A company that is growing fast, thanks to its skill in tracking down missing beneficiaries and long lost family members, has used some of its research expertise to find itself a new home.
HeirHunter UK, set up by husband-and-wife team Fraser and Tracy Kinnie, is now based in the Innovation Centre on Hartlepool’s Queens Meadow Business Park, run by UK Steel Enterprise.
The team’s success has, in less than a year, seen HeirHunter UK move from being home-based to the Innovation Centre to accommodate a five-strong team and provide the space and facilities it needs to expand further. Another two team members are expected to join the company by the beginning of 2016.
HeirHunter UK expects to have dealt with more than 200 separate claims, involving tracing missing beneficiaries to unclaimed estates, by the end of this year.
“We tend to deal with the smaller claims which range from around £3,000 to £5,000 but our largest was more than £25,000,” says Fraser Kinnie.
“There are thousands of bequests waiting to be claimed and it gives us all real satisfaction to find the people who are the rightful recipients of that money.
“It can be a very time-consuming process and people are invariably happy to work with us and delighted to discover there is a windfall coming their way.
“We have built up the expertise needed to research public records, probate lists, electoral rolls and databases containing, for example, 85 million telephone numbers. We are operating strongly in a niche market.”
HeirHunter UK also helps people find long-lost family and friends – a service it likes to provide for the satisfaction of seeing people reunited.
“We started out in a corner of our kitchen then progressed to a spare room then the garage,” says Fraser.
“And just grew really quickly. We researched a number of different business premises in the area but the Innovation Centre really stood out for us in terms of facilities and cost. We couldn’t have chosen a better place and the UK Steel Enterprise team here is a great support.”
HeirHunter UK operates in an area that can require very sensitive handling and the work it has done with families has led to the team being involved recently in two episodes of the BBC’s Family Finders programme.
Joan Cook, of UK Steel Enterprise, added: “We have companies involved in many different sectors here but HeirHunter UK is definitely the first in this line of business.
“It is heart-warming to see the cards and messages from people who are so grateful and happy to have been reunited with missing family or to receive an unexpected windfall and we are delighted to have the company here.”
• Pictured (above) is Joan Cook (back left) of UK Steel Enterprise with Fraser (back right) and Tracy Kinnie (left) with the HeirHunter UK team on the balcony of their new offices at the Innovation Centre, Hartlepool.