Skip nav shortlisted for Medium Business of the Year and Michael Ward for Lifetime Achievement in the Observer & Gazette Business Awards

Michael Ward

One week before the Observer & Gazette Business Awards, has been shortlisted for Medium Business of the Year award whilst Managing Director Michael Ward has been shortlisted for Lifetime Achievement.

Coming out of ‘retirement’ and starting from scratch in 2011, Michael had the drive, ambition and entrepreneurial spirit to conceive and establish as one of the leading independent price comparison websites in the UK. Currently employing 32 full and part time staff (in April 2016) and with over 400,000 customers, is expanding rapidly and has quickly become a customer favourite.

Customers talk with their feet, and over 3000 have visited the independent review website Trustpilot to leave their thoughts, most leaving five star feedback, making the top ranked ‘Price Comparison Site’ in the UK.

Talking about the secrets behind’s success, Michael Ward places great emphasis on excellent customer service. “When I started I was determined to put the customer experience at the top of my agenda. This doesn’t just mean creating a good web journey, but the whole customer experience.

“It’s incredibly difficult to find a telephone number on our competitors' websites. They much prefer to deal with customers online, which is great for many young people but often leaves less computer literate people feeling like they can’t get a good deal anywhere by phone. And quite often you just want to ask a simple question, but can never get through to a real person. I was determined this wouldn’t be the case with my business, and I place a huge amount of our success on that strategy.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

Michael Ward is a serial entrepreneur who has built highly successful businesses in the Chichester area for over 25 years, employing in total around 750 staff during this period. He has become a leading figure in the life insurance industry, both in the UK and international arenas.

Michael is currently MD and owner of Eclipse Financial Holdings, within which there is a retail business, and an IT company, Eclipse Financial Systems.

Eclipse Financial Systems provides software, digital marketing expertise and web design consultancy for major life insurers in the UK, US and Canada. They are also in talks with European, African and North American firms to build online journeys for them to transact directly with their customers.

UK customers include LV=, Aviva, Scottish Widows, Jelf, Lloyd & Whyte, as well as their own website, Their most recent international work was with the largest insurer in Canada, Manulife.

Michael’s ambitions include international business, and as such he is in negotiation for a number of worldwide initiatives. He has won a software contract with a new entrant to the Mauritius general insurance market and signed a 5 year agreement to be a key partner for RGA Canada, a major reassurer, to provide marketing and software expertise in the Canadian territory.

Mike is well known in the financial services industry and has been a keynote speaker at industry conferences worldwide, including in London, Tokyo, Toronto and Montreal. Here in the UK he is well known in the financial press and comments on various issues via industry publications and’s blog. He was profiled by Money Marketing in 2013.

Commenting on Michael, Eclipse Financial Systems’ Technical Director, Dave Merriman, said: “Mike is a great leader, a hugely motivational figure and truly an inspiration to every member of his team, no matter if you are head of IT or the post man. Such qualities led me to leave an incredibly secure job back in 2011 and join him in the challenge of creating a new business in one of the most competitive markets in the financial world. Some may have thought it a risky step but in my eyes, with Mike at the helm, it was only ever going to be a success.”

The winners are announced in an awards ceremony on 22nd April. All eyes will be on Michael Ward to see if he can do the double.


Media Information:

Press contact: Ali Richards
Call: 01243 784000