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heritage funeral plans

Golden Leaves Award

Golden Leaves Scoops London Business Enterprise Award


Golden Leaves have won their category for the 2017 London Business Enterprise Awards….

Golden Leaves Wins Award

Barry Floyd, Managing Director said “Receiving any kind of formal award or accolade as a business is of course wonderful, but to receive a “London” business enterprise award (our ancestral home), is something that truly resonates and is particularly special for us here at Golden Leaves.

“For any local business like ours to be independently recognized for its achievements and growth not only in London, but nationally, really is extremely flattering.

Golden Leaves began life from very humble beginnings operating out of a tiny back room office situated in Rowland Brothers Funeral Directors (a funeral company that has been serving the local communities since 1870.) Golden Leaves are still based in Thornton Heath, Croydon, South London. Early in 1984, the funeral planning product itself was named “Golden Leaves” and specifically devised to provide the option for individuals who wished to pre plan, pre design and pre pay for their end of life services. The product provides peace of mind for the purchaser whilst delivering significant financial and emotional benefits for the loved ones they leave behind. Golden Leaves the product, was eventually to evolve into a limited company in its own right a few years later and at that point in the late 1980’s, Golden Leaves, the brand, was born.

Since its formation, Golden Leaves have been at the forefront of the Funeral planning sector in the United Kingdom. Whilst helping establish the NAPFP (National Association for Pre-Paid Funeral Plans) it was heavily involved in launching the first nationally recognized set of quality / service, code of conduct standards which covered correct ethical and compliant sales behavior as well as clearly understandable marketing material. Golden Leaves were also pivotal in the negotiations with Her Majesty’s Treasury and the FSA in 2000, negotiations that eventually led to the formation of the government and FCA recognized sector self-regulatory body – the FPA (The Funeral Planning Authority).

The funeral planning Industry itself, has grown dramatically from what was no more than a handful of operators selling a few hundred plans a year in those heady early days, to what is now a multi-billion pound industry selling over 200,000 policies a year across a diverse and complex set of distribution channels throughout the country. The growth of the industry has seen the market expand year on year, products evolve and offerings diversify, Insurance groups, sales companies, national charities, giant supermarket brands and massive Public Limited Companies enter the sector offering the product: blazing a path of increasing growth amid fierce competition.

In an exploding market, and in the face of competition from companies well over 40 times its size, Golden Leaves steadfastly redeveloped its brand identity, modernized its offices, systems, staff and field partner training, developed a new product proposition and relaunched its suite of products and modernized brand into the sector. It launched a new pricing strategy and flexible partnership style that also saw it emerge as increasingly attractive to funeral directing and affinity sales partners alike. Positioning the brand as a credible alternative to the corporates and Independent competitor base helped maintain the position of the business and over time push it forward from a healthy and consolidated platform. The reputation of the business had now begun to change from one of an old and historic company to a cutting edge, strategic and tenacious one with heritage and pedigree. The company soon began to experience sales figures increasing at an annual rate of 50%.

So, at a point in the sectors evolution when competition is at its most fierce, Golden Leaves has been remarkably resilient. In the face of adversity this south London based company, has grown at a faster rate than any other funeral planning company registered with the FPA.  Since 2009 the companies growth has outstripped that of the entire market year on year and the statistics provided by the sector regulatory body. Even with its market share rising to the highest point in the organisation’s history this year, we are proud to say that even during these times of accelerated growth, we have never lost sight of our core principles. We place our clients (our golden leaves) at the heart of everything we do, which is one of the reasons that our brand, that took over thirty years to build, is so trusted.

Finally but I firmly believe most importantly, we would like to thank all of our field and head office staff whose tireless dedication and devotion to the business has made this Award possible.

Without them, battling on through all of those difficult hours and throughout all of those hard fought weeks, months and years Golden Leaves would have never been able to even survive in such a fiercely competitive marketplace and against such overwhelming odds, let alone flourish and continue to deliver annual year on year growth, as it does today.

Barry Floyd – Managing Director – Golden Leaves Group”

Stephen Pett, of the Prepaid Funeral Review team said “We congratulated Barry and his first rate team on offering an excellent, flexible and first rate product.  No one plan or company in this complicated market is right for everyone, but the Golden Leaves proposition always deserves close consideration.!

Pensioners Property Wealth Booms

Home Income Plans

Could Equity Release Help?

Pensioners Property wealth has hit a record high with retired homeowners “earning” £1,700 from their houses in the past three months alone, according to new (March 2017) research from leading over-55s financial specialist Key Retirement.  Key findings show:

  • Over-65 homeowners’ property wealth grew to a new record high of £1.072 trillion in February.
  • More than £7.66 billion has been added to the property wealth of the UK’s over-65 homeowners since November.
  • Over-65s in the North West are most likely to own outright with 671,000 having paid off mortgages compared with 656,000 in the South East. 

RETIRED HOMEOWNERS EARN £1,700 FROM THEIR HOUSES.

Over-65 homeowners’ property wealth hits new record of £1.072 trillion, Key Retirement Pensioner Property Index shows.

Of course, the intention of this Press Release is to gently suggest that Equity Release is a great way of having more financial freedom in your retirement! There is some argument over what a trillion is, but generally speaking, the US version wins, to that means “pensioners” (the author is one!) property wealth is £1,072,000,000,000. In fact this greatly underestimates such wealth as many of us still have small mortgages, the heritage of bringing up expensive children, and the PR excludes anyone who still has a mortgage.  Strange, as many people use Equity Release as a way of releasing the pressure of mortgage payments. 

Total pensioners property wealth has grown £7.6 billion since November. In English that is £7,600,000,000.

Average homeowner gains £66,000 since 2010.

 

Total property wealth owned by over-65s who have paid off their mortgages grew to a new record high of £1.072 trillion in February.

More than £7.66 billion has been added to the property wealth of the UK’s over-65 homeowners since November as the housing market continues to expand across most of the country.

The long-term success story of property investment is underlined by Key’s index. Since the group started analysing over-65s housing wealth in 2010 retired homeowners have seen growth of 37% – or £290 billion – which is worth around £66,000 on average for every homeowner. Owning a home has been worth around £9,400 a year for over-65s.

Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index shows only over-65s in London and Scotland saw the value of their total property wealth drop in the past three months. However retired London homeowners still own £177 billion of property wealth.

Retired homeowners in East Anglia saw the biggest growth in the past three months, and are now £4,265 better off while over-65s in the South East, Yorkshire & Humberside and the North East all saw gains of more than £3,400 each.

The ongoing strength of the housing market highlights how property wealth can make a major contribution to retirement standards of living as the equity release market expands. Average equity release customers** are cashing in £78,000 of property wealth and as much as £143,000 in London.

Dean Mirfin, Technical Director at KeyRetirement.com said: “Property investment has consistently delivered for retired homeowners over the past seven years and the £1,700 gained over the past three months underlines its success story.

“During a period of historically low-interest rates and investment market volatility, pensioners who have paid off mortgages have been able to rely on tax-free returns from their homes no matter what the short-term ups and downs have been.

“The average payouts taken through equity release of £78,000 are enabling retired homeowners to address a wide range of financial issues, including helping family and/or friends, to paying for holidays and home improvements. Repaying debt is also a major reason for releasing equity”

The table below shows the detailed picture across Great Britain

RegionAverage change in value of home equity for homeowners aged 65+ (between November 2016 and February index) Combined change in value of home equity for homeowners aged 65+ (between November 2016 and February index)
South Eastincrease of £3,417+£2.241 billion
Londondecrease of £3,846-£1.407 billion
South Westincrease of £1,546+£968.723 million
North Westincrease of £1,414+£948.794 million
East Angliaincrease of £4,265+£2.013 billion
East Midlandsincrease of £1,349+£581.688 million
West Midlandsincrease of £777+£278.476 million
Yorks/Humbsincrease of £3,586+£44.728 million
Scotlanddecrease of £1,453-£409.746 million
Walesincrease of £1,789+£473.369 million
North Eastincrease of £3,418+£939.95 million
GREAT BRITAIN+£1,678+£7.663 billio


The table below shows over-65s in the North West are most likely to own outright with 671,000 having paid off mortgages compared with 656,000 in the South East.

 

RegionEstimated property equity in homes owned outright by people aged 65+ (November 2016)Estimated percentage of total value of property equity belonging to people aged 65+ (November 2016)Number of households in the region owned outright by people aged 65+
South East£207.313 billion19.34%656,000
London£177.071 billion16.52%366,000
South West£152.143 billion14.19%626,600
East Anglia£132.874 billion12.39%472,000
North West£102.165 billion9.53%671,000
East Midlands£76.231 billion7.11%431,200
West Midlands£64.987 billion6.06%358,400
Yorks/Humbs£44.728 billion4.17%288,600
Scotland£39.917 billion3.72%282,000
Wales£39.207 billion3.66%264,600
North East£35.373 billion3.3%275,000
GREAT BRITAIN£1.072 trillion 4,409,400

Funeral Services Partnership Sold to Montagu

Funeral Services Partnership sold to Montagu Private Equity

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Montagu Private Equity (“Montagu”), a leading European private equity firm, announced  in May 2015 the acquisition of a majority stake in Funeral Services Partnership (“FSP” or “the Company”), a leading UK funeral services provider. Other terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Founded in 2007 by CEO Phillip Greenfield, FSP is today the third largest funeral services provider in the UK, with over 130 branches throughout the country. The Company has circa 500 staff and oversees approximately 10,500 funerals per year.  FSP’s model is based on acquiring independent funeral directors, retaining their heritage – a major asset – and putting in investment, training and improved processes in order to build a brand with a reputation for absolute reliability, trust and quality.

Montagu will partner with Phillip Greenfield and his management team to grow the business by making further acquisitions, via organic expansion and through continued operational enhancements.

Phillip Greenfield, Founder and CEO of FSP, said:
“Over the last decade, FSP has grown into a leading player in funeral services. We want to continue to grow our presence in the UK market and we are confident that Montagu will be great partners given their previous experience of the sector. We look forward to working with Alex and the team going forward.”

Alex Dabbous, Director at Montagu Private Equity, commented:
“We are proud to be investing in FSP, a strong brand name in a sector we know well. FSP provides important and essential services, and we will work hard with Phillip and his team to help build the business further in the years to come.”

Stephen Pett, of the Prepaid Funeral Review said “Whilst we appreciate that there are economies of scale in the funeral industry, we have to be sad that more and more funeral directors are giving up their independence.  It can do nothing for choice.”