10 years on: who we are, what we have accomplished; and our future goals.
With Treethorpe turning ten years old on the 20th March 2017 we thought this was a great opportunity to look back over our journey so far, reflect on who we are, what we have accomplished and look at our future aspirations.
They are threefold:
These influence and inform everything we do.
Our people are our heartbeat. Employee engagement is a central component of what we prioritise as a company. We have, as with most businesses, seen people come and go over the years. Our longest serving team member is our Operations Manager, David, who joined us as a Cases Manager on the 16th March 2009 and our latest recruit was Cases Manager, Gemma, who started in September 2016.
We are proud of the Investors in People recognition we have held since 2009. Our most recent review in December 2016 provided a resounding affirmative and, importantly an independent assessment of the culture we promote and abide by, for both the benefit of our employees and clients alike.
We offer comprehensive training internally and, since 2015, have extended this to external providers. We are delighted to say that despite our size, there is a structured progression path and we actively encourage all staff to develop both their professional and interpersonal skills. They get to have their say too; giving us their opinion on how we are doing through our Annual Employee Opinion Survey.
Through the service we provide, our Cases Managers hear some harrowing stories whilst building the family trees and have supported many clients through these shocks and experiences. Thankfully though, they also get to witness some tremendous positives, such as, family members being reunited by their work, or being able to pass on treasured family memorabilia and heirlooms for safe keeping.
The very nature of our business means that many people have to overcome their natural cautiousness upon receiving contact from us; particularly in this day and age where awareness of financial scams being perpetrated has never been so high.
We know our ‘corporate’ credentials play a huge part in providing the assurances sought; whether that be through:
or by any other means by which they choose to verify that our approach is genuine and become a client.
We can’t do it all by ourselves and, whilst our client satisfaction is both exceptionally and consistently high (we have maintained a 90% plus overall satisfaction rate of either ‘Extremely’ of ‘Very Satisfied’ for well over five years now), we in turn value the information and support our clients provide.
We appreciate that genealogy research, particularly probate research, requires a combination of our expertise and our clients’ family knowledge to be truly successful. We know through experience that official records can be wrong; dates and spellings errors are just some issues we see almost daily. Similarly, this very experience has taught us that families can be secretive, are not always open about the past with each other, suffer rifts and estrangements, and can unintentionally create ‘myths’ amongst themselves.
In some cases it can be just one individual that benefits from our work, in others literally 100 and above. We do what we can to deliver an exceptional professional service; even visiting them in their home — whether this be in the UK or not — so that we can deliver to them something that is rightfully theirs.
For most of our clients we simply bring financial gain, for others the financial gain and a greater understanding of the family size and history through the family tress we create for them. For a few we just bring that element of ‘closure’ or the answer to that ‘mystery’ that existed within the family.
What we can say with a huge amount of pride is that we have helped over 2,500 ordinary people benefit from assets they themselves had long since forgotten about, or ensured that they have received, as an entitled beneficiary, a share of an asset or estate that was due to them.
In financial terms a huge £16,596,567 has been recovered on behalf of these 2,500 plus people.
We have discovered that in our ten year history it once took us 1,080 days to ‘reunite’ a client with the asset; luckily the client in this case was very patient and understood the complexities surrounding the situation.
At the other end of the scale, we have accomplished this same feat in just 11 days. The majority of our clients wait on average 134 days for our estate reunification and 109 days for our asset reunification; thankfully neither being anywhere near that 1,080 day extreme.
Along the way we have:
Our company aspirations are simple in many ways; our goals being to:
Our industry aspirations are more complex. We wish to see increased regulation within our industry to weed out the un-trained that have been enticed into probate research and, even more importantly, prevent the general public from falling prey to fraudulent or unscrupulous individuals, driven by the increase in awareness through social media and commercial broadcasting shows.
Bearing in mind there is literally millions if not billions, of unclaimed assets held by the financial services industry we also wish to see them acknowledge this huge responsibility they hold and invest in services such as ours to locate their lost policy holders, dormant bank accounts holders and the like.
We would also like to see the concept of a ‘fair charging’ policy applied to asset custodians such as share registrars; like that seen in the banking industry in 2009. Administration fees charged by custodians for services such as recovering historical income (i.e. reissuing dividend payments) and issuing replacement proof of title (i.e. share certificates) has cost our clients over £2 million in the last 10 years.
Whatever the future brings we are determined to be here adding value to our clients and society. We will continue to seek ways in which to do this that represents value for money for all our clients, no matter the circumstance.
Thank you for taking the time to read ‘our story so far’; if you are a client already, thank you for being part of it and if you are a future client — welcome.
All of us at Treethorpe
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