It’s your line to Mike McCollum

Charles 3 Comments

Church Action on Poverty and Quaker Social Action are holding an event which will bring together charities, communities, policy-makers and the funeral industry to seek joint solutions to the growing problem of funeral poverty.

They say: “It’s really important that all sides are represented at the event and participate in finding solutions. Unfortunately, Dignity Funerals – the largest corporate owner of funeral directors in the UK – has declined every invitation sent to them.”

They’d like you to email Mike McCollum, the ceo of what is probably Britain’s most expensive undertaker, and tell him he really ought to get down there.

Come on, Mike, make an effort and try and look good. The GFG’ll be there. We can talk about what to do with your share options.

Please send Mike an automatic email and explain why it’s so important he attends this event and gets involved in finding solutions to funeral poverty. Click here.


NOTE to the uninitiated: a LTIP is a long-term incentive plan. The above is the third coponent of their total package and is not awarded automatically


  1. Charles

    Yes, in ‘this PR photo’ Mike is looking very relaxed and quite pleased, after all his remuneration is up there towards seven figures and like all top Executives at Plc’s, he’s entitled to a full package including share options (shown below and which also appear in Dignity’s Annual Accounts). Corporate media speak folk take the view that to retain ‘top talent’, then there has to be an attractive package available. Now I’m fully in favour of that, the only problem is, that one of life’s great taboos and all that it entails is the sole source for funding this juggernaut of the Industry. Now Mike has nil grass roots experience of the Funeral biz, he’s just a Lawyer and a Financial bean counter

    Mike’s PR people will have advised that there’s only a downside in attending this event, in fact there’s much to lose……….presentations to Fund Managers and Pension Funds, of course, have the real appeal and when you’re the sole publicly listed Provider, that’s only what counts


  2. Charles

    Long term followers of the UK funeral industry will know that Dignity was formed from the old Service Corporation (“SCI”) UK business. SCI almost certainly over committed themselves during the 1990’s with a glut of worldwide acquisitions and retreated to their homeland on the other side of the pond

    Since 2006, SCI have been gearing back up and have recently swallowed a large Louisa based Corporate rival. Now on a pricing level, funerals here are cheaper than in the US. On a business operating model, Dignity is very similar to SCI. With the heading of “Is Funeral Chain SCI’s growth coming at the expense of Mourners”, here’s the link to a fairly recent and very interesting Bloomberg article. Sounds familiar doesn’t it…? – perhaps Mike and Co have read it……?

    Here are some particularly relevant extracts from this article:
    (1) In the death-care industry, as practitioners call it, SCI casts a long shadow; (2) For 40 years, SCI has gobbled competitors as the pioneer consolidator of a fragmented industry; (3) Explaining SCI’s business model, a Florida based owner operator said”…“The families don’t know, but SCI saves a ton on overhead. For cremations, SCI has a central oven facility in Fort Lauderdale. The chain’s locations share limos, hearses, and personnel. They enjoy volume discounts on caskets, flowers, and embalming fluid. You feel like you’re competing against a factory, …; (4) The chain charges customers more than independently owned rivals; (5) Whatever cost savings SCI achieves, it keeps or passes along to its shareholders; (6) Still, the consternation provoked by SCI’s expansion illustrates that the mass marketing of death care stirs an inherent fear that growth and profitability will come at the expense of families at their most vulnerable; and (7) Seventy-three of the priciest 100 funeral homes in the U.S. are owned by SCI

    ……………………as already mentioned, it all sounds very very familiar


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