It’s not every week the Insider catches Michael Warren in green leggings and the Lloyd’s building in multicoloured lights …

I understand my old chum Bertie Hiscox is on jury duty. At first, I couldn’t imagine the man who once told me his family owned half of Australia doing such a thing. But now I think about it, he’ll probably be in his element presiding over the other jury members. I can only hope, for their sake, that the defendant is not a politician or a broker, both of whom have been victims of Bertie’s sharp tongue over the years. Imagine what he could do to them with the power of the UK legal system behind him …

Look at the legs on that

UK General Insurance chief operating officer Michael Warren is known for being a hard worker, but his latest endeavour is a surprise even by his standards. He plans to join 50 others to beat the world record for the highest number of people running the London Marathon chained together. The current record was set last year by 34 runners, including Princess Beatrice of York.

Warren says the 2011 group – which he dubs “the caterpillar” – will be running in green and black leggings and will be raising money for cerebral palsy charity Scope, whose pension fund Warren chairs. (Donations can be made at http://

Warren has no doubt that the group can last the full 26.2 miles – though he admits he is concerned about how they will organise the toilet breaks.

A keen runner, Warren was recently in training for the gruelling Dewsbury 10k run. As he struggled along in the cold West Yorkshire rain, he thought of UK General chairman Howard Posner jetting off to Tenerife for a 10-day break in the sun. "I did wonder who was the fool in our relationship," Warren mused.

Lloyd’s goes up in lights

Lloyd's is not exactly known for radicalism. But after ditching more than 300 years of history with a new underwriting floor – some say more Slough industrial estate than Lime Street – it looks like Lloyd’s has decided to mix things up even further with the escalator lighting. While the escalators to the first and second floors are lit in yellow, the escalators to the new floor are illuminated in an impressively ugly lime green.

It’s got some old hands scratching their heads wondering how the redesign will fit in with the ubiquitous Richard Rogers escalators that adorn Lloyd's promotional literature.

Fortunately, Emily Hughes at the Lloyd's Market Association is happy to clear up the confusion: according to her, the lights are the same colour. Not as far as anyone else can see.

That linking feeling

Speculation that broker trade bodies Biba and the IIB will one day merge has become something of an old wives’ tale. But are things about to change? A well-placed source told me recently to “watch this space”.

Both sides remain coy, telling my spies that they continue to work closely together. But when it all kicks off at this year’s Biba conference in Manchester, remember you heard it here first …

Bunker mentality

Now I’m as partial to a round of golf as any man, and have been known to motor down to Sandwich or up to St Andrews for a day on the course. But even I wouldn’t go as far as pals Chris Blackham and John Sims. Word reaches me that the pair, who have teamed up at Blackham’s consultancy Endorphin, celebrated their new partnership with a golfing holiday in Egypt. Good timing, chaps. Nothing like a bit of national strife to get things under way. IT