Who's rising and falling in this week's industry index?

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Done deal?

CCV chief executive Michael Rea is planning some big deals. But who’ll take the cream of the crop – CCV or parent company Towergate?

Pest practice

KPMG’s swanky new offices have a rats’ nest underneath the building, which is protected. Meanwhile, they’ve got an eco-friendly compost dump site on the roof, with worms breaking down waste. KPMG has taken on more actuaries for Solvency II, but do they know what lies beneath?

Sour grapes

It’s interesting how often alcohol-related analogies are used in our industry. I raised a glass this week to SPB chief executive Jean-Marie Guian, who said he was initially put off breaking into the UK market because he thought “it would be like selling wine to the French”.


Grant Ellis is off to South Africa for a charity bike ride, but made an unusual request before he set off. The Broker Network chairman wanted the Insurance Times logo emblazoned on his cycling shirt, but didn’t say why. Rumours that the logo reduces drag and increases stamina are unconfirmed.

That’s rich …

Did you hear about Paris Hilton and Allianz? No, the blonde socialite is not becoming the new face of the German insurer. Instead, she’s being sued by Allianz over claims that jewellery she borrowed has never been returned.

Pure genius

I think Nick Starling deserves a pint of Guinness from Ryanair boss Micheal O’Leary. In his previous life as a Department for Transport civil servant, the ABI general insurance director prepared the legislation that deregulated UK airspace, allowing the budget airlines to flourish.


Armed police were called to Aviva’s Monks Cross offices in York last week after an angry policyholder used a digger to block the car park in a row over a motor insurance complaint. Aviva claims handlers watch out!

Hell on wheels

AXA’s head of personal lines Steve Hardy was out near Swiftcover’s offices in Cobham – also where Chelsea FC’s training ground is – when he saw a white Ferrari with the licence plate ‘NIC’ zoom past (Chelsea’s Nicolas Anelka). It must be tough for Hardy seeing all these swanky Chelsea boys about town, him being a devout West Ham fan and all.

Third wheel

They may no longer be co-chief execs of Venture Preference (remember it?), but Paul Meehan and Chris Blackham are still firm friends and are planning a cycling trip together. Has anyone invited Stuart Reid?