Moneysupermarket founder to move to Jersey

Move by Simon Nixon likely to spark fresh concern about tax avoidance by British businesspeople and multinational firms

Jersey – you’re sooo moneysupermarket.com. The island of Jersey is expected to be the new home of Simon Nixon, the multimillionaire founder of the price comparison site, which would allow him to shelter his £400m fortune from HM Revenue & Customs.

A move by Nixon, who owns just under 50% of the company and who – only two months ago – cashed in some shares to benefit from entrepreneur’s tax relief, is likely to spark fresh concern about tax avoidance by British businesspeople and major multinational firms.

Earlier this week, senior executives from Amazon, Starbucks and Google were accused of diverting hundreds of millions of pounds in UK profits to secretive tax havens during a fraught exchange with a committee of MPs.

All three repeatedly denied accusations that they were engaged in aggressive tax avoidance, but were met with derision from members of the committee.

Nixon’s relocation to Jersey is likely to save the 44-year-old, who currently lives in Cheshire, millions of pounds in tax that he pays on dividends from moneysupermarket.com.

A spokeswoman for the company, where Nixon is now deputy chairman, confirmed he was considering a move to the island, adding: “It’s purely a personal matter where he chooses to live.”

Nixon launched moneysupermarket.com in 1999 after dropping out of university to work as a financial adviser. It floated on the stock market in 2007, instantly turning him into Britain’s richest entrepreneur aged below 40.

On Thursday, the company reported revenues in the third quarter up by 11% and profits ahead by 12%, helped by a surge in customers hoping to beat the rise in electricity and gas prices by switching suppliers.

In June this year the company paid £87m to buy Martin Lewis’s moneysavingexpert.com website. Lewis told the Guardian on Thursday night he had no plans to move to Jersey.

Guy Hands, who once owned EMI, is now based in Guernsey, while Peter Wood, founder of Direct Line, is also understood to be examining a move to Jersey.

Patrick Collinson

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