The UK’s largest professional probate research, data and technology firm, Finders International, has been acquired by Pelican Capital.

The acquisition is expected to fuel Finders International’s ambitious growth initiatives and its on-going contribution to the probate genealogy industry in the UK and globally.

Founder, Danny Curran is to step away from the business after 27 years at the helm, with Simonne Llewellyn, former deputy MD, to become Finders International’s first CEO.

Llewellyn joined Finders more than 20 years ago and has been its Deputy MD for the last 13 years. She has been a driving force within the research and management teams over recent years, and brings her collaborative management style and empowering leadership skills to the position.

Simonne Llewellyn, CEO of Finders International said: “I am delighted to take up the position of CEO. It is a very exciting time for the business and, with the backing of Pelican Capital, it is an extremely positive move for Finders generally. There are clear opportunities to expand and develop further and I look forward to achieving these alongside the Finders team, our stellar board of directors and the support of Pelican Capital.”

Richard Morrison, Partner at Pelican Capital said: “With our entrepreneurial background, we understand what it means to build a business, so it was clear to us from the beginning that Danny had built something unique. Over the last 27 years, Finders International has grown from a startup into a market leader, and has developed a brilliant reputation amongst its clients. We are excited to partner with Simonne and her team in their ambitious plans to continue this growth, both organically and potentially by acquisition.”

Danny Curran, said: “Having started Finders International as a sole trader in 1997 and grown the Company to become the force it is today, I feel it’s the right time for me to sell. It has been a privilege to work with amazing people, solve complex cases, reunite estates with rightful heirs, and bring families back together. I’m leaving the business in really good shape, with a fantastic team in place and plenty of opportunity to expand and develop. With Simonne as CEO, an experienced and accomplished leader, along with the strategic input from Pelican Capital, Finders is positioned well for future growth.”

Under Curran’s leadership, Finders International has built a sterling reputation for its accurate and efficient research work, often on very complex international cases. From verifying family trees to tracing missing beneficiaries all over the world, and widely credited with professionalising the industry, Finders International is considered a trusted authority within the field of professional probate genealogy.

Finders has grown to be the UK’s largest and most successful professional probate genealogy research firm – widely regarded as a trailblazer in its field.   Headquartered in London, it has two further UK offices in Edinburgh and Cardiff, along with an office in Dublin, Ireland and in Sydney, Australia. It employs more than 130 researchers and support staff and using proprietary built technology has successfully completed more than 10,000 missing beneficiary cases, delivering its world-class service to the legal profession, councils, the NHS, and members of the public.

Finders International is a founding member of the International Association of Professional Probate Researchers (IAPPR), the first and only international probate research self-regulatory body, establishing a code of conduct and ethical standards for the sector, and is attributed with pioneering the professionalisation of the probate genealogy industry.

Finders International also starred in the BBC’s long running Heir Hunters programme that provided the general population with a glimpse into the intriguing world of probate genealogy.

Pelican Capital invests in profitable companies that need up to £30m of equity to facilitate ownership change and drive growth. It gives management teams access to the benefits of private equity capital with a more personal approach than traditional private equity firms. Pelican’s investment strategy is management-focused, identifying strong teams managing high quality businesses and provide them with the support they need to maximise growth.

Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

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For more information about Pelican Capital, visit www.pelicancapital.com.

For more information about Finders International, visit www.findersinternational.co.uk.

Pelican Capital was advised by Stephenson Harwood (legal), ACP Altenburg Advisory (debt advisory), Evelyn Partners (financial and tax diligence), Claritas Tax (tax advisory), Fairgrove Partners (commercial diligence) and Alembic Strategy (management profiling). A finance facility was provided by Aurelius Finance Company.