The Backchat Insider ponders the pitfalls of naming offspring after an insurance company
What’s in a name?
Allianz boss Andrew Torrance surely has many fans, but I think I’ve discovered his biggest. An insurance pal was walking their dog at the weekend when they heard a mother shouting “Allianz! Allianz!” A little girl then wandered over to her. My pal went to investigate. “Is your child really called Allianz?” he asked. “Yes,” the mother replied, “I’ve always liked the name, and I’m hoping that they’ll give her cheap car insurance when she’s older.”
The list of insurers sponsoring cricket grounds and clubs is long. Ageas joined LV=, Brit and RSA this week with the news that Hampshire’s Rose Bowl will be called The Ageas Bowl for the next six years after a sponsorship deal. With so many insurers in the sector, the opportunity for ribbing is ripe, if it hasn’t happened already.
Don’t blame the ref
Few footie fans have any time for referees, but Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford chief executive Toby Esser is a rare breed. Esser, an ardent Chelsea supporter, was watching Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Spurs when referee Martin Atkinson controversially allowed a goal in Chelsea’s favour. The move sparked much debate, but, says Esser: “Unless you have goal-line technology, you can’t have a go at the ref.” Would Esser have felt differently if the decision had gone the other way?
Where to, guv?
Staff at Oval’s London office on Middlesex Street had a scare last week when a black cab crashed into the front of the building. My sources tell me that an ambulance was called and that the driver was whisked away. Some kind-hearted Oval staff even tried to call the driver that evening to check he was alright. However, initial rumours that new Oval boss Peter Blanc was a passenger in the cab were scotched by eyewitnesses.
I take my hat off to the 25 souls from Kiln, Miller, Chartis and Ibex who will be running a marathon in Sierra Leone this June. The group, including Kiln chief financial officer James Dover, are expecting to face temperatures of more than 25°C to raise money to build schools and help children in the area. I might have considered joining them – if I was 30 years younger.
On the board
I was in Towergate’s main London offices this week when I noticed something amiss. I realised that the old wall chart with the names and ranks of the broker’s top brass had been taken down. Perhaps with all the recent comings and goings the broker wants to print up a new one.
A lifetime in the saddle
I’m a big horse racing buff, and I spent a good part of this weekend quaffing flutes of champagne and watching the Grand National. Many of you may not know that Ingenie and Tesco Underwriting chairman Steve Broughton is also a big horse racing fan, and owns two fine specimens himself – Oscar Time and Dodging Bullets. “Dodging Bullets sounded like a good name from someone who’s been in the insurance industry all his life,” Broughton said.