Esure is the UK's #3 direct motor and home insurer after Direct Line Group and Admiral. Like its rivals it controls multiple brands. The main Esure offer is partnered by Sheila's Wheels, which specialises in low-cost cover for female drivers. The group managed almost 1.9m in-force motor policies by the end of 2017, and 480m home policies. Esure was launched in 2000 by Peter Wood, previously the founder of Direct Line, with backing from what was then HBOS, later Lloyds. Famously, the Esure brand launched with a series of low-budget ads starring and made by brash movie director Michael Winner, who coined a new national catchphrase telling another driver "Calm down, dear, it's just a commercial." Wood took advantage of Lloyds' post-HBOS financial crisis to reacquire their Esure shares in 2010 and floated the business three years later. Since then, he has engineered a succession of different personally lucrative deals. The group had already acquired an initial investment stake in insurance comparison service GoCompare in 2007. Wood bought out the remaining shares in 2015, and then, towards the end of the following year spun it off again to Esure shareholders as a separate quoted company. Total income for Esure Group in 2017 was £781m with net profit of £80m. In 2018, Wood agreed to sell Esure to private equity investor Bain Capital at a valuation of £1.2bn. He received a payout of around £360m from the deal, and reinvested a small portion of that sum in new shares in the business. He remains chairman; Darren Ogden is interim CEO. Subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
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Capsule checked 27th March 2019
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Dec 2014: Direct car insurer Esure agreed to acquire the 50% of equity it didn't already own in price comparison website GoCompare for £95m. It will continue to run the business as a standalone service. That deal confirmed GoCompare's founder and chief executive Hayley Parsons as one of the UK's wealthiest women, with a cash windfall of £44m. She will step down from day-to-day management of the business, handing over to COO John Morrell.
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