Our Story

Our story

The Trace Group was founded back in 1974 by Richard Wolfe, an idealistic young software developer. Richard is still idealistic, though sadly not as young.

The Group has since grown to become one of the leading City software houses. Since 1988 it has been based in its current Clerkenwell headquarters – around which, of course, new technology companies now cluster.

Bound together by a common belief in the importance of customer service, the Group’s three constituent parts provide mission critical systems to specialist financial sectors.

Trace Financial provides the leading messaging software for banks and other financial institutions. Trace Isys is dominant in the re-insurance market.

And Trace Solutions, of course, is the longest established British organisation to serve the property management industry. Yes, we were the very first British PropTech company!

Despite 15 years as a plc, quoted on the London Stock Exchange, all the companies are now wholly owned and run by their employees.

This status was assured in 2007, when Richard Wolfe used his own shareholding to fund a contested but ultimately successful management buyout.

Trace thus became the first ever company to move from public ownership to employee share ownership, without the need for external financing.

Which means the company is now completely in control of its own destiny, and protected from external predators.

So, thank you, Richard.

You put your money where your idealism is.

“From the outset, I saw Trace not as a sales-driven company trying to maximise profits, but as a service company that would build long term relationships with its customers”

Richard Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer, Trace Group

Milestones

1974
Richard Wolfe and Colin Clark launch the Trace Group

Trace is founded by Richard Wolfe and his friend Colin Clarke. Their offices are in Farringdon

1975

Mick Flynn joins Trace as a programmer

1976

UK’s first ever property management system is launched, developed for Donaldsons (later DTZ, later Cushman & Wakefield). It manages 5,000 tenants on a computer that has 48k of RAM. That’s 48K of RAM. The company has grown to 12 employees

1981

TPMS property management solution launched, designed for Mini computers

1985

First version of TRAMPS (Trace Micro Property System) is launched

1988

Headcount reaches 100 staff. Company moves from Farringdon Road to St John Street, Clerkenwell

1989

Trace Group applies for listing on the London Stock Exchange, becomes a plc

1991

TRAMPS migrates to UNIX

1999

Mick Flynn becomes MD of Trace Solutions. TRAMPS adopts Microsoft SQL Server and migrates to Windows

2003

BlueBox launched, a system designed specifically for property owners and investors

2006

o6ix launched, designed specifically for corporate occupiers

2007
Richard Wolfe buys the company for his employees

Richard Wolfe uses his own shares to return the company to private ownership. He gives 95% to the employees, and 5% to charity.

2010

First SaaS systems launched, using Citrix

2012

Group headcount surpasses 200 staff, of whom 60 work for Trace Solutions

2015
Kevin Grice launches Mojo

Kevin Grice becomes Director of Software Innovation.
Trace begins developing in object-oriented languages such as C#, alongside other web technologies

2016

Mick Flynn retires. Graham Davies becomes MD.

2017
Castle Howard

Trace Solutions purchases Estateman, a popular and complementary property management system for land agents, country estates, and those with smaller portfolios.

2017

In front of 300 customers, Mojo is launched: the first ever true digital transformation of property management

2020

Mojo version 3 is launched, including a raft of new apps and enhancements. Despite a global pandemic!

The Trace Solutions team

The team

We’re an unusual bunch, here at Trace Solutions.

Maybe it’s the influence of our founder, Richard Wolfe, and his obsession with service over sales.

Maybe it’s the fact that each and every one of us has a direct stake in the success of our company.

Or maybe it’s simply the result of having been in this business longer than anyone else on the planet.

Whatever it is, our curious mixture of property specialists (well over half our staff have worked at the sharp end of the business, inside actual property management companies) and software developers, has created a team like no other.

So you won’t get the hard sell, the slick sales pitch, or the drive to make a monthly sales target for the shareholders.

No. You’ll just get a very friendly, very committed, very human bunch of people.

People who are always on your side.

Get in touch!

Get in touch

Call us now on ‭+44 (0)20 7825 1299 for a free, no obligation demonstration, or send us an email using the form below. Please note: during the current pandemic all demos are taking place online, via Zoom or MS Teams.