The Insider wonders about the divvying up of treats, has fun with acronyms and purrs with pleasure for pet insurers

How times have changed. Who would have thought that a broker would be in the running to replace AIG as a Manchester United sponsor? Yes, you read it right: Global broker Aon is reportedly set for an annual £20m, four-year deal with the Premier League champs. Aon boss Peter Harmer and the boys must have pulled out all the stops to land that one.

I have to wonder whether this will signal a turning point among the market’s biggest brokers? Maybe next we’ll see Marsh and Willis bidding to be the name on the Chelsea shirt. For now though, we’ll settle for Rooney and co running around with another three-lettered logo that they have probably never heard of.

Aviva takes the biscuit as its big day dawns

Last Monday was “Aviva day” – and there is not a chance that any broker in the land wouldn’t have known about it. But just to make sure that everyone had remembered the switch in name from Norwich Union, the insurer sent all its favourite brokers hampers filled with Aviva-branded mugs, tea bags and biscuits.

However it didn’t go down well with everyone, with one broker telling me how his office got three hampers. It prompted him to complain to his Aviva representative.

My pals at Insurance Times are even more upset. It seems they are still waiting for their own box of treats.

Body of knowledge needed

Talking of rebrands, I see that Norwich Union Risk Services has changed its name too and is now Aviva Risk Management Solutions, or ARMS.

Division head Brian Wallace couldn’t help but laugh when he explained to one of my friends at Insurance Times why it didn’t do a straight rebrand to Aviva Risk Services. Can you guess?

A sorry state of affairs

These days its common for shareholders to take it out on companies and the latest “victim” is L&G. Although some shareholders apparently slept through the insurer’s recent AGM, one was awake enough to heckle chairman Sir Rob Margetts about the difficulty of buying shares. She had made, she told him, numerous calls only to be put on hold, cut off or redirected. A letter was also ignored. Margetts replied with: “You tried to do business with us and we failed.” To which another shareholder piped up: “Sorry is such an unfamiliar word for a chairman these days.” Margetts stammered a profuse apology. I believe grovelling may have been better at that point.

All of a Twitter

Everyone’s talking about Twitter nowadays. It has become so popular that even used the social networking service as a platform for a pitch.

PR manager Kelly Davies tweeted: “Looking at PR agencies – may invite to pitch via Twitter. A Twitch?” She was bombarded with responses within an hour. This could be a new trend. Just imagine David Miliband: “Looking for support to overthrow Gordon. A Twitch?”

Or Man Utd’s Ronaldo: “Need a new club, sick of Sir Alex, chirp, chirp.”

The mind boggles at the possibilities for the insurance industry.