Another sporting triumph causes the Insider to rejoice, as does an insurer that looks after its own

It should have been a five-day glorious bender to celebrate grabbing back the Ashes from the Aussies. Instead, the English cricket team had to prepare for a game against Ireland. Now you can imagine they weren’t too happy about that one. England just about had enough in the tanks to see off the RSA-sponsored Irish cricket team. Back in the stands, an unlimited supply of Guinness kept brokers schmoozed up to the max, and RSA’s commercial boss Paul Donaldson was on good form as he returned to familiar turf. The day was rounded off with RSA Ireland boss Philip Smith presenting the trophy to England’s captain Paul Collingwood. And, yes, he did manage a smile.

Sun, sea and swine flu

For insurers, the disaster that was swine flu has not come to pass – yet. Worrying noises have been coming from Fortis, however, suggesting that there’s been a higher than usual amount of claims emanating from the debaucherous holiday resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus. Now I wouldn’t really know about those kind of places; I’m used to holidaying in the Cote d’Azur. But I’m told “the Nap” is all about sun-burning yourself to crackled bacon, guzzling gallons of beer, and indulging in late-night activities on the beach. Hmm, I’d have thought swine flu would be difficult to diagnose among all those woozy heads and hangovers.

Concealed weapon

As regular readers may have noticed, I have a bit of an obsession with kilts. Last week I told you about Biba boss Eric Galbraith struggling to lug around his tartan dress, which reminded me of the time Barbon chief executive Martin Oliver triggered the alarms at airport security. At first, the proud Scotsman wondered how an earth his beloved kilt could have caused such a commotion. Then he remembered the Sgian Dubh. The Sgian Dubh (pronounced “Skeen Doo” for those trivia fans) is a small black knife worn with the kilt, and if you’re not wearing it, you’re not a man, according to Scottish folklore. Its original purpose was for skinning animals. Scary stuff. I wouldn’t be kicking up a stink with Martin Oliver anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Booze cruise

The holiday season is almost over, the summer is ending and all we have left is the prospect of dark winter nights holed up in the office. Bearing that in mind, bosses at Equity opted for a quick break in Majorca to top up their tans one final time. Word has it, however, they spent most of their time topping up beer glasses. Well, I suppose it’s one way of getting some colour in your face …

Beyond compare

Since Comparethemarket launched its meerkat campaign earlier this year, visitor numbers to its website have almost doubled. Now all the aggregators are set to follow suit with revamped TV spots. Who would have thought this unassuming member of the mongoose family would change the face of aggregator advertising?

Admirable Admiral

They’re a lovely bunch at Admiral. No, really. The personal lines insurer is dishing out £4.5m in shares to its 3,000 staff. That works out at round about £1,500 per person, if my calculations are correct. Admiral’s shares have doubled in value in the past two and a half years, even surviving the horrors of the financial crisis pretty well. With a bull market, who knows what they could end up being worth?

On the ball

Towergate claims boss Simon Gifford, an ardent Hammer, decided to stay at home knowing there would be trouble on the horizon at the West Ham v Millwall clash. And what followed? Pitch invasions, fights outside the ground and fans pelted with bricks and stones. It turned out to be a pretty nasty one. Not a bad decision in the end. it