Avalon – a leading provider of funeral plans – has appointed three key members of staff as part of its international expansion plans.
John Shepherd joins the company as sales director. The 42-year-old has 20 years’ experience in sales, having worked as senior vice president at Aon Corporation – a provider of risk management services and insurance – in the UK and Europe. John will now drive Avalon’s expansion across Europe, as well as consolidating the UK’s mature market through a direct sales platform.
Avalon has quadrupled its sales force in the last year and John is tasked with increasing this by a further 150 per cent in the next twelve months.
Commenting on his new role, John said: “I’m looking forward to working with such a well established company. Avalon’s plan for growth in the European market means this is a crucial time for the business and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”
Jason Gardner, 37, joins the company as operations director, bringing with him more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. Having previously worked at Key Retirement Solutions, where he gained specific insight in the grey market, Jason will now manage Avalon’s three operation sites in Wilmslow, Essex and Spain.
Financial director Mark Dugdale previously worked with a variety of highly regarded organisations, including LBC Corporate Finance, Red Squared and TopJobs.net. His financial management experience with fast-growing SMEs will be utilised in his new role with Avalon Funeral Plans.
Mike Cooper, managing director at Avalon, said: “The company is going from strength to strength and these latest appointments build on the success that Avalon has had over the last few months. John, Jason and Mark bring a wealth of experience with them and they’ll play a significant role in the continued growth of the business.”
The appointments come just weeks after Avalon announced its latest, ground-breaking funeral plan. The Compendium Plan will enable funeral directors to offer their own funeral plan service, allowing them to sell secure, bespoke plans with complete peace of mind about financial reimbursement.