Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
Family-owned and operated businesses are not unusual in Utah. Nor is it uncommon for such businesses to now be operated by the second generation of family members.
But what makes Security National Financial Corporation unusual is the mix of businesses the company is involved in.
George Quist, who, at age 80, still serves as president and CEO, organized the firm as a holding company in 1979. The initial business line, beginning in 1965, was selling insurance. Later the company branched out into home mortgages, and is also involved in the property management of some office buildings it owns. Publicly traded on NASDAQ, the company has operations in Utah, Florida and California.
Combining insurance and home mortgages is not unusual, but the third business line is quite different. It’s the mortuary and cemetery business.
George Quist took over a mortuary in 1972 as payment on a bad loan. It was his intent to liquidate the asset as soon as possible. But, as time passed, it became apparent that the profit potential was good, so instead of liquidation, expansion was the course taken.
Security National is now the largest private funeral service company in Utah, with six wholly-owned cemeteries and 14 wholly-owned mortuaries, marketed as Memorial Estates and other mortuaries such as Deseret, Colonial, Holiday Memorial and Lake Hills. They are located in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and Bountiful. The company recently opened the first private cemetery in San Diego in 65 years.
George Quist and his son Scott, who serves as COO and general counsel, found a way to tie the mortuary business to the insurance side by offering pre-need policies that remove a lot of family stress at the time of the death of a loved one by having all funeral arrangements decided and costs paid for ahead of time.
Scott, his two brothers, Robert and Roger, and their sister Christie Overhaugh are all involved in the daily business, working with their father, George, to make the insurance, mortgage and mortuary business continue to complement one another.
For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.