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Key Group has posted an update on their COVID-19 response. Please see Company Updates for the latest news.

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

  • COVID-19

    When the pandemic was announced, we worked hard to ensure the safety of our colleagues and to continue providing excellent service to our customers by:•helping 98% of our colleagues to transition into working from home with coaching, video and hand-out support so they can continue to work and stay safe •moving our adviser teams to telephone advice smoothly and quickly to ensure that they could continue to support customers and corporate partners •working to overcome the difficulties posed by face to face valuations which saw more2life become the first volume lender to be in a position to do semi-automated valuations for the majority of its product ranges •keeping the communication flowing with the internal communications team ensuring that team members were up to date and had insight from senior management – including a regular video update from our CEO, Simon Thompson •understanding that some colleagues may be facing childcare or caring challenges at this time and working with people on an individual basis to help them with more flexible working hours, and other support.

  • Last night Key Group won in two categories at the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards – which also celebrated the publications 150th Birthday: • Key won the award for Customer Service/Treating Customers Fairly (non lender) • more2life took the top spot for Innovation (lender) Air Later Life Academy was also awarded Highly Commended in the Innovation – non lender category. Simon Thompson, commented on the award wins: “Mortgage Finance Gazette is a well-respected publication which looks at the entire lending market so it is fantastic to see three Key Group brands recognised at these industry award. These accolades highlight the effort all our colleagues have put into the business in the last year and receiving recognition for our customer-centric approach at Key and our commitment to innovation at more2life and at the Later Life Academy highlight how we are truly leading the later life industry. This put us in great stead for a successful year in 2020.”

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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. 

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..

Q & 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.

more2life 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 more2life’s products push the market to innovate and have no intention of stopping now.

Over 20 years, Key Group 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 Key Group supports a new chosen charity. We’re pleased to announce that for 2020, Key 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.
 
Last year, the Group's chosen charity was Brian House Children's Hospice.

 

Staff committee

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

 

To find out more about Key Group please visit wearekeygroup.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

  • Financial Reporter - Best Later Life Broker - 2020, 2018
  • Personal Finance Awards - Best Equity Release Broker - 2019
  • Mortgage Finance Gazette - Customer Service/ Treating Customers Fairly - 2019
  • Money Age - Financial Adviser Award: Medium to Large Firm - 2019
  • Mortgage Introducer Awards - Best Later Life Broker -  2018
  • Equity Release Awards - Lifetime Achievement Award- Dean Mirfin - 2018
  • Investment and Pensions Moneyfacts- Best Equity Release Adviser of the Year- 2018
  • What Mortgage- Best Equity Release Customer Service- 2018, 2017, 2016, 2012
  • Personal Finance - Best Equity Release Customer Service- 2017
  • Mortgage Introducer - Best Later Life Broker - 2017
  • Equity Release Awards - Best Overall- 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008
  • Financial Reporter- Best Equity Release Broker- 2017
  • Mortgage Strategy- Best Broker for Equity Release - 2016, 2015, 2013
  • Mortgage Strategy- Best Equity Release Mortgage Broker - 2012, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004
  • Mortgage Solutions Equity Release- Best Overall Adviser - 2015
  • Mortgage Solutions Equity Release - Outstanding Contribution - 2015
  • FT Adviser Online Service- Best Large Adviser Firm Website - 2014
  • FT Adviser Online Service- Large Adviser Firm of the Year- 2013
  • UK Over 50s Housing - Most Outstanding Service in the Over 55s Housing Sector- 2012
  • Equity Release- Best Financial Adviser 10+ employees- 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007
  • What Mortgage - Best Equity Release Adviser- 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
  • UK Over 50s Housing - Most Outstanding Over 50s Financial Planning Entity- 2011
  • British Mortgage Awards - Best Equity Release Broker - 2011, 2009
  • My Introducer - Best Equity Release Broker - 2010
  • Good Advice- Best Equity Release Adviser- 2009
  • British Mortgage - Best Equity Release Adviser- 2008
  • Equity Release - Best Adviser Reversions - 2007, 2006, 2005
  • Equity Release - Best Adviser Lifetime Mortgages- 2007, 2006, 2005
  • Mortgage Introducer - Best Equity Release Broker- 2007, 2006, 2005
  • Financial Adviser Mortgage- Equity Release IFA of the Year- 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004
  • What Mortgage- Best Equity Release Broker- 2007, 2006
  • Equity Release - Best Adviser 10+- 2006, 2005, 2004

more2life

  • Financial Reporter Awards - Best Later Life Lender-2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
  • Mortgage Finance Gazette- Innovation Lenders - 2019
  • Equity Release Awards- Best Provider for Lifetime- Shortlisted - 2019
  • Equity Release Awards- Best Provider for Product Innovation- Shortlisted - 2019
  • Mortgage Introducer Awards- Best Equity Release - Shortlisted - 2019
  • The Personal Finance Awards- Best Equity Release Lender- Shortlisted - 2019
  • The Personal Finance Awards - Best Equity Release Lender Customer Service- Shortlisted - 2019
  • Financial Adviser Service Awards- Mortgages - 5* - 2019
  • Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts - Best Online Service- 2019
  • What Mortgage Awards- Best Equity Release Lender- Highly Commended - 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
  • Financial Reporter Awards - Underwriter of the Year- Derrick Singleton- 2019
  • Financial Reporter Awards- BDM of the Year- 2019, 2018
  • The Mortgage Awards (Money Age)- Later Life Lender of the Year- 2019
  • Mortgage Strategy - Best Equity Release - 2019
  • Mortgage Solutions Equity Release Awards - BDM of the Year- Amanda Day- 2018
  • Mortgage Solutions Equity Release Awards- Best Provider for Product Innovation - 2018
  • Financial Adviser Service Awards- Mortgages - 5*- 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
  • Personal Finance Awards- Best Equity Release Lender - 2018
  • Money Age - Best Equity Release Lender - 2018
  • Investment Life and Pension- Best Online Service- Highly Commended - 2018
  • What Mortgage - Best Equity Relase Customer- Highly Commended - 2018
  • Mortgage Finance Gazette - Best Lifetime Mortgage Lender- 2017, 2016, 2012
  • Financial Times Online - Mortgages - 5*- 2017, 2016
  • Financial Times Online - Mortgages Innovation - 2017, 2016
  • Financial Innovation Awards - Innovation in Marketing and Communications - 2016
  • Personal Finance - Best Equity Release Lender - 2016, 2015
  • Personal Finance - Best Lifetime Mortgage Lender - Highly Commended - 2016, 2015
  • CIM Northern Awards - B2B Campaign - 2016
  • What Mortgage - Best Equity Release Customer Service- Highly Commended - 2016, 2015
  • What Mortgage - Best Lifetime Product Provider- Highly Commended- 2016, 2015
  • Mortgage Strategy - Equity Release Lifetime Mortgage Lender - 2013

AIR 

  • Equity Release Awards - Best Distributor for Development and Support - 2019
  • Equity Release Awards - Best Technology Innovator- 2018
  • Equity Release Awards - Best Adviser Support - 2018

Key Group Reviews

  • "Supportive, forward-thinking company"

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

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

    Pros

    - Supportive team and wider department
    - Willingness to listen to new ideas
    - Diverse and interesting work
    - Opportunities for professional development
    - "Free Fruit Monday" once a month and "Dress down Fridays" every week
    - Additional Holiday purchasing scheme which has just come in

    Cons

    - Traffic can sometimes be slow at peak times
    - Parking initially an issue, however this was resolved quickly and communicated effectively

See All 57 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

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
100%

Difficulty

2.5
Average

Difficulty

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  1.  

    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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