The name Doves exists since 1883 with the funeral directing office in Durban.
The Group was established during 1959 when Homes Trust Funeral Services (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of metropolitan Life (the then Homes Trust), was formed. Through a series of acquisitions, well-respected funeral directors such as Goodall & Williams, Doves, Doves & Adlam Reid and Jones & Rice were acquired. During the seventies, Saffas (South African Federation of Funeral Assurance Societies) also became part of Homes Trust Funeral Services and a large number of Saffas funeral directors were added to the list of branches.
In 1989 the senior management purchased the company from Metropolitan Life and changed its name to HT Group (Pty) Ltd (HTG).
In 1993 Doves established its own insurance company, HTG Life limited, now known as Union Life.
In the company's continued strive to provide comfort and care to all South Africans (as embodied in our company motto – Giving comfort. Taking care) but as a national company - with one set of service standards and objectives countrywide - the different business units were amalgamated under one brand name early in 2004: Doves.
In 2006 NUMSA Investment Company acquired 100% shareholding in Doves.