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Your Mutual

Putting our members at the heart of everything we do

Our Story

We are the Shepherds Friendly Society, one of the oldest financial mutual societies in the world.

Over 180 years on, and we’re stronger than ever

Today, we have a range of adult and children’s savings products, income protection plans and life insurance for over 50s, all of which are designed to help you look after your family financially and plan for your own future. We have a rapidly expanding member base and an investment fund that is constantly growing in size. We’re proud to say that we’re going from strength to strength and that we are always striving to deliver innovation and the commitment of mutuality to our members.

But where did it all start?

Our beginnings

Where we are now might seem like a world away from the society that was founded almost 200 years ago, but a lot actually remains the same.

We were founded on Christmas Day 1826 as a sickness and benefits society, and were an amalgamation of various fraternal groups, including the Royal Shepherds Sanctuary Benefits Society and the Ancient Order of Shepherds (which is where we got our name from).

Our founders believed in forming a mutually beneficial society, within which they could all invest regularly, and that would then support them financially in the event that sickness or injury prevented them from working and they lost their income. The founders and those who joined the society from that point onwards would take sole ownership, and would be in charge of running the society and ensuring it was there for the members when needed.

It’s this that forms the basis of mutuality, and is still the main focus of the company to this day.

Development into a modern mutual

In offering our members the best products and services we can provide them with, we know that innovation and development are integral.

Over the years we’ve expanded and adapted what we offer, and now we’re no longer just a sickness and benefits society. While we continue to offer sickness and injury income protection products, we also now offer investment opportunities for individual investors, as well as the chance for parents, grandparents and other family members to invest for children, and our Over 50s Life Insurance plan.

While the company may have changed dramatically in its development, there are some things that have remained very much the same. Our values and principles and our commitment to mutuality are the basis on which the whole company operates, and it’s these that we believe set us apart from some other modern financial institutions.

Working for Shepherds Friendly

Our commitment to mutuality doesn’t stop with our members, we apply the same thinking to our employees too. Our growing team of member-centric people go above and beyond and make sure that every member gains the best experience possible. We achieve this by ensuring each employee receives the most up to date career development tools, staff benefits and workplace flexibility. We understand that if our employees are happy, then so are our members.

Our success recognised:

UK Employee Experience Awards 2019 - Gold Award
Employee Engagement Awards 2019 - Top Engaged
We are a Living Wage Employer
Investors in People
Best Companies 2-star Accreditation
Women in Finance