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

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A real bum deal

Preparations for the Lloyd’s Cycling Club’s annual bike ride to Monte Carlo (this year in aid of charity Combat Stress) are gathering pace, with details and itineraries being finalised. One surprising essential item on cyclists’ kit lists, however, is ‘bottom cream’. Apparently chafing can be a severe problem on such expeditions. Ouch!

And the beat goes on

That lot at AXA personal lines are a funky crowd. Would you have guessed they’re really into beatboxing? They entertained me on Wednesday night by showing off their skills – taking it in turns for one person to provide a background beat for another person to rap over. Eminem better watch out, the AXA boys are about to steal your crown.

League of their own

They take football seriously at Giles Insurance Brokers. In the recent Biba Champions League, two Giles branches found themselves squaring off in the finals of the Yorkshire and northern region five-a-side football tournament. Teams from Bluefin, Broker Network, Heath Lambert, Towergate, Romero and OneCall Insurance had all been knocked out earlier by the plucky Giles staff. In the end, the Morley branch of Giles beat the Leeds branch 4-1.

King of the swingers

Jelf staff have had two reasons to celebrate this month: not just a 49% profit increase but then the highly anticipated Jelf Golf Day. One hundred and twenty Jelf staff and guests took to the Ryder Cup course on Monday to take part in the event. “I’m looking forward to it, if the weather’s kind to us,” said Purple managing director Les Brewin, looking intently up at the clouds. Attendees beware – I’ve heard Alex Alway is a dab hand with a nine iron.

Think you’re Hardy ’nuff?

AXA’s head of personal lines Steve Hardy, a big West Ham fan and pal of chief executive Karren Brady, had a bit of close escape recently. He was at the end-of-season West Ham dinner, which ended in a brawl. He assures me that Iggy Pop, the crazy rocker featured in AXA’s Swiftcover adverts, was left at home that evening and the ruckus was caused by fans still stewing from the club’s relegation.

Go figure

It’s nearly a year since ex-ABI director general Kerrie Kelly jumped ship after a few months in the job. Picking up on FSA chief executive Hector Sants’ remarks about the acute shortage of actuaries resulting from the looming Solvency II implementation, her recently appointed successor Otto Thoresen mused on whether he should brush up on his statistical skills. Thoresen quickly made it clear that he was joking.

That’s just for starters

Did you read about the four brokers who went out for a slap-up meal in Leadenhall Market last week? They racked up such a large bill it was chosen as City AM’s ‘Bill of the week’. The £900 meal might not seem extravagant compared to what a group of City bankers might lay out on a night out, but still a good effort. One wonders if this one is going through on expenses? Unfortunately for those boys, I very much doubt it.

Textual relations

Is all publicity good publicity? Guy Carpenter recently found themselves in the limelight when details of an extramarital affair involving a director, Timothy Haynes, were made public. Haynes admitted to the 10-year affair with Leena Puddick after her husband, Ian Puddick, found a suggestive text message on his wife’s phone. After an internet campaign to bring attention to the issue, Ian Puddick was cleared of harassment charges.