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Moneysupermarket is to concentrate new business on its growing network of 140 portal partners reports Justin Pearse

Online personal finance aggregator Moneysupermarket has taken its sales in-house as it repositions itself as a B2B operation.

With less than 5% of new business now resulting from its consumer-facing portal, the company will concentrate on developing products and services for its growing network of 140 portal partners.

The in-house sales team will now handle all sponsorship and most banner ads across the Moneysupermarket partner network, previously run by DoubleClick. 'We get 3m page impressions a month across the network and we were getting a lot of agencies coming to us directly,' explained Moneysupermarket CEO Simon Nixon.

The increasing success of the portal's B2B operations relative to its consumer operation has led Moneysupermarket to refocus its business plan to serve its corporate partners.

'We're going to keep the B2C side going but we have promised our partners we won't be doing any more advertising,' said Nixon.

The move comes as Interactive Investor's poor quarter results illustrate once again the struggle for survival in the B2C online finance market. Despite the company's recent attempt to shift from an advertising to transaction-based model, it reported a 22% fall in transaction revenues from the previous quarter.

'We don't think there's room for more than one or two big B2C brands, which is why we changed tack,' said Nixon. 'The winners will be large brands like Virgin.'

Moneysupermarket has built an aggregate buying site for its network to give its partners increased buying power and higher commission from product providers. The company is also set to launch legal and travel insurance channels, which will automatically be delivered to its partners.

According to Nixon, the company will also look increasingly to seal offline partnerships. The first of such is with local newspaper group Newsquest, which will see Moneysupermarket not only provide the finance

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Published 15 February, 2001 by NMA Staff

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