Thanks to the talents of Reg Brown, Lord Hiscox and Robbie Williams, it’s been a huntin’, shootin’ and singin’ week for the Insider

For Lockton’s boss Julian James, attracting an admiring eye from a beautiful woman at a hotel is not an uncommon occurrence. But one late night, while doing business in China, a particularly persistent lady accosted James outside his Park Hyatt hotel. She then followed him for some time before repeatedly tugging on his sleeve and asking to talk. “Well, that’s a new one,” thought James. It was only after finally taking her up on the offer, that James discovered the truth – the young woman regularly travels to hotels known to be hosting western businessmen … so she can practice her English. Now that really is a new one, Julian.

Perfect pitch for the MGAs

I was interested to hear that Reg Brown, former president of the Chartered Insurance Institute and Insurance Institute of London, and a pal of mine from the good old days, is looking to generate support for his new venture, the Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA).

Over a quick coffee in the City – and might I add a word of advice at this point for those who entertain this insurance veteran: he doesn't take kindly to chocolate on his cappuccino – Reg outlined his plans for the MGAA. We're not brokers, he thundered, and we shouldn't be treated as such.

I couldn't agree more with Reg and wished him all the best in getting the MGAA up and running.

On the way out, Reg told me that as well as being chairman of the MGAA steering committee, he had risen to become president of the insurance community’s own London Phoenix Orchestra – without being able to read a single note of music.

Reg may be of limited use in the orchestra pit, but one thing’s for sure: he’s definitely banging the drum for the MGAA loudly enough.

Hiscox jumps to it

There are few insurance players I know nothing of, but Friday brought to light a little known fact about Robert Hiscox. ‘Bertie’ is one of my favourite fellows – laudable title to his name, well spoken, owns a large and respectable insurance company. So while we were chatting about all the many things we have in common, it came as something of a surprise when he told me his family once owned half of Australia.

Then it all fell into place. I remembered that Hiscox is a formidable hunter. He likes nothing more than the feel of a rifle in his hand as some dangerous prey lurks in the bushes nearby. But never mind lions and elephants, I suppose it all started with the kangaroo.

Backstage pass

I have to admit, I’m a big fan of Take That. Could it be magic, How deep is your love, Patience… the list of hits is endless. The day I heard that Robbie Williams was rejoining the band was a special one. Reminds me of when Bridget McIntyre said she was reuniting with former boss Patrick Snowball at Australian firm Suncorp for that brief stint last year – it brought a tear to my eye.

So you can imagine my joy when an RSA insider recently told me that the insurer, 300 years old this year, is close to sealing a deal to insure Take That’s 2011 tour. The agreement could include some handsome privileges that no doubt my fellow Take That fanatic Paul Donaldson will be lapping up.

I will, of course, be putting forward my case for tickets to the show. The queue starts here!

Speed-broker makes waves

And finally, congratulations to Gianni Armiraglio. The Heath Lambert medical malpractice broker recently came runner-up in the World Power Boat Championships in Stresa, Italy. For more photos of the action man, head over to my Facebook page, called Backchat Insider. IT