Patrick Snowball, the chief executive of UK general insurance for Norwich Union, will tell anyone who cares to listen just how fast the company is progressing with merging the CGU operation. The directors have been appointed and the tier below that have all been named. The level of managers below that will be out by the middle of July. And the company will announce in October which of the two firms' products it will use in the future.

In fact, Snowball has been rushing around so fast that two weeks ago he drove his car into the back of someone. “I made sure the next day that someone from NU phoned him to repair his car,” Snowball told Backchat. Never one to miss an opportunity, he added: “Naturally, we'll ask him when his policy is up for renewal.” Now that's leading by example.