What do money-saving websites uSwitch.com, MoneyGuru Brazil and Ecazip Turkey all have in common? Well, for one – they have saved people millions of pounds in their energy bills. Two, they were all created to offer customer choice after the energy market was deregulated.
The third connection is that they have all benefitted from capital investment by George Milford Haven. He is a cousin of the British Queen and an increasingly well-known businessman in corporate circles. He made his name as the founder of uSwitch.com in the year 2000 and built a company with a unique offer in the internet technologies market which millions of people have benefitted from.
The premise was simple. Enter the details of your energy use. See the different offers available. Choose one that works for you.
Comparison websites were the right idea at the right time
The idea worked well. American media firm E W Scripps eventually spent around £200 million to acquire the operation in 2006. George Milford Haven has been building on this success ever since – putting money into both the Brazilian site and a similar idea in Turkey.
But who is the man behind the regal name? In terms of his family connections, Lord Milford Haven is the oldest son in his family, meaning he took on the tile when his father died on 14 April 1970.
His uncle had been an important figure in society circles. He served as Best Man at the wedding of the Queen and Prince Phillip. In fact, it was him that introduced the couple.
George Milford Haven's blue blood runs deep
To go a bit further back, his claim to the royal line is that he descends from Queen Victoria's second daughter, Princess Alice.
George Milford Haven holds the distinction of being a descendant of Prince Louis of Battenberg, the man who went on to be the first Marquess of Milford Haven.
The family's blood runs even deeper in modern history, and he also claims great princess Catherine the Great and the distinguished Russian writer Aleksandr Pushkin as family members. Peter the Great's African General, Abram Petrovich Gannibal, also appears on the family tree.
Much like many of those that grew up in British aristocratic families, George Milford Haven has inherited a love of sports and the outdoors. He regularly plays polo and is considered a good player. Some of his teams have gone on to take key prizes in the sport, and he is known to have worked with Julian Hipwood, one of the sport's top coaches.
The Mountbatten family continues to grow
George Milford Haven has looked further afield for his investment opportunities. His latest cash and ideas injections are to the Brazilian site, MoneyGuru and Ecazip Turkey, which does the same for those markets as uSwitch did for the UK.
uSwitch may no longer be in the hands of George Milford Haven, but the idea he had has already changed the way we purchase our goods for the foreseeable future.