Greater London Enterprise Awards 2017

16 SME NEWS / Greater London Enterprise Awards 2017 , Golden Leaves Funeral Plans has been at the forefront of the development of funeral planning since its foundation. We profiled the firmand invited Barry Floyd, Managing Director, to give us a breakdown of the company, and what services it offers. Best Funeral Services Provider – South London Established in 1984, the funeral planning product itself was named Golden Leaves, specifically devised to provide the option for individuals who wished to pre-plan, pre-design and pre-pay for their end of life services in advance. The product provides peace of mind for the purchaser whilst delivering significant financial and emotional benefits for the loved ones they leave behind. This product evolved into the company it is today, Golden Leaves Funeral Plans. Since inception the firm has flourished, and today Golden Leaves is a founding member of the NAPFP (The National Association for pre-paid Funeral Plans) and has played a major role in the development of FPA (The Funeral Planning Authority). The FPA provides an extensive level of financial monitoring for all registered funeral plan providers, to ensure there are sufficient funds in the trust to cover the services of every funeral plan its holds with its customers. Barry explains what it is like working within the funeral industry. “Interestingly, 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, 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. “Fundamentally, the growth of the industry has seen the market expand year on year, and as 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.” Operating in this expanding and competitive market, Barry tells us how Golden Leaves competes with other similar companies, ensuring it stands out within the industry, resulting in the company marking itself out as the best possible option for clients. Barry notes how the company developed its brands, and modernised the company, enabling it to keep up with developments. “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 LON17021 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%.” Alongside Golden Leaves’ work in the funeral market, the Golden Leaves Trust fund holds funds from client purchases, and this was beginning to draw admiring glances from others within the sector. Barry is keen to talk about the upstanding reputation of the firm, and how placing its clients first has helped to uphold this reputation. This will ultimately let the company build on its solid foundations, as it looks to catapult on its on ongoing success, continuing to satisfy customers and deliver the best possible service in sensitive circumstances. “Ultimately, the Golden Leaves Trust fund had gained an unblemished reputation. Independently scrutinized and reported on annually by independent Actuaries JLT (who sit on the UK’S Institute of the Board of Actuaries) under FPA rules, the independent Trust is fully regulated in a fashion that goes further than the act of parliament’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2001’s Regulated Activities Order dictates. “Lastly, all Golden Leaves funeral plan funds are either placed into an insurance that is FCA regulated or an FPA regulated Trust fund providing security of funds to all of our clients. We are proud to say, that with the fund approaching £100 million in size with a 20 % surplus over its liabilities, the Trust engine of the Golden Leaves operation is prudently run, rock solid and secure. Embedded in the company culture, we place our clients 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.” Company: Golden Leaves Funeral Plans Contact: Barry Floyd Contact Email: Barry.Floyd@goldenleaves.com Address: 16th Floor, No 1 Croydon, 12-16 Addiscombe Road, Croydon, CR0 0XT, UK Phone: 0800 85 44 48 Website: www.goldenleaves.com

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