The Insider celebrates the web 2.0 generation and feels sorry for Towergate staff getting hot under their collars

Christmas really has come early if you’re signed up to the Broker Network. Members are being offered some juicy treats as rewards for placing business with Towergate. One delighted broker gleefully rubbed his hands when he told me that, for £100,000 of business placed, he’ll get a night out enjoying some of the Big Smoke’s finest entertainment. And the grand prize? A seven-day holiday in South Africa for smashing the £250,000 barrier. The planned launch is 1 September, says Broker Network boss Grant Ellis. Good to know Grant, or should we call you Santa?

Life’s swell in summer

Forget working, this time of year is all about yachting. First we learn that Patrick Snowball will catch up on his sailing skills along Australia’s Gold Coast when he joins Suncorp in September. Then, we hear that Lloyd’s grandees recently had a riotous time on the yacht Lutine and recorded their best-ever time at Cowes. Now it transpires that Lockton chief executive Julian James will be rolling up the sheets and tackling the Croatian coast. What is it about sailing and insurers? Perhaps their childhood nights were spent tucked up in bed reading Hornblower.

On tune for Oslo?

Kevin Roberts, sales operations and strategy director at RSA’s commercial division, last week celebrated his birthday in style with some sales colleagues at a karaoke bar in Liverpool Street. He belted out the 1984 Eurovision hit 99 Luftballons – better known in English as 99 Red Balloons. We are not sure how refined his linguistic skills are, but we do know that he attempted the song in German. Perhaps he would like to audition for next year’s Eurovision contest in Oslo?

Brokers’ loss is a charity’s gain

Two risk-taking brokers who set off on a daring trip to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for children’s charity Sparks have completed the challenge, raising more than £17,000. Ben Burford and Andy Thumwood from Epsom-based broker Stonebridge Corporate lost several stones on their adventure to the top of Africa’s highest mountain. I reckon there’s a few more brokers out there who could benefit from a similar exploit, and all for a good cause too.

Shirt tale

The hot weather has been particularly uncomfortable for all the folk at Towergate. They have a simple choice: yes, it’s fine to throw off your tie and hang loose, but (there’s always a but) you still have to wear the Towergate uniform of a collar shirt, complete with company symbol.

It’s not the best, one mole tells me. It looks, apparently, “a little like something from Star Trek”. It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it…

If you give an FSA, let IT flow

Word reaches me that my friends at Insurance Times are planning to follow Conservative leader David Cameron and have a good long look at the record of the FSA, with a little help from the industry. So if you’ve got a beef with the regulator – or indeed if you have reason to sing its praises – drop a line to and let them know about it.

With friends like these…

Due to overwhelming demand, I’ve brought back photos of my Facebook friends. Lovely bunch, aren’t they? (see magazine) But much to the disappointment of most of my loyal followers, I couldn’t fit everyone in. But your chance will come. There was a huge response last week when I asked who wanted their mugshot published. “Me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me” – you know who you are, Kat Spencer! But by far the most dedicated was Margaret Cairns, who posted “ME ME I WANNA BE FAMOUS!” at 5:19am. Find me on Facebook as Backchat Insider - Facebook.