Tony Markel might preside over one of the biggest insurers, Markel Corporat- ion, but he does a nice line in self-deprecating humour.

He told a Lloyd's audience this week a story about a certain B Schmedley, vice-president at Schmedley & Sons, who was questioned by a colleague about his rapid rise to the top.

His response was: "I don't know what you're bitching about, we both had equal opportunity when joining my father's firm."