Genealogy firm Finders sold to private equity

Genealogy business Finders International has been sold to private equity firm Pelican Capital in an undisclosed deal. The sale will see Managing Director Danny Curran step away from the business he founded 27 years ago, with current deputy MD Simonne Llewllyn stepping up to become Finders International’s first CEO.

Since launching in 1997, Finders has grown to become the largest genealogy business in the UK with offices in London, Edinburgh, and Cardiff, and has expanded internationally to Dublin, Ireland and 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, working with the legal profession, councils, the NHS, and members of the public.

“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.”

said Curran, who appeared on the BBC’s Heir Hunters which ran for 11 series from 2007 to 2018.

Pelican Capital is a private equity firm founded in 2020. It says it invests in profitable companies that need up to £30m of equity to facilitate ownership change and drive growth, giving management teams access to the benefits of private equity capital ‘with a more personal approach than traditional private equity firms.’  The acquisition is expected to fuel further growth initiatives for Finders International.

Newly appointed CEO, Simonne 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.

“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 adds

“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.”

Curran appeared on the Today’s Wills and Probate Podcast in January 2023 where which he discussed his background, 25 years of Finders International and the challenges of running a business that has seen so much change since 1997. Tune in below and listen in to all our other podcasts here.

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