As Peter Cullum prepares to holiday in Portugal and Adrian Colosso sets sail, the Insider stays put to pass on the latest gossip

I understand my friends over at CFC Underwriting are working on an incentive scheme for the brokers that support them. Unlike other broker incentive schemes, I’m told this one won’t just favour the top brass at the brokers but the chaps actually working at the coal face. It will take the form of an Air Miles-type scheme, though it’s not yet clear what the brokers will receive in return for their tokens.

Those of you who think brokers get too many perks these days might be heartened to know that Graeme Newman, CFC’s business development director, is also considering setting up an industry poker event. But given that Newman is a former online poker champion, CFC’s brokers must be hoping their incentive tokens don’t turn out to be redeemable for poker chips – or they’ll end up making a net loss.

Continental drift

It’s not easy being an insurance mogul. Take Peter Cullum. Fresh from sealing a deal with Advent for a £200m cash injection, surely the Towergate chief deserves some relaxation in the sun. So imagine his frustration at finding that work on his palatial new holiday home in Portugal has been delayed – his builder’s gone bust. I would have thought a contract with Mr Cullum would be enough to keep any business afloat. Go on, Peter, lend him a tenner...

Shipping news

Talking of boys and their holiday toys, I hear a whisper that my old pal Adrian Colosso has invested in a new boat. Now, I wonder why he could be feeling flush? Anything to do with these rumours I keep hearing about Heath Lambert going under the hammer …?

All mod cons – with full cover

Escape-of-water claims are the curse of the industry right now – just ask some of the insurers that have been reporting their results in the past couple of weeks. But the latest claim has popped up in a most unexpected place: none other than the ABI. Yep, my spies tell me that the Gresham Street premises have been hit by a busted dishwasher. But if there’s one business you can rely on to have the right cover in place …

The Otto and Sandy show

… So that should be one less problem for newly installed ABI director-general Otto Thoresen. With Solvency II looming on the horizon, the industry still reeling from the ECJ gender judgment and flooding yet to be sorted, Thoresen is going to have to hit the ground running. But if he wants any tips on managing an insurance trade body, he need only pick up the phone to his old pal and one-time class mate Sandy Scott at the Chartered Insurance Institute. Yes, the chaps know each other of old, so we can look forward to plenty of collaborative working between the CII and ABI.

A friend in need …

What next for Matthew Reed? The former Powerplace boss, currently on gardening leave, is keeping his cards very close to his chest. But I hear he could be joining up again with former colleague Amanda Blanc at AXA. They know each other from Blanc’s days as deputy chief executive of Towergate, the parent company of Powerplace. And Blanc, who now leads the commercial lines unit at AXA, has an eye for talent and perhaps sees Reed as a good bet. Could this be a case of friends reunited? Watch this space.

Gallagher’s bonanza

While all the talk is that AJ Gallagher is poised to snap up Heath Lambert, my moles tell me that’s not the only dish on its menu. Backed by the might of its US parent, Gallagher has up to five takeover targets in its sights. And the London market broker isn’t messing around – dealmakers at Gallagher have barely had a night’s sleep in the past month. No rest for the acquisitive … IT

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