PRESS RELEASE: Carpeo Business Process Outsourcing- an award-winning customer service business has launched a new division, Carpeo Estates Planning, with the aim of demystifying the wills and funeral planning process by making more affordable solutions available to people across the UK. The new business will be based at a new contact centre in Newport, South Wales, where it plans to create 300 jobs with Welsh Government support.
The FCA-regulated organisation currently employs 250 people in Swindon, but has chosen to open a new branch of its operations at Caerleon House at Cleppa Park in Duffryn. A location in Teeside was under consideration for this project but funding support from the Welsh Government secured the investment for Wales.
The doors to the contact centre are due to open in June and the business is actively recruiting 24 employees at all levels for its launch date, rising to 60 by end of the year and 300 by 2022. Starting salaries are highly competitive at £22,000 basic with the opportunity to earn an additional £7,500 bonus per year.
Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “This is Carpeo’s first investment in Wales and I am delighted the company is joining a growing and vibrant sector that employs more than 30,000 people in over 200 centres in Wales. Carpeo has ambitious growth plans with the potential for further future investment in Wales and I welcome their plan to open this new business in Newport that will create a range of jobs and training opportunities for local people.”
Carpeo Estate Planning’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Minahan said: “Having sat on the board of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum for the past 15 years, I know that Wales has a range of competitive advantages to offer contact centre businesses. The quality of people available and their experience of working in a regulated services market is a huge pull. On the softer side, the Welsh accent is sympathetic and consoling, particularly important in our market.
“We’re hugely proud to be bringing these well-paid roles and good employment opportunities to Newport. As with any operation, we’ll be growing numbers in stages and we’d love to hear from suitably qualified people with a passion for customer service to join our team.”
When recruited, the employees will be dealing with enquiries for the new subscription-based Carpeo Estate Planning service. For a small monthly fee, people who otherwise may have avoided the expensive but inevitable cost have access to affordable wills and funeral planning products. The subscription also gives members access to a discount portal enabling them to save thousands a year on key household purchases, including at supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda.
Innovative software that has been tried and tested will be utilised to identify those people to whom these products and services are particularly relevant and who would have had recent experience of the difficulties of executing an intestate estate. A potential market of three million people has been identified.
Sun Life’s Cost of Dying report 2016 revealed that the rise in the price of funerals outstrips inflation, wages and pensions with the average funeral coming in at £3,897 and the cost of dying at £8,802 per person. With approximately 60% of UK adults without a legal will*, in 2015, over a quarter of a million UK families* were left with the stresses of going through probate court following the death of a family member. The average rates on funeral plans are 14-22%, but Carpeo Estate Planning will offer interest free credit on a range of estate planning options, enabling the cost of a funeral to be fixed at today’s rates.
Sandra Busby, Managing Director, Welsh Contact Centre Forum, said: “Carpeo Estate Planning’s announcement is further evidence of the attraction of Wales as a home for some of the most Innovative contact centre businesses around. Over the past two decades our role has been to build up Wales as the destination of choice for organisations that want to run a successful contact centre.
“Our communities need jobs like the ones Carpeo Estate Planning has created and contact centre operations across Wales contribute £650m per annum to the economy. We’re an industry that anchors many of Wales’ blue chip organisations to the country and has arguably matured into one of Wales’ most important.”
The new business – Carpeo Estate Planning – will operate through a wholly owned subsidiary Slowhit FS Limited, which is FCA authorised and ISO9001. Slowhit is an award winning Business Process Outsourcing business that supports major blue-chips in Sales and Service Activities in their front and back offices, data inputting and data validation. Since their establishment in 2009, the business has worked with brands such as Jamie’s Italian; RAC, Scottish Power; Thames Water; Pearson and retail and distribution companies such as Amazon, Asda, Tesco and O2.
By the end of their May 2017 financial year, Carpeo’s turnover will have grown to £9.4M turnover and plans are to rapidly grow to £20M over the next four years, by expanding its current Swindon-based operation into Wales and potentially other areas of the UK.
Carpeo Estate Planning has partnered with Hugh James, the UK’s largest provider of will writing Services; Golden Leaves, the market leader in the provision of funeral plans, and professional advisory firm Broomfield & Alexander. Director of Grants, Mike Fenwick, said:“We were delighted to work with the management team at Carpeo Estate Planning on this exciting proposal. This investment is great news for Wales as there was strong competition from other parts of the UK and I wish them every success with the project.”
Sally Duckworth, CEO of You At Work, who is working with the business on their member offers said: “We’re extremely excited to be working with Carpeo Estate Planning and providing their members with thousands of exclusive and easy to consume discounts & offers. It is a fantastic initiative bringing real innovation to the market.”