James Buckley-Thorp: reinventing life insurance for modern times

Ladder works is a publishing platform for various picture books and online programs whose mission is to empower more than one million children to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features our interplanetary journalist Spiffy’s interviews with inspiring social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders advancing the UN SDGs.

Hi all! I’m Spiffy, your favorite interplanetary reporter who reports from planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making a difference in the world. Today, James Buckley-Thorp joins us from London, England! James is the founder and CEO of Legacyand I’m happy to speak with him to learn more about the great work they do.

Nice : Thanks for joining us today, James. Let’s go. What challenge does Bequest meet?

James: Glad to be here, Spiffy. At Bequest, we’re building an advanced way for millions of people to protect themselves and their loved ones, putting life insurance directly in their control.

Nice : What motivated you to do it?

James: After experiencing the loss of a close friend, I wanted to bring real change to this space. By putting transparency and control in the hands of policyholders, simplifying things and removing old-fashioned barriers to entry, more people can get the protection they need.

Nice : What a wonderful way to honor your friend. Can you explain more about how you and the company are working for a fairer world?

James: The positive impact we have on our customers, as well as the positive work culture at Bequest, is not just something we say, it’s what we believe. We became the first life insurer in the UK to achieve B-Corp certification. We are always challenging the status quo in life insurance, so that we can significantly increase the number of people covered.

Nice : Is there a recent milestone of the company that you would like to share with our readers, as well as the impact it is having?

James: Well, Spiffy, we welcomed our 4000th customer to the Bequest platform. Our platform currently has a dual purpose. Life and Death coverage is available. Clients with a will can secure their will and estate, while purchasing the appropriate level of life insurance coverage. Everything in one place, available on any smart device. You can fill it from your sofa, your office or even while hiking in the Himalayas.

Nice : I’m always interested in hearing about the different ways entrepreneurs deal with failure. Is there an experience from your job that you can share to highlight how you handled it and what you learned from it?

James: Not everyone wants to plan what will happen when they’re gone, and it’s not something people should be afraid to do, or even start. We care about every customer who uses Bequest, and to address those who are struggling, we’ve taken user feedback and made quick changes to the platform, to make it more engaging, less scary, and most importantly, practicable without stress.

Nice : Thanks for talking to me today, James, it was an honor!

James Buckley-Thorp founded international clothing brand Rupert and Buckley in 2011 and opened its first store in Bath, Somerset, followed by another new store in Oxford city center in 2016. In 2016 he left and sold Rupert and Buckley. At the end of 2019, James founded Bequest, which aims to reinvent life insurance, both in its distribution and in its integration into our modern lives.(Nominated by Paul Egan at Founders Factory. First published on the Ladderworks website January 26, 2022)

© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Artwork of Spiffy by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks Digital Curriculum to help children in K-3 advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy’s Corner here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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