George Milford Haven has royal connections and an intellect for business. The 56-year-old is a distant member of the Royal Family, which adds another layer of intrigue to an already interesting man.
As well as the notoriety that accompanies being in the line of succession to the throne, his achievements in the world of business also set him apart.
It was in his 39th year that George Milford Haven arrived on to the global business stage.
The year was 2000 and the new millennium had just been ushered in. The life-changing moment came in the shape of a business venture that would go on to make a considerable amount of profit. That business was called uSwitch.com, which Milford Haven created with an initial investment of £4 million.
Back in 2000, the prime function of uSwitch.com was to help consumers compare and change suppliers of various services, but energy comparison was what the brand became known for. It was a novel idea that was ahead of its time. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for it to take off. In fact, the business was very successful in a very short space of time.
A niche for the ages
At the time, gas and electricity markets in the UK were deregulated. In the eyes of George Milford Haven, this represented a major niche that was crying out to be capitalised upon, and uSwitch was his ticket to the top.
It could be said that he timed this business venture well. This was the turn of the millennium, when internet usage was in its infancy. And while it all paid off for Milford Haven, it was a very brave move to focus so much time and money into an e-company, when it remained unclear if they could be viable and profitable business ventures.
He realised that households were installing the internet en-masse on and that, if his idea was strong enough, he was all but guaranteed huge exposure and minimal competition in the market. The way people did business was on the verge of undergoing a seismic shift.
The average person would soon be open to the idea of making purchases from the comfort of their own living room. George Milford Haven was savvy enough to spot this major development in its infancy, and the benefit to him would prove to be immense.
A time of phenomenal growth
At the heart of uSwitch’s success was the fact that it performed a service that people wanted. Thanks to this website, consumers were able to find themselves a better deal. uSwitch went from strength to strength, and George Milford Haven followed up on that success by purchasing buy.co.uk and upmystreet.com.
Milford Haven cashed in his chips in 2006, selling the website to E.W. Scripps Company, a media conglomerate in the US, for £210m.