This week our industry insider has witnessed the best and brighest ballet dancers, shoes and, er, carpets
Moves like Branko
I recently attended the Royal Opera House with broker compliance bod Branko Bjelobaba to see the ballet Titian’s Metamorphosis. Branko, though otherwise a gentleman of impeccable breeding and sensibility, nearly spilt his champagne whenever the dancers executed an arabesque. Due to their athleticism, no doubt …
At an insurance court case in Leamington Spa, covered elsewhere on this website, I witnessed a lawyer argue that his client was frugal for driving a Vauxhall Astra, adding that this marked him out compared to the “expensive, high-performance motor cars” found elsewhere in the insurance industry. I don’t know who he means …
AXA’s Matthew Reed has taken to his role as intermediary managing director like a duck to water. Having overseen the launch of several new branches, he has now acquired a new home away from home. “I live in London but my new home is on Virgin Trains,” he told me.
And it was all yellow
My spies in Aviva inform me that chairman John McFarlane has been making a few changes on the 22nd floor of the Aviva building on Leadenhall Street. Rumour has it that McFarlane has called in some feng shui experts to overhaul the decor, and has installed a canary yellow carpet in his office. Talk about pinning your colours to the mast …
While hob-nobbing with the AXA Commercial top brass at an evening event last week, I was rather struck by the show-stopping nature of chief executive Amanda Blanc’s shoes. Blanc, well-known for her striking footwear, had chosen a pair displaying several flowers, including daffodils - fitting for someone from the rainier side of the Severn Bridge.
Phew, what a scorcher!
Endurance boss David Cash enjoyed the kind of weather he would normally associate with his homeland Bermuda when his trip to the UK coincided perfectly with the long-awaited first day of the British summer at the weekend.
To err is human
Results day brought a mixture of emotions for Beazley chief executive Andrew Horton on Friday. As first it was annoyance after an eagle-eyed journo spotted a typo in the accounts. Then he perked up. “Has Martin seen this?” he said with a grin, referring to chief financial officer Martin Bride. Horton confessed that there had always been typos in the results during his tenure as finance chief, but had previously been error-free since Bride took over.