Michael Whitfield to leave Thomsons Online Benefits

Michael Whitfield, the co-founder of Thomsons Online Benefits, will leave the company that was bought by Mercer last year.

Michael Whitfield
Thomsons Online Benefits chief executive Michael Whitfield receives the award for Corporate Adviser Firm of the Year 2013 from comedian Miles Jupp and Scottish Widows head of intermediary employee benefit relationships Tony Britton

Whitfield handed over leadership of the technology business in July to Stephen Read who is CEO of Thomsons, and now intends to focus on charity work including working with organisations helping disadvantaged children and engagement through sport, and also mentoring young business leaders.

Whitfield founded Thomsons with Chris Bruce in 2000. Mercer acquired the business from Boston based private equity firm Abry Partners last year.

Thomsons, and its Darwin technology operates as a separate business and brand within Mercer, led by Stephen Read and Chris Bruce and reporting into Jacques Goulet, president of Mercer’s health and wealth businesses. Thomsons has business operations in London, Cluj-Napoca, Singapore and the US, employing over 550 people.

The firm has won 111 client awards, and now has over 1 million employees worldwide using its Darwin benefits technology, with eight out of the world’s top 10 technology companies as its clients.

Thomsons says its acquisition is driving growth in local markets across the world, particularly in Asia, EMEA and the UK.

Whitfield says: “2017 has been our most successful year ever with our Darwin technology winning more awards, being deployed in more countries, and attracting some amazing new clients to join the loyal logos already using Darwin. We have forged a very strong relationship and proposition with our Mercer and Marsh colleagues and in under a year from the acquisition we are perfectly placed to lead the benefits technology space for many years to come.

“Thomsons has been my life for over 17 years; I love it, I love the people and I am incredibly proud of how Darwin really helps employers and employees in their working lives. Of course I will miss it, and in my heart I will always be a proud Thomsons Person, proudly pink!”

Thomsons MD and co-founder Chris Bruce says: “Michael and I have had an incredible journey together, as we have created the UK and global benefit software market.

“I’m excited for Michael as he embarks on the next phase of his life and looking forward to working with Stephen as we continue to build the strongest technology in the market delivered by brilliant customer-focused Thomsons people.

Thomsons CEO Stephen Read says:  “It’s an absolute privilege to lead Thomsons into our next phase of growth after Michael has steered the business to success over the last 17 years.

“Thomsons is an innovative and award winning business that is expanding rapidly, and many of the world’s most successful companies are looking to Darwin, the number 1 global benefits technology, to transform their employee experience and benefits strategies.”