Wymondham firm's financial asset search tool is 'best practice' for probate
An East Anglian fintech company which has designed a digital search tool for finding lost financial assets is in talks with major national clients which could make its software the industry gold-standard.
Inheritance Data has spent two-and-a-half years developing the system, which is already being used by 100 companies, primarily solicitors, to find assets during probate administration.
The Wymondham-based firm, a Future50 member founded in 2015, says its system is on the way to becoming a “best practice” procedure – and is in talks with some significant national clients who could help realise this ambition.
Founder and managing director Bruce Cane said its search tool could become “like Land Registry searches for property”.
“We want to put our search into that bracket, where it is best practice,” he said.
Its specialised search engine, now being used by around 100 companies, sends requests out to 200 financial institutions including banks, building societies, pension fund providers and shares schemes – a new addition to the system – to find “hidden” assets for a deceased person.
Mr Cane said the opening up of the shares market to the general public in the 1970s could have left “some real nest eggs”.
He said: “There are so many little pockets where money could be. People might have had shares or pensions through defined benefit schemes, or it might just be a ‘rainy day’ bank account. That’s what we are trying to convince solicitors of – that people who say they know where all the money is probably don’t.
“Around half a million people die every year, and of that 40%-50% have probate, meaning there is more than £25,000 in a bank account or securities. Our target market is those 200,000 people.”
The company’s search tool can garner between 50 and 60 responses from the institutions it sends requests to – with some searches leading to as many as nine matches.
One solicitor submitted four profile searches to the company and uncovered £113,000 in lost assets for its clients.
Inheritance Data currently has six employees, with plans to take on more account handlers.
It is estimating turnover of £250,000 in its first trading year, pushing up to £1m in 2019/20, but Mr Cane said the technological focus of the company means it has “very low overheads”.