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Golden Charter, the UK’s leading independent funeral plan provider, has today announced that Suzanne Grahame has j joined as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Shetakes over from outgoing CEO, Ronnie Wayte, whose 10 year stewardship of the company saw it grow into the UK market leader in funeral plans with over £1 billion of live plans. Joining at the start of the month, Suzanne addressed her new colleagues at the company’s annual conference, which coincided with her first day in the role.

Ms Grahame joins Golden Charter from UK top twenty law firm Addleshaw Goddard where she was Executive Director following the amalgamation with leading Scottish commercial law firm HBJ Gateley, where she was Chief Executive. A professionally qualified accountant with experience across many sectors, Ms Grahame also worked for FCA regulated investment fund manager Standard Life as well as serving as Group Finance Director for AIM quoted UA Group plc.

Her focus will be building on the recent success at Golden Charter while creating a robust and forward looking company. maintaining the trusted heritage created by its owning independent funeral directors. She intends to target the market for later life planning as it continues to embrace the opportunities created by the emerging digital market.

Golden Charter Chairman Magnus Swanson said: “The company’s current market strength reflects our unique culture and unrivalled geographical coverage, yet nothing in business can ever be taken for granted, especially market leadership.

“Our immediate priority is to continue playing to the strengths of Golden Charter, working evermore closely with our shareholders while nurturing our emerging consumer brand. Suzanne’s varied experiences in asset management and law form an ideal blend of skills as we continue to develop our wider business and expand our share of the funeral planning sector where increased regulation appears imminent.”

Ms Grahame added that she is joining at an exciting time in the company’s development, with a growing market for the core funeral planning product and new digital opportunities appearing. She is keen to meet many of the local funeral directors who ultimately own Golden Charter, and sees their connection to their local communities as a key advantage for the company.

With the cost of funerals more than doubling since 2004, it remains important for people to plan for future funeral needs. Through innovative products and emerging channels, Golden Charter aims to continue making it simple and affordable for families to have peace of mind about their funeral plans.