SVEN KNUTSSON, CHAIRMAN & ACTING CEO & PETRA SEGERDAHL, CEO VERAHILL
Klarahill AB was founded in 2014 with the business concept of consolidating the highly fragmented funeral director segment. The intention is for the group to be the serious option for people in mourning. This is achieved by retaining the commitment of individual entrepreneurs through participation and joint ownership. The subsidiary Verahill deals with aspects of family law that arise when someone dies, including estate inventory and inheritance issues, but also the legal matters for the family.
Klarahill has been part of Mellby Gård since 2015. Mellby Gård’s representatives on the Board of Directors are Sven Knutsson (Chairman) and Johan Andersson.
- Headquarters: Nacka
- Sales 2021: SEK 194 million
- Employees (FTE): 130
- Chairman: Sven Knutsson
KLARAHILL OFFERS COMPLETE CONTROL OVER LIFE AND DEATH
Klarahill continued its growth in 2021. Three strategic acquisitions of funeral homes were made, and digital funeral home Lova was integrated. Growth in the field of family law was boosted by a broader portfolio of services and greater cooperation within the Group.
Klarahill provides its funeral services under the motto “By funeral directors, for funeral directors”. Entrepreneurial spirit and genuine expertise are vital when it comes to consolidating the Swedish funeral industry, and also for new acquisitions. The company has grown constantly since it was founded in 2014.
Three funeral home enterprises were taken over in 2021: Jarls in Sjöbo, Widéns in Karlstad and Östlunds in Katrineholm. The ten new offices helped the company to achieve a SEK 145 million turnover in funeral services, as well as significant improvement in profitability.
“This year’s acquisitions haven’t just brought in new business for us: they’ve also put us on the map in some important new regions. We’ve found the key to success and are now stepping up the pace so that we can take further market share. Our strong in-house culture and infrastructure are allowing us to grow together gradually without compromising on either our quality or our professional pride,” says Sven Knutsson, Chairman and Acting CEO of Klarahill.
THE RIGHT CONDITIONS IN PLACE
It’s important to offer a digital alternative so that more of the market can be covered. People must find it easy to find a funeral home online and receive practical and legal assistance even if they’re not physically in attendance. That’s why digital funeral home Lova Funeral was taken over in late 2020. It’s now an integral part of Klarahill and provides a national complement to the Group’s local presence.
The growth in recent years wouldn’t have been possible without shared ownership, decentralised leadership and strong local brands. The organisation can identify new customer needs quickly and offer relevant solutions. The switch to digital funerals during the pandemic is one good example.
“There’s been something of a thaw in the industry. We’re being approached by more and more funeral homes after they’ve talked to their colleagues in the industry. Klarahill offers both funeral homes and their employees a future. Being part of our community ensures that support is provided when challenges are encountered, but it also places companies in more of a position to create new opportunities. It relieves the burden on owners without them losing their influence. In simple terms: Klarahill allows funeral homes to have their cake and eat it.”
VERAHILL GROWS TO INCLUDE LEGAL ISSUES RELATING TO LIFE
Verahill’s ambition is to become the leading family law firm in Sweden through organic growth together with legal issues addressed by Klarahill in the event of death. Former operations manager Petra Segerdahl was appointed CEO of Verahill in 2021 so as to head the development initiative.
“Our origins in the funeral industry give us a major advantage over our competitors. The classic legal issues that arise in the event of death – probate, inheritance and administration of estates – provide us with a steady flow of cases, and demand is growing as Klarahill makes more acquisitions,” says Petra Segerdahl, CEO of Verahill.
Turnover increased by 60 per cent from SEK 30 million to SEK 48 million in 2021, while the number of employees increased from around forty to almost sixty. This growth has mainly come about due to cases where the company represents private individuals in disputes, and also systematic efforts to increase both intermediation and conversion of cases from Klarahill to Verahill.
Over the last year, Verahill also established a number of new external partnerships in the field of preventive family law, as it is known, including enduring power of attorney, wills and cohabitation agreements.
“We’ve chosen to hold off on offering automated services to date, because we want to be certain that the legal advice offered is of good quality. That said, we’re closely monitoring the digital transformation of the industry. We’re planning to offer a new digital service for 2022 which focuses on simpler probate services. This will advantageously complement our existing offering and grow the business still further.
The company is aiming for further growth in 2022 by continuing to invest in its priority areas, thereby ensuring a good balance of cases and less reliance on legal issues in the event of death. This will make Verahill more attractive to young lawyers who have an interest in the broad field of family law.”
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS 2021
Acquisition of three funeral homes (ten offices).
New partnerships for pensions, insurance, banking, accounting, brokerage and legal services.
Launch of “The Process Challenge”, Sweden’s first national case competition for law students studying family law.