Insurance Times’s man on the inside is at ExCel – read his updates from Biba 2013

Wednesday 15 May:

Cough please

An announcement on the Docklands Light Railway this morning made Ageas UK chief executive Andy Watson prick up his ears. “Alight here for the Biba examination,” it said. Surely it’s not going to be that bad, he thought.

Hubble bubble …

Apparently Markerstudy’s witch’s cottage-themed stand at Biba was the brainchild of chief executive Kevin Spencer. But why a witch’s cottage? “We don’t know,” quipped Markerstudy group underwriting director Gary Humphreys. “We don’t want to get inside his head and find out what goes on in there.”

Markerstudy stand at Biba 2013


Lost in translation

Economic secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid told me an amusing little tale of one of his predecessors meeting a Japanese delegate.

Sajid Javid

Apparently the job titles permanent secretary and economic secretary do not translate well into Japanese, and some confusion ensued when they were introduced as a typist with no chance of promotion and a cheap typist.

Thursday 16 May:

The curse of drink

It seems insurers are just as bad as journalists when it comes to a being tempted by a tipple. About 300+ people pre-registered to attend the Zurich speaker session yesterday afternoon but only 30 showed up … was it a coincidence that the Zurich bar opened at the same time? I’ll let you decide …

I’ve started so I shall …

I popped along to the launch of the BrokerMind event and it seems Marsh chief executive Jo Grogan was a bit of a sore loser, claiming Willis boss David Martin was winning simply by answering “seven” to every question. But both chief execs were pipped at the post by Aon boss Jim Herbert.

No shame in coming last

The Claims Standards Council’s Andy Wigmore was telling me earlier about how he entered the Olympics last summer as part of the Belize Olympic team. He joked that he was actually “rather proud” of his ranking as last in the world for trap shooting.