international slant. We look for heirs the world over, so it seemed fitting to promote our work to a global audience.
Filming for the 12th series of Heir Hunters took place in 2017, and we look forward to seeing the edited results in the spring. Finders International continues to be a lead firm in the series, and we receive a lot of feedback from viewers who enjoy watching the show.
While a lot of the publicity work can seem self-serving, there is a serious element to it. Finders International works hard to maintain professional standards. Indeed, we set up the International Association of Professional Probate Researchers some years ago to raise standards in probate research.
By publicising what we do and how we work, we’re able to show the public exactly how the process of heir hunting works, and what they can expect. Openness and honesty mean no nasty surprises, such as unexpected fees or sloppy research, which can happen if rogue firms and individuals who over-promise and under-deliver contact people.
As I told Forbes magazine, I’m in the good news business. When the Finders International team contacts long-lost heirs, they generally deliver news that is welcome. By telling people what we do and what we are about, we keep ourselves and the industry in general accountable.