“Great friend and business partner”

words: Pete O'Neill
Gordon Fergusson

Pete O’Neill pays tribute to one of SAIFCharter’s leading lights, Gordon Fergusson…

“In January 1999, the late Gordon Kee and Andrew Harvey were looking to appoint a CEO for Golden Charter Ltd. It was then I met Gordon Fergusson. During my time at Golden Charter, Gordon held office as Finance Director and also administered the Trust on behalf of the Trustees.

Gordon had been with the company since it was started by Gordon Kee and Andrew Harvey. He played a big part in a business that had reached around £1billion in trust by the time he left. During our time together, we introduced the concept of the Regional Support Managers and the onsite training initiatives with the Best Methods Training Manual.

We combined the SAIF and Golden Charter Magazines to create SAIFInsight, which was well supported by the RSMs bringing stories, photographs and articles to the media. We then developed the Help the Aged funeral plan and sold 2,999 in the first year. Both Gordon and I expressed our disappointment to Roger Ferdinand for coming up one plan short of target!

Further to our time at Golden Charter, Gordon and I worked on a number of new ventures. We started a company called Independent Mergers and Acquisitions Ltd. We successfully brokered a number of business sales for Independent Funeral Directors in the UK. Notables included, Derriman and Haynes (Brighton), F.G. Gibb (Southport), Steve Astley Funeral Directors (Hyde), Payne and Son (Eastbourne), Exeter & District to mention a few.

We also decided to invest in a funeral business that we brokered in Fort William. It was interesting for Gordon and I to be so directly involved in the funeral profession.

Over time we explored a number of new ventures that included us going to the USA to see a new process called resomation. While we were over there in 2016, Gordon and I went over to see the set up for the Ryder Cup that was about to be played at Hazeltine Golf Club in Minneapolis. The picture above shows Gordon standing on the first tee and enjoying the ambiance and scenery of the venue.

Our time together at Golden Charter was special and we had a great team that we managed to build up. The key players included Roger Ferdinand, Ian Barnett, Sara Trickett, Linda Harvey, Janice Kirby, Janice Bennett, Damon Campbell, Penny Hubbard and Helen Byrne. We had the unique Ian Milne in Northern Ireland and Mary Cuniff in Dublin.

None of this would have been possible without the talents of the support staff in the call centre. Not that he ever needed it, but Gordon was kept on the straight and narrow thanks to the two Irenes and Margaret.

Gordon did so much for Golden Charter during his time in office and played his part in supporting SAIF and other funeral support groups.

A great friend and business partner.”

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