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Chairman’s Report

Arnold Pindar - Chairman

Annual Chairman’s Report

I am pleased to present my statement for the Golden Leaves Trusts for the year ending 31 March 2023.

In my capacity as Chair of the Golden Leaves Trust, I oversee and guide our board of Trustee experts (who are leading figures from the world of consumer protection, regulatory compliance, investment finance and the funeral industry) to ensure that our investment managers maintain a prudent and considered approach to fund investment in line with our investment brief. The Golden Leaves board of Trustees primary role is to ensure that the funds from paid for funeral plans are safeguarded to ensure that they are available whenever needed to pay for the required funerals. The Trust funds are also independent of the company as a direct control mechanism, to ensure that whatever the fortunes of the business, the funds will be made available for the delivery of the required funerals when needed and are free of insolvency practitioners.

The Trustees and our investment managers must be constantly aware of the fluctuations within global financial markets, as protection of the monies that are held to match our funeral obligations and consequently the health of the trust is the boards primary focus.

The entire world faced considerable economic challenges during the period ending the 31st of March 2023. Even though all legal COVID-19 restrictions were removed by the UK government on the 24th of February 2022, the wider global economy experienced inflationary pressures caused by turbulence following both the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These combined events coupled with further political upheavals, resulted in instability and disruption in global financial markets. In support of Golden Leaves Ltd, the trustees have worked hard to successfully minimise or mitigate the effect of these market fluctuations on the investments held within the Golden Leaves Trust. One such control was to spread the funds held within the Trust between four leading fund investment managers, all working within a common benchmarked investment brief.

Midway through the financial year (In July 2022) the funeral plan market came under the regulatory perimeter of the Financial Conduct Authority. Regulation required major changes to businesses, their distribution models, staffing requirements and internal and external systems and controls. These changes have been implemented and Golden Leaves Ltd is now authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. There was also a need to amend the principal trust deed to meet Regulation policy. These changes have permitted us to transfer into the Trust a number of plans that existed prior to 2002 when the funeral planning sector came under the FSMA 2001.  The transfer of the plans will ensure better oversight and controls and in turn benefit the plan-holder, the company and the Trust.

Golden Leaves commission an annual Solvency Assessment Report, which is completed by independent actuaries. The report, in accordance with the Financial Services and Markets Act (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 act. 60(1)(b)(v) covers the determination, calculation and verification of the assets and liabilities of the Trust as of the 5th April 2023. It establishes the level of independent reporting and scrutiny which verifies and describes the financial condition of the Trust at the valuation date. It also considers the funding appropriate to the Trust after the valuation date and for the life of the plan contracts that it holds.

The results of the valuation show that at the end of our accounting period 2022-2023, the value of the net assets in the Trust before meeting our obligated funeral provisions, amounted to £131,078.000 sufficient to cover 115% of the funeral liabilities at the valuation date and provides a healthy surplus of £17,272,000.

As Chair of the Golden Leaves Trust, I am extremely pleased to announce that although market conditions have been extremely challenging during the period, the Golden Leaves Trust has maintained a healthy surplus that ensures we can fully honour all our commitments to all our funeral plan-holders.


Arnold Pindar


Golden Leaves Trust

December 2023


Golden Leaves Trust
16th Floor No 1, 12-16 Addiscombe Road, Croydon, CR0 0XT, UK
T - 0800 85 44 48 E - secretary@goldenleaves.com