ZIMBABWE’S largest and oldest funeral company, Doves Funeral Services, has embarked on key strategic moves earmarked on strengthening its growing presence in undertaking and funeral assurance po
The group, which has been in existence for more than 100 years, has three lines of business: provision of funeral services, funeral assurance policies, coffin and casket manufacturing.
The company, which has over 25 parlours countrywide, has already started streamlining its operations in Harare and Bulawayo.
In Harare, Doves has disposed of one of its parlours in the city of Harare to Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance. Company executives at Doves said the decision was to streamline operations since they had four funeral parlours within a one-kilometre radius in the city centre.
In Bulawayo, the company has sold its Crocker Brothers brand based in the city centre to concentrate on its three other parlours in Bulawayo.
The Doves Crocker Morgan Funeral Assurance (DCM) has a property fund of more than $10 billion which it has always used as a hedge against inflation to preserve the value and benefits of its policyholders estimated to be over 500 000.
The managing director of DCM, Roger Borgonovo said the company has produced a new generation of corporate policies that offer flexibility and dynamism and are tailor-made to suit each corporate environment.
The advantage of corporate policies is that they have immediate value, require no medicals or health declarations for staff or dependants and are administratively easier when an employee or immediate family member is faced with bereavement.
Borgonovo said the company had embarked on decentralising its operations, which will see the deployment of qualified staff in all major towns to market policies, handle policy queries, and expedite claims procedures.
The funeral company has already mooted the idea of listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and should begin trading during the first quarter of next year.
Insiders recently said Doves would likely begin making preliminary moves towards an Initial Public Offer towards the end of next month in preparation for listing sometime in January.
If listed Doves will become the first purely funeral assurance firm on the bourse.
It was the first professional funeral service establishment in Zimbabwe. In June the Doves group changed from being a family business to a corporate entity following its acquisition by Ecofin.