The Backchat Insider muses on a shareholder complaint at last week’s landmark AGM about Aviva’s continued sponsorship of ‘overpaid’ footballers

Aviva keeps its pet Canaries

Excessive directors’ pay and slumping share prices may have dominated the headlines at Aviva’s annual general meeting last week. But one shareholder was more concerned about the insurer’s sponsorship of Norwich City Football Club, advising the already under-fire chairman Lord Sharman to pull the plug on the lucrative deal with the Premiership club. “I think the world of football and footballers are overpaid as it is,” he said. Presumably there’s no chance of that happening, given that Aviva only last month signed a new four-year contract to continue as the club’s main sponsors.

Do they mean us?

I was speaking to some of my editorial pals on Insurance Times this week about their own insurance, and I heard some surprising revelations. One of the chaps said he had recently looked at his Aviva household insurance renewal documents and found that, despite his profession being correctly listed as “employed journalist”, his employer’s business was listed as “zoo operator”. Worse, the same document listed his ex-partner’s place of work as “abattoir” when she actually works in a care home for the elderly. Are you sure it was just an honest mistake, boys?

Lee in the lion’s den

I understand Simon Lee is going to be the first ever RSA chief executive to rub shoulders with brokers at this year’s Biba conference. I’m extremely pleased that Mr Lee is eschewing the aloofness displayed by some of his predecessors and hope he enjoys the experience, but I do wonder how he will fare. I worry, for example, that a representative from one of the 200 brokers RSA dropped last year might, after availing himself of the numerous beverages in the exhibition hall, decide to offer Simon some ‘wisdom’.

On the case

The stand information for the Biba conference has started to roll in, and I notice the theme for the Lloyd’s stand is going to be ‘from the quill pen to the iPad’, no doubt tipping the nod to the ubiquitous Apple device’s popularity with the market’s practitioners. It is interesting to note that the Lloyd’s gift shop is showing a similar trend. Alongside the slipcases, the corporation is now offering iPad cases. Good to see Lloyd’s moving with the times in some respects – although maybe progress will only have truly been made when the slipcases disappear altogether.

Holly who?

I’ve never been a big fan of motorcycles, having always preferred a smoother ride in the back of a Bentley. But I did hear that bike broker Bennetts has just signed up Hollyoaks actress Jorgie Porter to be the leader of its ‘babes squad’ for the next year. Now, I just need to get someone to explain what Hollyoaks is and then I’ll pass judgment.