GoCompare is a leading UK price comparison website which acts as broker for a broad range of insurance products and financial services offered by third-party underwriters. It also now covers holidays, telecoms and energy suppliers. GoCompare was launched in 2006 by Hayley Parsons and other former employees of Admiral Group as a direct competitor to that company's Confused.com and rivals Moneysupermarket.com and Comparethemarket. All four services (and the others which have launched more recently) are in effect specialised search engines, generating fees from clickthroughs to insurance suppliers as well as from commissions. GoCompare is renowned for its catchy but deeply irritating advertising, featuring opera singer "Gio Compario", arguably Britain's least loved advertising mascot. Introduced in 2009, the character is, inexplicably, still being used ten years later. Broker Esure acquired a 50% stake in GoCompare in 2010, and bought out the remainder in March 2015 for £95m. That deal made Hayley Parsons, now OBE, one of Britain's wealthiest women. GoCompare was spun off again as an independent quoted business a year later, under the name GoCo Group. Esure founder Peter Wood remains chairman. Jon Morrell succeeded Parsons as chief executive, but was himself replaced by Matthew Crummack in 2016. Direct Line and Esure founder Sir Peter Wood remains chairman. The company acquired or launched several additional savings-based sites in 2018: MyVoucherCodes, LookAfterMyBills, WeFlip and EnergyLinx. The latter three services automatically transfer subscribing customers between different energy utilities to achieve the lowest rates. They were consolidated under the banner of GoCompare AutoSave. The service had accumulated 260,000 subscribers by the end of 2019. Group revenues for 2018 were £153m, with net profit of £27m. Virtually all income is generated from fees and rebates charged to partner insurers.
Capsule checked 3rd January 2020
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Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Dec 2014: Direct car insurer Esure acquired 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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