Assets International has made a name for itself in its first decade helping regular people find and claim property that rightly belongs to them, such as inheritances. Now the Southfield-based company is starting to nail down new business in the oil-and-gas industry.
When energy companies drill for oil, they have to set aside a sort of royalty for the people who own property in the drilling area. Often many of those owners can’t be found so the money is put aside in an escrow account. Assets International has created a new revenue stream for itself by helping find the people who are entitled to the money in those escrow accounts.
“There is no empirical evidence on how much money is out there, but according to an attorney who is an expert in the oil-and-gas industry there are hundreds of millions of dollars out there,” says Michael Zwick, president & co-owner of Assets International. “That doesn’t count all of the new drilling that is occurring down south and in North Dakota.”
Assets International’s background is in tracking down people who are entitled to a piece of unclaimed property, such as an inheritance. It takes a percentage of the value of the unclaimed property as compensation. It has been working on the oil-and-gas escrow accounts over the last couple of years, and that now makes up nearly a quarter of the company’s revenue.
“Locating the people is a natural fit for our skill set,” Zwick says.
Assets International employs 15 people, including two hires over the last year. The hires are an attorney and a secretary.
Source: Michael Zwick, president & co-owner of Assets International
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.