September 6, 2018

Interview with Mark, Flipper's New Managing Director

With the excitement of the World Cup and the UK’s hottest and driest summer since 1976, it is easy to miss the fact we have just passed the half-way point for 2018. Well, at Flipper the start of July has not gone unnoticed.

This month, in the midst of all the sunshine, we welcomed our new Managing Director Mark Gutteridge, to the team. As with any new team member, we decided to spend a little bit of time getting to know Mark, so we asked him some very important questions.

You probably won’t find many interviews with MDs citing their favourite Aardman character or their love of Capybaras (Google it!), but as you know, at Flipper, we’re different!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Mark! I trained as a Civil Engineer but ended up working in Buying for some big names (B&Q, Amazon & Screwfix) before moving into e-commerce and then price comparison, spending the last four years at GoCompare before joining Flipper this July.

I met my wife Cath at university. We have been together 24 years, married for the last 14. We live in Bristol with our three children: Amy who is 9 ½ and Rhys & Jess who are 7 year-old twins.

I am a committed runner, typically doing 15-20 miles a week – and have even done an ultra-marathon, which was 50 miles across the Lake District and took 16 hours!

I like running as it gives me time to think.

What is the first thing people notice about you?

Good question. I’m not sure, as I’m a pretty average looking sort of guy! Average height, average weight (buying clothes is a doddle!), brown hair, blue eyes, no distinguishing features... I guess if you asked people who know me, they would say my wry smile and twinkling eyes. I have a very broad sense of humour and so it doesn’t take long to get me to raise a smile.

How would you spend your perfect weekend?

Ummm, there are 2 answers to that.

A perfect family weekend is spending time with the kids outdoors, probably with the grandparents and cousins – we’re lucky that everyone lives pretty close together so we can meet up – playing games and having a picnic.

But once or twice a year Cath & I will get a night away to ourselves (thank you grandparents!) and so we make the most of this time by going away to a nice hotel with a pool and having a very relaxing 48 hours. We’ve been to some wonderful places.

How do you explain ‘Flipper’ to your friends and family?

Well I had a lot of friends and family speak to me about switching suppliers while at GoCompare and often people said they didn’t switch as they couldn’t be bothered, didn’t know how to choose a new supplier or didn’t want to have to keep checking they were on the best deal – all of which are solved by using Flipper.

So I tell them that Flipper acts as their ‘Energy Manager’. You sign up, then we find you the best tariff, we do the switch for you and then we continue to check the market to make sure you stay on the best tariff.

We do all the stuff that has stopped you switching before – and for less than 50p per week!

My father-in-law was one of the first people I got to sign up and he thought it was great. He’s told all his friends about it.

Flipper customers save an average of £385 a year. If you saved this money, how would you spend it?

As a big kid at heart (and a lapsed engineer) I would probably buy a big Lego set – either a Star Wars one (Millennium Falcon) or one of their architecture range.

Hmm, that sounds really bad though doesn’t it?

It’s not a particularly sensible way to spend that sort of money...can we say I’d put it into the kids’ bank accounts?!

What are you excited about for 2018?

I think Flipper is just starting what is going to be a very exciting journey. Price comparison has been around in the UK for nearly 15 years now, but as technology continues to develop we are able to do this in new and different ways – which is exactly what Flipper is about.

There is much more we can do to develop Flipper and the team in Bristol are all committed to absolutely be the best in the Energy Management space. Working with an ambitious, positive group of people who are full of ideas and all want to achieve the same goal is a great experience – and is why I get out of bed each morning with a smile on my face!

As we are based in Bristol, the home of Wallace and Gromit. We’d love to know who is your favourite Aardman character and why?

OK. Well here’s a curve ball for you. I really like Rita Malone, from the film Flushed Away that Aardman made with Dreamworks. Rita is a strong, confident, brave, adventurous, risk-taker – all of which are qualities I admire. (She is also a sarcastic, short-tempered rat...but nobody’s perfect!)

Before we finish – just a couple of very important questions in our Quick fire round:

Coffee or Tea? Coffee to 6PM, then Tea

Cat or Dog? Dog, if I have to choose one (I'd love to have a Capybara)

Summer or Winter? Can I have Autumn?

Beach or Mountains? Mountains

Marmite or Marmalade? Marmalade (Lime shredless please)

Book or Box Set? Book, definitely Book

A massive thank you to Mark for being such a good sport and answering these hard hitting questions!  

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