Highlights of a busy week include Towergate’s anniversary bash, participating in the IT Awards and talking to industry insiders
I begin the day with an interesting chat with private equity entrepreneur Edi Truell, who is looking at buying motor insurers in the UK and Europe. Private equity executives are usually secretive and tight-lipped, so it was a refreshing change to chat to Edi, who is frank and open about his plans. Later, it’s off to Towergate’s 15th anniversary bash in the Sky Bar atop the Grange St Pauls hotel. It was a ‘who’s who’ of UK general insurance, with several rival broking chiefs there among the insurance luminaries such as Adrian Brown, Paul Evans and Andrew Torrance - to name a few.
Glad I didn’t drink too much at the Towergate party because I’ve an early start, participating in the main judging panels at the Insurance Times Awards. My first-timer worries fade when I realise how nervous some of the award hopefuls are - many of whom are chief executives. It’s fantastic to see the effort everyone has put into their presentation and how much the awards matter to them. Later it’s off to the Insurance Times Technology in Insurance Awards. The superb venue (floor 28, Millbank Tower) and lively crowd keep me awake.
Ageas says it has agreed to buy Groupama UK and it turns out Brian Duperreault has retired from Marsh parent Marsh & McLennan Companies. I interviewed Brian many years ago when he was chief executive of ACE, so I’m sorry to see him go. But I imagine he’ll be back in a non-exec role soon.
The week starts with a lot of noise about the Direct Line IPO and also talk that Acromas may float its AA breakdown arm.
I chat to Bluefin’s Stuart Reid about his results. Interesting times for the AXA-owned broker …