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15 April 2021
Digital storage platform My Family Recovery Planhelps navigate the complexities of the death of a loved one
Unsplash © Joshua Hoehne

Life Ledger helps streamline post-death admin for the bereaved

Many of us are unaware of the complicated nature of informing different companies about the death of a loved one. Not only can the process be laborious, but it is emotionally draining during what is already an incredible difficult time.

This is why Nicky Hector cofounded Life Ledger, a platform that consolidates this long-winded process. Maddyness UK caught up with Nicky to learn about the new business.

What was your professional background before founding Life Ledger?

My background spans three different types of experiences, with investment high up there. I worked for McKinsey, where I learned the ins and outs of M&A. I was also in the corporate venture capital team at Diageo and I had a stint in private equity working for BC Partners, so I feel I’m a seasoned investor myself.

New businesses are also a theme. I was involved in the setup, launch and growth of new concepts at Waitrose. This included Little Waitrose, the convenience store chain, and the cookery school. I helped launch Morrison’s online business back in 2014 and set up a heated clothing startup myself a couple of years ago. 

I’ve also held a number of different corporate roles most recently and excitingly, setting up the international marketing team for Ocado Technology. I’ve had a fantastically fun career.

Tell me about Life Ledger?

Life Ledger aims to make death a little bit easier. Our platform consolidates and automates the process of telling multiple private sector companies that someone has died.

It is aimed at a digital immigrant audience – a techie way of saying the over-40s – so simplicity is key. We understand how users must be feeling when they have to go through this process – exhausted, confused and vulnerable – so we never ask for the same information twice. 

When someone signs up to our ‘Register a Death’ product, they register themselves, the deceased, whether any accounts need to be switched to a surviving partner, and they then simply select the companies they wish to notify, add in the account details and press send. We have over 650 private sector companies that people can choose to notify within the platform.

We also have a ‘Register a Life’ product, which is the perfect add-on for those conscious of their own mortality and is a great adjunct to the will writing process. Here, we store all of the user’s account information to make the post-death notification process more streamlined for their loved ones.

What was the catalyst for launching Life Ledger?

Life Ledger emerged when my business partner, Tremayne Carew Pole, witnessed the administrative nightmare that a close friend faced following the death of a parent. Having seen my mother go through the same repetitive, inconsistent and time consuming process when my grandmother died, I felt compelled to build a solution. No one should have to say “My mother has died” so many times.

I’m a solution focussed person and I can’t let things go unsolved. We really started to build the business at the end of 2019 and the rest is history. 

Nicky Hector, cofounder of Life Ledger

How has the business evolved since its launch?

We have seen very encouraging month-on-month growth since we launched at the end of 2020, confirming the consumer need for such a service.

We have been delighted with the response from many of the companies we are notifying. Vulnerability is high on corporate agendas at the moment, so customer-focussed brands have been very eager to work closely with us.

We are also seeing disruptive ripples across all areas of the death space and are talking to a number of other innovative startups both upstream and downstream. Now really does seem to be the time for change in an industry that has been so analogue and unimaginative for so long!

What challenges have you faced so far?

The events of 2020 have seen the conversation around bereavement open up. In the early part of the year based on the fears of what might happen in the pandemic, but latterly to do with digitising and streamlining processes that remote working and social distancing engendered.

That being said, it is extremely important for us to be hugely sensitive to the loss that our users have experienced. They are coming to us at a really difficult time in their lives and we have to ensure that what we do works, otherwise there is a real risk that we are just putting up another bureaucratic hurdle for them to overcome.

What are your aspirations for Life Ledger in 2021 and beyond?

We are a commercial business with real social purpose, and success comes in two parts. The first is to know that we are making a real difference to people at a key life moment and easing what is undoubtedly one of the most difficult times in their lives. The second is clearly commercial: building a network of partnerships, not only with the companies that we are notifying, but also those across the whole end of life and post-death sector. 

Nicky Hector is cofounder of Life Ledger.