What has the insider been up to this week? A week of star spotting with The Hoff, a spider-man and Freddie Flintoff look-a-like
Ice-cream and sausage safety by the seaside
And so to Bournemouth for the Airmic conference where spirits were high. AIG boss Lex Baugh, who spent two days stuck to his stand in a staunch show of defiance, even managed to make it to the bar for a cold glass of beer, but not before popping into the amusements downstairs for some respite (he took the wrong door apparently).
Meanwhile, Zurich held its own bash where at the end of the evening stars of Strictly Come Dancing emerged to whisk diners off their feet for a twirl around the floor. And RSA took the festivities into the early hours with a drinks reception hosted by the ever-chirpy Paul Greensmith, who after a lengthy late-night chat, managed to convince the troops that he is not, in fact, the cricketer Freddie Flintoff in disguise.
The next morning on the conference floor saw the AXA contingent sipping Château Neuf de Pape early doors, while the bulk of delegates were clear from the outset that this was certainly not a day for seaside roller-coasters.
There was comfort from QBE ice-cream, smoothies and cat naps in the corridors. One loss adjuster boss was as effervescent as ever despite having lost a game of spoof to pick up the bill for a curry with a major insurer the night before.
And the single theme to emerge from the conference speaker programme was that health and safety laws are just like sausages, you really don’t want to know how they are made. So until next year then, in Manchester, where the sun and sand cannot be guaranteed but the fun certainly will be.
Dancing diamonds cut a rug
If there’s one person who knows how to party, its Lyndon Wood. It wasn’t so long ago that he was seen dining in front of sharks at a Dubai aquarium-style hotel. The latest I hear is that the founder of Moorhouse Group raised a few eyebrows during Aviva’s boat cruise. Apparently he was wearing “diamante shoes” and cut some rather fabulous shapes on the dancefloor.
The Insider’s secret identity
Did anyone see the photos of the Burma campaign protester climbing the Lloyd’s building? Quite astonishing! Yet quite some achievement – head to insurancetimes.co.uk if you missed them last week.
A few years ago, after a long Friday session in The Underwriter with a few of my London market pals, feeling brave we attempted to scale the famous building, just for a bit of fun. Unfortunately, we only managed one step before we got caught and quickly legged it. Oh those were the days.
Very imaginative expenses
And so the expenses saga rumbles on. The latest is that Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman claimed for professional expenses insurance. The insurance is used by some business people so they can hire expert accountants if investigated by HM Revenue and Customs. Ellman said an accountant had recommended she take up the cover.
Dear me, these MPs really do have a fantastic imagination when it comes to claiming for expenses. How altruistic of them.
Cocktails supplied by The Hoff
The biggest single risk facing the organisers of the Airmic conference was whether the 30 degree heat, glorious sunshine and seven miles of sandy beach was going to hit delegate numbers or not.
In the end, the head count was high and the risk management community eventually headed to the classy pier-side nightspot known only as Aruba for a beach party. The evening saw limbo dancing, Pamela Anderson and David Hasslehoff-style lifeguards as well as bucket full of mohitos and other powerful cocktails.