South London funeral firm under new ownership

Smith Yeatman, a South London firm of funeral directors, has been acquired by one of the UK’s largest funeral companies, Funeral Partners Limited (FP), which is expanding its presence across the capital.

The purchase includes three branches of A Yeatman and Sons (in West Norwood, South Norwood and Shirley) alongside two branches of Alfred Smith Funeral Directors (in Camberwell and Southwark) and the single Knox Bros branch in Merton.

FP Managing Director John Whigham said: “Smith Yeatman is a long-established, well-respected family-run business, dating back 130 years. It has a great reputation for reliability, trust and quality and we are looking forward to working with the team and investing further in the business.”

All 10 members of staff have transferred to the new company and will continue to deliver the high standards of service and care to the families and friends in the local communities they serve. The branch names will be retained.

FP Regional Development Director John Chester added: “We will continue to deliver a sensitive but professional service to grieving families and aim to set new standards in this honourable and historic profession.”

Handing over the reins, the fourth generation of the Smith family to own the business said they were proud of the company’s reputation in the local community and were delighted that its high standards would be maintained.

Alan Smith, former Director, said: “We have always seen ourselves as traditional funeral directors with a modern outlook,” he said. “We are extremely pleased that such a forward-thinking and visionary company as Funeral Partners Limited will be building on the strong foundations we have laid.”

The acquisition is part of a strategic growth programme which has included the acquisition of a number of other independent funeral directors, bringing the total number of FP branches in London to 20.

Phillip Greenfield, FP Chief Executive, said: “This purchase complements our existing branch network in north and south London, which includes John Nodes, Gillmans, James Hawes & Goodchild, Mears & Cotterill and MM Broad & Sons.”