Moneysupermarket head to hand over reins

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Simon Nixon, the multi-millionaire founder of the internet price comparison site, yesterday announced he will step aside from running the company. Mr Nixon, 41, will continue to work at the company for one day a week as executive deputy chairman, focusing on developing new products.

The entrepreneur said he wants more time to work on new projects. He still owns 54.5 percent of moneysupermarket, but said that now the company has floated and has grown, he wants to hand over its time-consuming day-to-day management.

The company was established in 1993 as an offline business and in 1994 launched a mortgage comparison tool for brokers. The website was only launched in 1999, still focusing on home loans. Moneysupermarket then added various financial services. It listed on the LSE in July last year.

Peter Plumb, who joined the company last month, will take over as chief executive on 25 February. He previously worked at customer relationship management consultant Dunnhumby.

Mr Nixon became a self-employed mortgage consultant in 1989 and started his own trade publication. Since co-founding moneysupermarket in 1993 he has been continuously involved in its management and development. He bought out his business partner, Duncan Cameron, in June last year.

The company also issued a trading statement yesterday, flagging a bleak outlook, adding that trading had "weakened" in the fourth quarter.

Moneysupermarket's shares are currently trading at less than a third of their 170p flotation price.