Established in 1873 as family funeral directors, Rowland Brothers International (RBI) has been at the heart of global funeral repatriation since 1971. RBI was established when holiday companies recognised the need for a commercial repatriation strategy to reunite loved ones with their families after a fatal tragedy abroad.
With increased leisure travel, the need for commercial repatriation strategies has become a necessary requirement. RBI initially focused on repatriation to the UK from overseas holiday resorts, but now the International Office repatriates loved ones to and from the UK, or any other point of origin and destination worldwide.
Our seventh generation family funeral expertise helps us transfer loved ones from one country to another, ensuring that the necessary documentation is in place. Our reputation and experience are such that we have been the official helpline for The National Association of Funeral Directors and its members for 15 years. In June 2016 the company was the first funeral director in the UK to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging on-going support to those who serve our Country.
Our organisation has been signposted in FCO literature as being one which may be able to provide support and advice to British nationals who need the services of an international funeral director.
Meet the Team
Our team is a reflection of our company ethos, multi-lingual,multi-faithh, and multi-cultural, respecting any faith, nationality, origin and destination. Our expertise, professionalism, reliability and our dedicated staff deliver a prompt service on our client’s behalf, across the world, with care and speed.
We have created a network of partners since our inception and now have a global reach with over 500 agents worldwide. Our global partners are selected for their reputation and the quality of service they continuously offer, through working together, we know we can rely on them to work as quickly as they can to bring loved ones home.
Dip FD, BIFD, BIE
Tony is Senior Partner, with lifetime experience of funeral direction. Tony created the strategies which formed the International Department in the 1970s . He continues to be involved in the day to day running of the business, and also with local organisations such as Rotary, the Scouting Association, and the local festival committee.
Stephen RowlandManaging Director
Bsc Bus Hon, NAFD dip
Stephen worked for Rowland Brothers when he left school, then completed a training course with the Great Southern Group. He graduated with a business degree and travelled the world for two years. When he returned to the business, he started work on the shop floor, in all departments, including four years in the International Office. Steve recently became Partner and is
Managing Director of Golden Leaves pre need Funeral Planning, which offers repatriation plans to and from the UK.
Ben Rowland-WalklingFuneral Director
Ben Rowland-Walkling joined Rowland Brothers straight from school. Now an established funeral director, Ben has worked in the business for 9 years, and has built his wealth of knowledge by working in different areas of the business including conducting funerals, constructing memorials and working on mass exhumations. Ben is maintaining a family tradition of service to bereaved families.
Fiona GreenwoodOperations Manager
RBI Operations Manager Fiona speaks fluent Spanish and has more than 25 years management experience in the Assistance and Travel Claims industry. Fiona’s leadership, communication, organisational skills and knowledge of the assistance industry enhance the services we provide to our clients around the world. Fiona has great respect from colleagues, customers and suppliers over the many years she has worked in the global travel and assistance industry.
Mark SpoonerBusiness Development Manager
Mark is a second generation funeral director with over 30 years’ experience in the funeral profession. He served his apprenticeship with an independent funeral company at 16 before moving into funeral management with the two largest corporate funeral companies in the UK.
Peter WoodBereavement Officer
Peter has worked for Rowland Brothers for 12 years. He has dealt with many situations that assist families who are affected by a death in a family. He also trains staff to ensure that all who are managing clients are aware of the sensitivities that need to be employed during all communications.
Sue AckermanInternational Liaison
Sue is a consular liaison specialist. She formerly worked for British Immigration and in the American Citizen Services Branch of the US Embassy in London, so she is familiar with consular protocols and family expectations following a death away from home. Sue encourages liaison with all the agencies involved, to identify how we can help each other and find the best outcome for the family.
Yves BootheInternational Liaison
Yves, a graduate from the University of London, has worked in Marketing, CRM, and Event & Project Management. She has recently worked for a charity launching ground breaking events across the City of London including a number of keynote events held at/and in conjunction with the Guildhall Gallery.
Darren CollinsLogistics Manager
Darren has worked for Rowland Brothers for over 10 years managing the complex logistical operations between RBI and our transport division. He bridges the gap between the international team and our logistics department. He has an in-depth understanding of the requirements of the business and the needs of our clients.
RBI Supervisor Judith is from Austria, and speaks fluent German. With more than ten years experience in worldwide repatriation, Judith supports families and colleagues with great compassion and enthusiasm. She has built a strong rapport with our German speaking partners and uses her knowledge to help families all over the world.
Nathalie MartellSenior International Coordinator
Natalie, RBI’s Senior International Coordinator, is a fluent French speaker who lived in France for six years, where she became immersed in the language and culture of Normandy. She understands customer expectations in the fast moving world of travel and communications and does her utmost to empathise with bereaved families, which is proven by the wonderful compliments she receives.
Krzysztof PapierowskiInternational Coordinator
Kris is fluent in Polish, and is very much at home in an international environment. He understands the important decisions which bereaved families have to make, and the emotional pressure of a situation they never expected to encounter. Kris is always looking for options and solutions for families to consider at such a challenging time.
Margaret RowlandInternational Accounts Manager
Margaret is married to Tony Rowland. She originally trained as a nurse at Guys Hospital, London. She nursed at various hospitals around London, becoming a Sister at Mayday hospital, Croydon and then trained as a midwife. She now works with Tony at the family company and has over 35 years accountancy experience.
Ann-Marie BrownAccounts Assistant
Ann-Marie has over 10 years experience working in Accounts since joining RBI as an Accounts Trainee. The wealth of knowledge gained allows her to understand the complex and sensitive issues that are associated with accounting in the industry when dealing with private and business clients. She is currently studying further exams to qualify as an Accountant.
Fiona EdwardsAccounts Assistant
Fiona originates from South Africa, where her accounting experience started. Her experience now spans 32 years. Handling invoicing of Outgoing Repatriations she’s fully aware of the complex and sensitive nature associated with the business, along with dealing with our business clients.
She enjoys making complex accounts simple ensuring satisfaction of all parties involved.
Airam GalindoInternational Coordinator
International Coordinator Airam speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese. He recognises the value of these language skills, and the reassurance they offer to families who are often in stressful and unfamiliar circumstances away from home. His proven customer service skills are a great asset in our liaison with relatives and corporations.
Jessica WalkerInternational Coordinator
Jessica is from Brazil and speaks fluent Portuguese and English. She has a Masters Degree in Political Science, and is used to an international and multi-cultural environment. As a researcher during her studies, she is used to listening carefully and understanding people’s needs, which is a great asset in sensitive situations.
Svetlana (Lana) IvanovaInternational Coordinator
Lana graduated in Library Science and Letters from St Petersburg in Russia. Before moving to London, she lived in Italy for 20 years. She speaks fluent Russian, English and Italian, and enjoys using her language skills to solve multinational, multi-lingual problems.
Jean-Marie GasingaInternational Co-ordinator
Jean-Marie is a Belgian national who originates from Rwanda. As a trained Accountant, he speaks fluent French and English including several African dialects – Swahili, Lingala, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi. A graduate from the Chambre Belge Des Comptables (Brussels), he enjoys utilising his multi-lingual skills whilst helping those facing a difficult situation.