Andrew Salmon is a British businessman and entrepreneur best known for being the ex-Chief Executive Officer of uSwitch.com from when it was founded in 2000 to its sale to just after its sale to E.W. Scripps.
A brief history
Andrew Salmon has been involved at high levels of several successful UK businesses. This success is likely founded on his strategic vision for the companies he works for, as well as being grounded in his solid background in finance.
As a student, Andrew Salmon studied economics at the University of Plymouth, earning a BSc in the process, before moving to the University of York to attain his Master’s Degree in Finance and Investment.
This foundation in finance and economics stood Andrew Salmon in good stead for the positions he would hold in the future, including working as a corporate finance manager for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and holding important positions in major companies such as EDF Energy and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the government regulator for energy markets in the UK.
His experience in the energy sector, together with his keen financial insight, led to him forming the company which made him famous, uSwitch.com.
Changing the face of price comparison
Whilst working at EDF Energy, Andrew Salmon began to look into new, innovative ways to sell the company’s products, instead of relying on traditional sales techniques like door-to-door sales, or cold-calling where were notoriously costly.
He teamed with George Milford Haven, and the two of them noticed the gap in the market.
The uSwitch.com website was founded in 2000 by Lord Milford Haven, who raised £4 million to invest into the company, intending to take advantage of the deregulated electricity and gas markets in the United Kingdom. The following year, the company expanded into the communications and telephony markets.
uSwitch.com is a free-to-use website and telephone-based switching and price comparison service, which helps consumers to compare the costs of financial, insurance, energy, and additional services. Like most price comparison sites, the company receives a commission from some of the service providers when one of their customers decides to switch over to them, meaning that there is no direct cost to the consumer when they use the uSwitch.com service.
Andrew Salmon served as the Chief Executive Officer of uSwitch.com for eight years, from its original inception to when it was bought out by major United States media conglomerate, E.W. Scripps Company. The sale took place in March 2006, with the company selling for £210 million, and Andrew Salmon remained on board to ease the transition.
In the early days of the company, whilst still firmly under the stewardship of Andrew Salmon, uSwitch.com became involved in forming the Energy Watch Confidence Code alongside Consumer Focus. This was a voluntary code of conduct for website-based price comparison services and was managed by Consumer Focus until it was superseded by governing body Ofgem in 2013. The code is presently referred to as the Consumer Focus Confidence Code.
Andrew Salmon is now hoping to repeat the success story of uSwitch.com by becoming involved with Turkish web company EnCazip.
EnCazip is one of the fastest growing price comparison services in Turkey, offering a similar service to that provided by uSwitch.com, but with a specific focus on energy markets.
Andrew Salmon’s fellow investors include his former business partner George Milford Haven, who founded uSwitch.com, and the director of MyUtilityGenius (another price comparison website), Vipul Amin.
As Turkey’s economy blossoms into an important international market, EnCazip is in the vanguard of the price comparison concept as it arrives in the country.
Following the investment, EnCazip’s founders, Onur Orakçıoğlu and Cagada Crimea, intend to follow a number of the aspects of the business model that Andrew Salmon used to make uSwitch.com such a success.
Andrew Salmon also advises Kelkoo.com. Kelkoo is Europe’s largest shopping price comparison site.