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

Peter’s in his prime

There was some talk a while ago that Esure founder Peter Wood might want to speed up floating his company because he is – how shall I put it – reaching a certain age. If the information I have from my spies is correct, however, he can at least afford to wait for the current stock market turmoil to pass. Apparently he’s down the gym three times a week and you shouldn’t challenge him to a game of tennis unless you want a severe thrashing.

What a super guy

Grant Ellis hasn’t looked back since stepping down from the day-to-day management of Broker Network. He’s been cycling across the world, raising money for charity, fighting brokers’ corner on regulation, and sunning himself in South Africa. If that wasn’t enough, he’s got a new hobby: he’s signed up to work with the Prince’s Trust. Good on you, Grant.

Bubble brain

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett didn’t get to where he is today by being unable to multi-task. Apparently Buffett dreamt up the idea to invest $5bn in Bank of America while he was taking a bath last week. Suitably refreshed, the Berkshire Hathaway owner then approached the bank’s chief executive Brian Moynihan to thrash out the deal.

Crush it, I say!

CIE eat your heart out. Bradford residents have a better idea for tackling the uninsured driving epidemic: they have told their MP David Ward, who is investigating soaring motor premiums, that all such vehicles should be automatically scrapped. One even suggested the scrapping should be made a public spectacle.

Up, up and away

With the final days of summer dwindling away, one London market chief executive is holding on for dear life … to a kite surfing board, that is. RFIB chief Marshall King, a former Atlanta Olympian in sailing, has spent his summer learning a new water discipline, which he tells me is ‘harder than it looks’. You don’t have to convince me, Marshall.

Some like it hot …

Holiday time is nearly over – and for those in the insurance industry, that might be a good thing. According to research by Virgin Atlantic, those working in insurance are most likely to suffer from extreme sunburn while on holiday. I wonder if that could be linked to falling asleep in the sun after a good lunch? That pretty much sums up my summer anyway.

No stumps for Snowball

My good friend Patrick Snowball has revealed that he is planning to stay put at Suncorp until 2015. The remuneration looks a nice incentive. But, following England’s climb to number one in cricket’s world rankings, I wonder whether the rare prospect (for an Englishman) of the bragging rights in two more Ashes series was another carrot.

Key to their heart

Rising car insurance is a kick in the teeth for young drivers, particularly as a Confused.com survey recently revealed that almost one-fifth of young men believe that owning a car will increase their chances of a bit of nookie. But 87% said the cost of insurance was the biggest stumbling block. Presumably would-be lotharios everywhere are praying for telematics to become widespread, with one provider claiming it can cut motor premiums by 17%.

To see the full Backchat Market Matrix, click on the pdf, right.