The Team

Bob Appleton - Researcher

Bob is a key member of The Tracing Group Research Team, putting to use his 5 plus years of people tracing and genealogical research experience on the wide variety of cases that cross our desks each day. Bob enjoys nothing better than solving some of the complex research cases that have very minimal input information and is particularly skilled with overseas tracing projects.

In 2013 Bob completed a History degree with a 2:1 specialising in landscape and modern British history. When Bob isn't spending time with his daughter, he enjoys coffee, real ale and taking in the local music scene.

Paul Gaston - Head of I.T Infrastructure

Paul is responsible for setting up the technical infrastructure of the business. He is an experienced company director, with more than 30 years of IT systems, data and platform development knowledge. He has extensive experience of implementing secure infrastructure systems and is responsible for the data infrastructure and security policies at The Tracing Group.

Paul is also highly creative and is an instrumental part of The Tracing Group product development team. He is intently focused on bringing the most innovative products to our clients and industry. 

In a previous life Paul was in the RAF as an electronics engineer. In his spare time he enjoys going for walks with his dog Luna and is a regular attendee of the local karting track where he constantly strives that fastest lap. He always says “this is my last year racing” but we think that will not happen any time soon.

Kate Herren
Kate Herren - PR & Marketing Consultant

Kate Herren is an experienced marketing professional with a strong background in copy writing. For seven years she was the consulting editor of a membership magazine, and for five years before that she ran her own marketing and design agency.


She also has experience in public relations, working as a client manager for a boutique PR agency for two years.


Her role at The Tracing Group covers all aspects of marketing from PR, content generation and SEO, to broader strategic planning.


She is passionate about sustainable living and enjoys tending her large garden and growing her own fruit and vegetables in her spare time.

Danielle Higgins - Managing Director

Danielle established The Tracing Group in February 2017, recognising the need for a simpler approach to tracing. The Tracing Group is focused on its strategy to provide innovative solutions to this sector that harness the latest in technological development, whilst remaining dedicated to the needs of the clients. 

The team that Danielle has brought together combines strengths in people tracing research, technical infrastructure and creativity. Danielle has led The Tracing Group to secure some of the UK's most high profile Pension Schemes and administrators as clients and is securing new business at a rapid rate. 

Data quality and asset reunification has been the focus of Danielle's professional attention for the last 11 years, where she has either been running companies who deliver this, consulting on the subject as part of industry wide initiatives, lobbying government or developing products designed to solve these issues.

In her spare time Danielle enjoys ballet, yoga and spending time with her husband and two daughters. 

Justin McGuirk - Customer Success Manager

Justin has over 20 years of sales and customer service experience.


His client facing techniques, coupled with his inbound endeavours, ensure that the customer experience is marked by values relating to skill, competency and confidence.

Justin keeps a watchful eye on current affairs, a couple of watchful eyes on his two young daughters, and zero watchful eyes on Match of the Day, when his team has performed abysmally.

Brogan Nicholl - Research Support

Brogan is an integral part of the research team with over 9 years of customer service and administration experience within different industries. With a qualification in Business Administration, Brogan's main role is to support the Head of Research in the continuous delivery of accurate research results, as efficiently as possible.

In her personal time, Brogan enjoys spending time with her family and travelling the country. She also likes taking her Rescue Staffy, Bella, out for adventures or enjoying Bella’s favourite activity, which is a cuddle on the sofa with a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit!

Sam Thelwell - Head of Research

Sam is responsible for the research team that delivers results for our clients. Having previously managed large research teams at different asset reunification companies (after spending many years as a researcher himself) he has a wealth of relevant experience.


Sam is focused on quality and accuracy when it comes to research results and is also a great leader, with an inclusive and considered approach to the way he manages his team. Sam will always make himself available to clients with queries about results and considers client satisfaction as a key measure of his success.


Sam is a keen cricketer and has previously represented Norfolk at Minor Counties Cricket and is a captain at Swardeston Cricket Club. He has enjoyed travelling extensively with his wife over the past decade but COVID and a daughter has put a halt to that!

Sarah Warricker - Office Manager

Sarah is responsible for all areas of office management and compliance support. She has twenty years of operations, sales and product management experience in the financial services industry. 

She has previously worked in the asset reunification industry and is instrumental in ensuring we can continue to deliver the highest standards to our clients.

In her spare time, she enjoys walking her dogs and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

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