After the excitement of the Grand National, the Insider looks forward to RSA’s birthday celebrations and a veritable bum rush
So you’re RSA, one of the oldest insurers in the world, a venerable institution and a household name. How do you celebrate your 300th anniversary? Well, with pink toilet paper of course. I’m told RSA had the loo paper specially designed for the anniversary, but not only that, it is also scented. Apparently, it’s just one feature of some rather exciting celebrations. Sounds like great fun – definitely one for my diary, although I do have a rather busy summer ahead of me. Missing any of it would be a great shame. A real bummer, in fact.
Here’s hoping the price is right …
So who’s going to snap up the private equity-backed Kwik-Fit business currently on the market? It is up for sale for around £200m and there are many interested parties. But none more so than the investment backers of Hastings, which includes the likes of Neil Utley and the elusive Tom Duggan. But I hear these guys are not that keen on actually buying the business – they’re more keen to see if the asking price is met, as Hastings is apparently of an identical size and shape.
Need some Arctic roll-on?
Staff at the Altrincham headquarters of broker Carole Nash had better prepare for the return of chief executive David Newman from his expedition in the Arctic. In the three weeks of his trek across the ice, David will be spending up to 10 hours a day in his own little world – giving him plenty of time to think about that next big idea. But more disturbing is the fact that, during the trip, he won’t be washing once. Better get that order of air fresheners in sharpish, guys.
Giles’s runner loses his rider
What happened to Tricky Trickster? It wasn’t to be at this year’s Grand National for Chris Giles’s horse, which didn’t finish in the top four. The day started off with some drama when an injury to jockey Ruby Walsh eventually led to Richard Johnson riding Tricky. Johnson was an ex-flame of Princess Zara Phillips, you may remember.
The betting talk was that Tricky had been saving energy at Cheltenham in preparation for the big one. The long final stretch at Aintree would work in his favour, pundits said, as the horse is known for his strong final bursts. However, Tricky and his pink-shirted rider were too far behind the chasing pack when the final stretch came. Never mind, Chris, there’s always next year.
No wash-out in the wash-up
Who said that the Labour government didn’t care about flooding? After postponing the Flood and Water Management Bill for more than a year, the party’s business managers made sure that it scraped onto the statute book last week – but only just. As it turned out, the bill was the very last item to be debated by MPs before parliament was dissolved last Thursday afternoon. Given Labour’s uncertain electoral prospects, could it go down as the last piece of legislation this government ever passes?
We wish you a merry birthday
Wiping your bum on pink, scented loo paper may be one way to celebrate a birthday, so it seems (see story, above). But I much prefer the traditional method of raising a glass or two. And I’m relieved to report that you’ll be able to do so at RSA’s stand at this year’s Biba conference. There, to mark the venerable insurance giant’s 300th anniversary, it has specially ordered a birthday celebration ale from Kentish brewery Shepherd Neame. The two have been doing business for some time – in its various incarnations, RSA has been Shepherd Neame’s insurer for around 250 years. Cheers! IT