Working at Key Group | Glassdoor.co.uk

Key Group Overview

Preston, North West England, England
201 to 500 employees
1998
Company - Private
Brokerage Services
Unknown / Non-Applicable
At Key Group, we are here to help people finance a better retirement. We are the later life lending experts, with a market leading specialism in equity release. We offer financial advice and solutions to help homeowners across the UK unlock a better retirement by accessing the ... Read more

Mission: Our mission is to be the UK's leading later life lending company.

Company Updates

  • An interesting article and interview with Simon Thompson, CEO of Key Group. Read more here by visiting
    http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vMH3q

  • You may have read on our new website all about our ASPIRE Values. These are six behaviours that we expect from our people and those wanting to join us. Therefore, if you attend an interview or assessment with us you will be asked questions around these values and how you have demonstrated them in your career to date. (Interview tip:-)
    A is for Ambitious - We have a unique spirit that drives us, taking pride in delivering products and services ahead of our competitors.
    S is for Supportive - Relationships are key to everything we do
    P is for Personal - Going above and beyond to offer exceptional service
    I is for Integrity - Honest, true and transparent in all of our relationships
    R is for Responsive - Whatever the challenge we’ll deliver right result
    E is for Expert - Experts in our field our thirst for knowledge never stop

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Key Group – Why Work With Us?


Our Culture

We believe in creating a workplace where everyone aspires to greatness. And that belief is communicated through our ASPIRE values; Ambitious, Supportive, Personal, Integrity, Responsive and Expert. 

The Key Group thrives thanks to the diverse skills, backgrounds and working history of its directors, managers, departments and teams. Find out a little more about what it's like to work here from a few videos below. 

Say hello to some key people in these two videos

Meet Will CEO of Key

Meet Dave CEO of more 2 life

To find out more about us please visit https://www.wearekeygroup.co.uk/working-at-key-group

Meet our Group CEO..

Exclusive Q and A with Simon Thompson, Key Group CEO taken from a recent article in Mortgage Solutions on the recent Key rebrand and the overall market. 

Key Retirement has rebranded as Key and launched a television advertising campaign. Simon Thompson, group chief executive at Key Retirement Group, answers Mortgage Solutions questions on the changes and the later life lending market.
 

Why the rebrand and why now?

When Key was started in 1998, very few people would have imagined that we would see people releasing almost £1bn worth of housing equity in a single quarter – but this is what the latest figures for the Equity Release Council show.

The market is growing and evolving so this is something that we also need to do to continue to be a market leader.

Following our acquisition by Partners Group in 2017, we have done a full brand review and want to create a more cohesive approach which better reflects who we are now.

We believe that good advice is key and the brand reflects this.

What are your strategic priorities now as group CEO?

In August 2017 I became group CEO having worked for Key for four years as chief financial officer and deputy chief executive.

This gave me the time to really understand the business, the team, our partners and our customers.

Working with senior management, we have identified areas that we really want to focus on.

We are looking at how we can make our service more effective, how we can help to grow the market and what product innovations are needed.

It is a really exciting time for the business and as we land these projects, we look forward to rolling out these changes.

Retirement interest-only mortgages’ (RIO) recent regulatory changes are expected to broaden the product and lending spectrum.

What are your predictions for this product’s success?

We are supportive of RIOs as they give people additional choices around retirement borrowing and our intermediary brand currently provides advice on them and other suitable options.

Looking to the future, the affordability issue is likely to impact on market growth as borrowers must prove they can sustain a lifetime of payments.

I suspect we may find some customers take out a RIO in early retirement and then move to equity release as they get older.

We are also concerned that as brokers need to highlight the fact that ‘equity release might be a better option’ as part of the advice process, some may struggle if their customer says ‘great, tell me more’.

We are working with a variety of organisations to help meet this need through referrals.

More 2 Life has won awards for product innovation. What other product segments or opportunities is the lender considering?

While I can’t give too much away as all our competitors read Mortgage Solutions, I can confirm that we are looking at how our product range can evolve and grow to meet the markets changing needs.

We are really pleased that More 2 Life’s products push the market to innovate and have no intention of stopping now.

Over 20 years, Key has achieved significant growth as a business and not necessarily aligned with market growth. How?

Since launch the company has really focused on providing the best advice we can to our customers, working closely with our partners and hiring good people.

We listen to what is happening in the market and consider how we can use trends to grow our business. We learn from our mistakes.

All of these might seem quite basic business principles, but they work – there is sadly no magic formula.

In 10 years’ time, will the specialist equity release adviser still exist, or will most adviser models be hybrid or heavily referrals based?

I think there will be continuing demand for specialists.

Many of our customers do not have existing relationships with IFAs and mortgage brokers and are looking for real expertise and a track record in considering one of the largest later life financial decisions.

However, I also think we will see more advisers looking to offer equity release advice directly and take more holistic views of customer circumstances.

Our acquisition of a stake in AIR Group will enable the group to support growth in this area.

Why should mainstream advisers be sitting up and talking notice of the later life lending arena?

Compared to what our parents expected from life, our children have very different expectations and desires.

As an industry, we are not going to be in a position to support these if we simply do what we have always done.

Mainstream advisers need to consider how they can help the increasing number of people who are reaching retirement age with either a mortgage or insufficient pension savings.


NB* Article originally published in Mortgage Solutions by Victoria Hartley https://www.mortgagesolutions.co.uk/news/2018/07/24/exclusive-q-simon-thompson-key-rebrand-later-life-market/

Charity of the year 

Each year the KR Group supports a new chosen charity. We’re pleased to announce that for 2019, the KR Group will be supporting The Boathouse Youth.

The Boathouse Youth aims to help every child and young person reach their individual potentials by unlocking barriers and restrictions to new challenges and experiences.
 
In 2017, we were proud to support the mental health charity MIND. Last year, the KR Group's chosen charity was Brian House Children's Hospice.


Staff committee

The KR Group staff committee exists to be the voice and driving force for charity events, staff suggestions and social activities.


To find out more about the KR Group please visit krgroup.co.uk 

Induction: Start off on the right foot

All of Key Group's new starters are inducted into the company through a one day program which explores company history and product knowledge, giving you a great starting position. This is also an opportunity to meet other new colleagues and be introduced to your new working environment.

 

Develop your skills 

Education and training are very important to Key Group, so we offer a range of different training days and workshops to all of our employees. These are designed to boost your skills in an array of different areas such as time management and customer service, and we encourage staff who feel they need additional training to sign up. 

 

Progress through your career

 

Every member of the Key Group team also has a performance management framework. These meetings take place with your manager at the start of the year, mid-year and at the end which gives you the opportunity to discuss how you are doing in your current role but also reflect on your long term career aspirations.  

To find out more about the KR Group please visit www.wearekeygroup.co.uk

Key Group Reviews

  • Featured Review

    "Exciting, supportive workplace!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrator in Preston, North West England, England
    Current Employee - Administrator in Preston, North West England, England
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Key Group part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    In my time at KR Group, I have found it to be a really positive and interesting place to work. The company induction is extensive and really useful. I feel supported and comfortable in my team. It feels like the business is expanding and people are open-minded about new ideas and growth.

    Cons

    Could have a scheme for buying holidays

See All 51 Reviews

Key Group Photos

Key Group photo of: The team at KR Group are standing up for gender equality in financial services!
Key Group photo of: Well done to our 28 KR Group employees who took on the Hero Assault course in aid of our Company charity The Boathouse Youth - a fantastic effort by all!
Key Group photo of: Celebrating 9,000 Trustpilot reviews
Key Group photo of: more 2 life
Key Group photo of: Awards evening
Key Group photo of: The more 2 life team
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Key Group Interviews

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  1. Featured Interview

     

    Internal Recruiter Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Preston, North West England, England
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took a week. I interviewed at Key Group (Preston, North West England, England) in April 2019.

    Interview

    The process moved very quickly and was thorough in questioning. I was able to meet three members of the HR team which I found very beneficial. The questions were fair, and not unexpected. I felt comfortable throughout the process.

    Interview Questions

    • I had a task in relation to a hiring manager struggling with their hiring, what would I advise.   Answer Question
See All 2 Interviews

Key Group Awards & Accolades

  • Best Companies to Work For, Sunday Times Best Companies, 2019
  • Best Equity Release Mortgage Broker, Mortgage Strategy Awards, 2004
  • Equity Release IFA of the Year, Financial Adviser, 2004
  • Equity Release IFA of the Year, Financial Adviser Service Awards, 2005
  • Equity Release Mortgage Broker, Mortgage Strategy Awards, 2005
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