KR Group History

The KR Group is a leading financial services group, specialising in helping those in retirement or planning to retire soon. After starting offering equity release all the way back in 1998, we’ve since introduced a diverse range of activities to help our customers with their retirement planning and estate planning.

United by the goal of improving our customers’ experience of retirement, the KR Group splits out into several distinct brands, both customer facing and b2b. You can read more about each of our brands here, or meet our executive team to find out more about our in-house expertise.

 

Over the past two decades our brands have evolved enormously, and between them we have achieved a great deal and reached many milestones.

Scroll through our history to learn more about our journey and find out how the business has grown.

2017

September: A new chapter

The sale of the company to Partners Group, and the retirement of our longstanding CEO Colin Taylor marks the start of a new chapter for the KR Group, with Simon Thompson taking the helm as our new Chief Executive Officer. Every brand under the KR Group umbrella is ready and excited to step up to the challenge of a changing retirement finance market.

To mark the occasion, we also found ourselves expanding into a brand new office. Acquiring Fleming House allowed us to bring the entire team together across two buildings at our home in Midgery Court, Preston.

 

January: 10,000 reviews for Key Retirement

Key Retirement received our 10,000th Trustpilot review on the 16th January, retaining our ‘excellent’ 5-star rating.

2015

5

November: 50th award win

Key Retirement picked up two equity release awards, hitting the big 5-0 and bringing our overall total to 51. We’ve picked up a fair few more since then, too!

 

May: more 2 life moves home

In May our more 2 life team were moved into Fairways, a brand new office which also housed our Learning and Development Academy.

 

April: Pension freedoms

After the government introduced pension freedoms, we wanted to make sure our customers were kept informed about the market. Our annuities service was refreshed to ensure that it could provide the most useful service possible.

2014

October: A new look for Key Retirement Solutions

Key Retirement Solutions rebranded to Key Retirement, with a whole new website as well as a new logo and name. We also took this opportunity to modernise our intouch magazine.

2013

January: a new home

Due to staff expansion, we decided to move our head office from Harbour House to a brand new premises at Baines House – which remains our current home.

2010

Annuities added to Key’s portfolio

After the successful introduction of estate planning in 2007, we then went on to introduce an annuities service with a retirement planning team who could help customers make the most of their pension pot.

2007

more 2 life

Estate planning introduced to Key

After realising that many of our equity release customers came to us without a Lasting Power of Attorney or even a valid Will, we realised that we could offer a valuable service by setting up our own estate planning team.

 

The launch of more 2 life

2007 was a very important year for the KR Group, with the launch of more 2 life. Established to help us reach a wider range of consumer needs, more 2 life specialise in providing flexible lending solutions for the over 55s.

2005

Key Partnerships logo

Introducing Key Partnerships

The B2B equity release referral service, Key Partnerships, was created. This allows independent advisers who aren’t qualified to offer equity release the opportunity to refer customers on to our team.

2004

Total independence

Our directors decided to buy the company, allowing us to separate from Countrywide. This was a very important move as it gave us the autonomy to make decisions about the direction that the company would take.

2003

Key Retirement Solutions

The first rebrand

Key Retirement Solutions was given a more vibrant, up to date logo. This went alongside a decision to build a stronger company culture which would allow us to stand out as a brand.

2002

intouch magazine

intouch magazine launched

We published our very first intouch magazine, a publication that brings together useful retirement articles with education about equity release and our other company products.

2001

A break for independence

Home Income Gold broke out as an independent company, changing our name to Key Retirement Solutions. It was at this point that we began to focus on equity release products.

1998

How it all began

Before the KR Group, there was ‘Home Income Gold’ – a tied agent owned by the larger company Countrywide, meaning that we couldn’t sell independent products at that time. The original headcount was just six people: Colin Taylor, Richard Overson, Dean Mirfin, Maxine Benstead, Elaine Fletcher and Hilary Pibworth.