The Insider nearly slips a disc carrying the Jackson Review around and is still carping on about that Biba window mystery
Congratulations go to Biba compliance expert Steve White, who, during a new year’s trip to Las Vegas, visited a little white wedding chapel and got hitched. Steve tells me it was one of those spur-of-the-moment incidents that only happen in Vegas, but could neither confirm nor deny that his best man was a random bloke dressed as Elvis. I can reveal, however, that the lucky lady was not a Las Vegas showgirl he met at 3am in Caesars Palace. She is in fact a compliance officer for Towergate-owned broker Hayward Aviation. That’s quite a match, but don’t tell the FSA. They’ll be all over it before you can say ‘conflict of interest’.
The curious case of the shattered glass
Straight to the investigation surrounding Eric Galbraith’s broken office window, and the boys and girls at Biba are no closer to finding out ‘whodunnit’. The IIB ruled itself out of any involvement in the incident. Chief executive Barbara Bradshaw commented: “Physical damage is not the IIB's style – political out-manoeuvring is our way …” My pals on Facebook have also been lending their sleuthing skills and have suggested either Eastenders brothers Phil and Grant Mitchell or a bunch of naughty children as possible wrongdoers. This one could rumble on, so keep sending me your suggestions or visit the website.
No need to act all koi
When was the last time you saw a senior insurance executive in fancy dress? Well for me, it was in a Leadenhall Street bar last Friday lunchtime, but the less said about that, the better. Elsewhere, if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d strongly advise you to take a look at the latest Aviva video blog on insurancetimes.co.uk. It’s hosted by John Kitson and Janice Deakin, and in it one of them makes a splash by appearing as a mermaid. I won’t spoil the surprise and tell you who, but it’ll definitely turn a few heads …
Praise the lord
It’s not all new wigs and fancy robes, you know. In fact, it’s a pretty tough life being a lord these days, thanks to government ministers forever palming off their trickier tasks onto the peers of the realm. Take poor old Rupert Jackson for example. For the past year he has been slaving night and day on the review of civil litigation costs at the behest of Jack Straw. He has sat through evidence from pretty much every claims company you can imagine (I’d want danger money, myself) and produced a whopping great report so heavy that in itself it’s in danger of creating personal injuries. And what does he get in return? A half-hearted “thanks” from a minister who is pre-occupied with his own internal politics and a near-guarantee that all his hard work will be shelved in a couple of months by the triumphant Tories. No wonder he’s confessed to the odd sleepless night.
As the rumours surrounding RBSI’s future continue to circulate, I hear that many staffers are being given private reassurances. Apparently, the whisper in the corridors goes that RBS is determined to secure a flotation for its insurance businesses, including NIG, and that anyone who wants in to the new management team should stick around. That’s good news for them – but could mean some frustrated bidders out there.
Bolting around the track
I’m told Tom Bolt is a keen marathon runner. The new Lloyd’s franchise board director clocks up a mean time over 26 miles. And after a hard day’s jog, he likes nothing more than quenching his thirst with a Dr Pepper. When I was told that Tom would be ‘running the show’ at Lloyd’s, I thought it was metaphorical not literal. IT