We’re celebrating 15 years of dedicated equity release advice!

22 January 2021

We thought it would be fun to share 15 things about 55Plus Equity Release you possibly didn’t know.

1. We were founded in 2006 by Jan Johnson

Our founder and Managing Director, Jan Johnson, set up 55 Plus Equity Release when she couldn’t find a company that she wanted to work for that shared her values. The company was born out of Jan’s passion to provide clients impartial, transparent and informed information about releasing equity.

2. We’d rather turn business away than write a mortgage that we don’t think is in our client’s best interests. 

Our company thrives on providing our clients with the best solutions for their unique situation, and if equity release isn’t a good fit for them, then we always walk away – in fact, we can often point you in the direction of another solution that might work better for you! Unlike so many of our competitors, we’re not in the game of selling products for profit’s sake; our top priority is helping our clients achieve their goals. 

3. Our Equity Release bee represents our approach to work 

Ever wondered what the bee in our logo represents? The Equity Release bee has been with us since the start of the company, providing continuity across our various rebrands throughout our 15-year history. Just like us, our little bee is a hard worker, puts others first and scours the market to find the best possible products. 

4. The company moved from sole trader’ to multi-adviser’ in 2018

By the end of 2017, having achieved her first goal of ensuring 55Plus Equity Release was well established and well respected, Jan took the next leap of faith: expanding her team. Jan was first joined by Gordon Cunningham, and two months later Kevin Gulwell also decided to come under the 55Plus Equity Release banner, with Lesley Wright following suit later on that same year. 2018 was a great year for growth for 55Plus! 

Every year, some of our major highlights as a company are recruiting new advisers, who also share our same core values. Our team is the biggest it’s ever been, but we’re not stopping there; we’re looking to recruit more like-minded professionals who want the flexibility to run their own business, with a bit of guidance from us. 

5. We’re independent 

That means we have no allegiances with any equity release provider and we can provide our clients with the products that work best for you, not who we’re friendly with. 

6. We’ve been featured in the Financial Times – twice! 

All of our team are really passionate about the industry and it’s been great to see our expertise recognised by others in the financial sector. Recently, we’ve been thrilled to feature in not just one, but two, articles in the Financial Times Adviser, after being asked to comment on developments in the sector. 

7. We only advise on equity release

Unlike lots of other companies, we only advise our clients on equity release, meaning that we’re experts in our field and equipped to offer you the best quality information. 

8. We can advise on releasing equity throughout England, Wales and Scotland

Until recently, our team was based in England and Wales, but with the addition of our new recruit, Mike Gillis, we’re now able to advise homeowners over 55 in a whole new jurisdiction. 

9. We’re not on any price comparison sites 

While our customers have access to nearly all the equity release products on the market when working with us, we never use price comparison sites when providing our clients with our recommendations for them. Price comparison sites don’t take into consideration your individual circumstances and so they’ll never be able to deliver the bespoke equity release plans that we provide for all our customers. 

10. We’ve got some accolades behind our name! 

We don’t like to brag, but as a company we’re pretty proud of some of our achievements. One highlight was Managing Director, Jan Johnson, being named as the runner-up in the Kent Women in Business Awards 2019 in the best Woman in Business category’. Jan also won Best Sole Trader’ in the Equity Release Awards in both 2015 and 2017, and as a company we were a finalist in the Best Financial Adviser – 5 Advisers and Less’ category in 2018

11. All our advisers are members of the Equity Release Council

Our team of trusted advisers are all members of the Equity Release Council, meaning that they abide by the standards and regulations set up by the Council. 

12. We’re currently doing lots of our meetings with clients virtually 

COVID-19 has forced us to move most of our meetings with clients online; whilst we’re really proud of how we’ve adapted as a company to deal with this unprecedented situation, we really miss meeting face-to-face with our clients – but, of course, their safety comes first. 

13. We talk your language 

We don’t use unnecessary and complex terms when discussing equity release with you; we keep things simple to ensure you understand the options before you, enabling you to make an informed decision.

14. We offer no-obligation meetings 

All of our initial meetings come with no obligation to take out a product with us – we’re simply there to give you all the relevant information to go away and make up your own mind. 

15. We have hundreds of happy customers 

At the end of the day, our customers’ satisfaction is all that really matters to us and we’re delighted to have helped so many families realise their dreams through equity release. 

We hope our 15 birthday facts have helped you get to know us a little better. If you’d like to find out whether releasing equity might be right for you, then please get in touch. 

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