Backchat's memory is long and detailed. He can recall Chubb's chief executive, Dean O'Hare, speaking at the Geneva Association three months ago. During his speech, O'Hare said he was looking for acquisitions within Europe.

And who should spout up with a question from the audience about suicidal rates to win business from rivals? Why, none other than Robert Hiscox, whose eponymous high net worth business Chubb is now trying to swallow.