MetLife pays for Everest to enter the UK market

Funeral planning and concierge service firm Everest Funeral Concierge has formed a strategic partnership with MetLife in the UK. As part of this initial three-year exclusive arrangement, MetLife will offer funeral support services to more than 1.4 million UK employees, via its Group Life insurance arrangements. In this instance MetLife pays for Everest to provide advice, planning and guidance to the family, with respect to the funeral planning services, but ultimately clients make the final decision.

The partnership marks Everest’s entry into the UK market and its first venture outside of North America, where it has a customer base of more than 25 million and has operated since 2001.

Everest’s UK business will be led by Chairman, Mark Wood who has previously held senior roles including CEO of AXA UK, CEO of Prudential Europe, and founder of pension buyout firm Paternoster. He is also currently chair of Pension Bee.

“For years, Everest has been a continent-wide service to help streamline and simplify the process for grieving families. Expanding into the UK was the natural next step, and we are thrilled to welcome Mark Wood to lead this expansion. His significant expertise in the UK insurance markets will enable us to provide many more families with significant additional support during an incredibly challenging time.” – Mark Duffey, President and CEO of Everest Funeral Package, LLC.

As part of the new arrangement, MetLife’s Group Life customers in the UK will be able to access comprehensive end-of-life planning services and extensive support to help their families in the event of their death. With 24/7 adviser support and assistance, along with a suite of online planning tools, customers and their families will benefit from help making difficult financial and emotional decisions. Additionally, customers will be able to use a digital vault to ensure individuals can leave their important documents easily accessible for those bereaved, as well as a free will writing service.

“Coming out of the pandemic, the perceived need for protection and life insurance has never been greater. Through our partnership with MetLife, we will be here to help millions of UK households to organize their affairs and provide further piece of mind, knowing that their loved ones will be taken care of, now and in the future.” – Mark Wood, Chairman of Everest.

Bottom Line: MetLife is doing this as a value add for clients and to help grow their business in a very commoditized industry.