When we have too much time on our hands we take up shooting … or inventing, muses the Insider. Or there’s always the rugby

It transpires that LV= Broker’s new personal lines director Michael Lawrence and I share a hobby. I’m a keen shooter, and often swap briefcase for shotgun and take a walk around my country pile to blast a rabbit or two. So I was surprised when my Brentwood-based pal recently headed off down to Cornwall dressed in his best tweed jacket and flat cap for his first hunt. Armed and dangerous, Michael got off to a quick start, bringing down the first of his four pheasants. However, tempted as he was, he couldn’t be persuaded to bring home his trophy birds on the train.

Retirement is the mother of invention

What do insurance brokers get up to when they’re retired? I like to relax with a glass of port and reminisce about the old days, but it seems others are more active. Take John Hinton, from Horsham, West Sussex, who has invented an amphibious vehicle. The vehicle can swap traffic queues for river cruises, reaching a top speed of 6mph on water. Hinton spent two years creating the vehicle, constructing it from a lawnmower and a boat. He’s even been in touch with Honda about a mass production of the ‘shortcutter’. Well, I hope he succeeds. It just goes to show that the entrepreneurial streak in brokers never dies.

The world according to Homer

Oliver Homer, son of the illustrious Towergate chief exec, has quit Aon Benfield, my spies tell me. While there, his clients included Kevin Spencer and Neil Utley. Is this a signal that Andy Homer’s retirement is imminent and he and his son are about to launch a new investment consultancy ? When asked, Homer senior’s comment was simply: “Never work with animals or family.”

Firemen turn up the heat

And so to the Wallace Collection in central London for Groupama’s annual black tie bash. Sadly, a burst water pipe on Park Lane and an accident at Tottenham Court Road meant that a transport gridlock prevented many of the guests from arriving in time to fully appreciate the art on display. But fear not – their cultural appetites were more than sated later with the appearance of a singing trio known as Hot Stuff. The singers surprised guests by arriving dressed as firemen mumbling something about gas leaks. But within minutes, the firemen had whipped off their jackets and were serenading the lady guests, proving once again that the French know how to party in style.

Beazley bid: codename Rolf

Several of you might be asking: “Who’s Rolf?” this week. The eagle-eyed will have spotted that Hardy’s first stock exchange announcement about its share buy-back plans at the end of last week erroneously used ‘Rolf’ in place of the name of its current suitor, Beazley. The insurer hurriedly filed an updated version a few minutes later, but the damage was done and the sniggering had begun. Has non-executive director Rolf Tolle become the public face of Beazley in his short time there? Or, more worryingly, has Hardy become so concerned about the prying eyes of the market that it has taken to using codenames?

Sofa so good for rugby competition

Courtesy of LV=, I have the ‘best seat in the house’ to give away for the Harlequins v London Irish rugby game on 27 December. This is a match-side sofa for the game at Twickenham, seating four people. As well as being waited on with drinks and snacks, you’ll also get a fantastic view of the match and half-time entertainment (cheerleaders the LV= Love Girls and the X Factor finalists among others). Plus there will be loads of freebies and you’ll even get to meet some of the players. If you’re interested, email sally.silver@lv.com and names will be drawn out of a hat at random on 9 December. IT