Sterling’s David Sweeney attempts to become a shadow of his former self while life looks a little rosier for Arista’s Charles Earle

Gym memberships are an essential must-have for most insurance directors these days. Look no further than Sterling Insurance personal and commercial director David Sweeney, who belongs to not one, but two gyms in his personal battle of the bulge. He’s been seen hitting the treadmill up to four times a week, often at the crack of dawn. He’s been watching what he eats too, and while munching on a plate of salad at a recent event was overheard bragging that he now fits 36in trousers. Suggestions that Sweeney will soon be seen modelling swimwear on a beach near you are, as yet, unconfirmed.

GAB Robins scores on an international night

GAB Robins has hosted its first drinks for the media since its management buy-out at the start of the year, opting for the trendy Mint Leaf Lounge in the City to schmooze journalists with spicy prawns and Cobra beer. In an address to guests, chief executive Kieran Rigby explained how the company had tried desperately not to clash with anything that would stop journalists coming to talk to a “bunch of boring loss adjusters”. Luckily for him, England’s World Cup qualifier against Belarus was a rather sour affair, with the three lions already on their way to South Africa. Or maybe he was just bitter that Ireland has to face France in the play-offs. There’s always 2014, Kieran …

Now don’t get shirty, Lex

AIG?UK chief executive Lex Baugh took centre stage at the Insurance Times leaders’ forum last week when he illuminated the audience on the wonders of sports sponsorship. You didn’t need to look far to find a major insurer sponsoring sports, he said. An interesting point, but you can’t help but wonder if there’s a bit of the green-eyed monster lurking inside him. After all, AIG is about to lose its Man U shirt sponsorship to Aon.

A toast to success

Arista chief executive Charles Earle is hitting the bars again after promising not to drink until Arista had started to record monthly profits. He’s confident that the year-end will be a good one but, as success is fairly new, he’s enjoying only a tipple.

The old ones are the best

To the ABI’s financial media awards on Thursday night, where 300 people enjoyed plenty of good plonk and grub. But stand-up comedian Marcus Brigstocke – team captain for the TV comedy debating show Argumental – had a little trouble mustering up the laughs. Until, that is, he whipped out a few insurance jokes. And congratulations must go to Insurance Times news editor Saxon East, voted general insurance journalist of the year.

Testing times

A team of six brainbox brokers from the East Midlands have a challenge on their hands. Known as ‘The Brokers Wild’, the team of boffins from James Hampden Insurance Brokers are to compete on the BBC quiz show Egg Heads, where they will come up against some of Britain’s cleverest quiz show contestants. Filming will take place in Glasgow in the coming months and the show is set to be aired some time next year. I hear the team have been in training: having regular quiz sessions in the office, as well as attending local quiz nights. Team leader and compliance and training assistant Barry Whiting, whose previous claim to fame was an appearance on Blankety Blank in 1987, has been coaching the team, which consists of UK divisional director Edward Winiarski, new business account director Jody Wyatt, IT manager Dean Parker, claims manager Steve Wright and account handler Simon Hodds. I say good luck to you, because you’ll probably need it! IT