Since announcing his retirement, Norwich Union's intermediary director Ken Wallace has been a busy man. Having joined the CII as its vice-president it seems he is also available for guest appearances.

Recently, he opened the new office of Midway Insurance in London Road, Enfield. Midway managing director Paul Robertson told Backchat that after Wallace had cut the ribbon, he went back to his car but found it failed to start.

Robertson said: "Strangely enough help was not far away and a man in a little van swiftly came to the rescue. Despite the recent rumours we can confirm that NU senior executives are not escorted by a patrol van and they really do have to make that call like everyone else."

One wag quips: "It was good to see Ken open a high street broker, rather than closing one."