NU good cause

NU good cause
Norwich Union (NU) staff have raised £150,000 for the Meningitis Trust. The money included a pound-for-pound matching deal from NU, and sponsored events including a trek in Borneo and a cycle ride from Land's End to John O'Groats. Trust deputy chief executive Angela Dudley said the trust was overwhelmed by the generosity of NU, which chose the trust as its staff charity for 2000. "There'll be thousands of individuals and charities whose lives have been devastated by meningitis who'll have the chance of a brighter future, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of NU staff," she said.

Safety net
Llloyd's of London has launched a new internet system to prevent hackers gaining access to sensitive material. The market is using a secure web hosting service to allow customers to develop their business applications and manage their website content. In theory, those using the internet for work will not need to worry about providing, managing and operating a secure platform.The service acts as a buffer zone between the Lloyd's community network and the internet. It provides protection against unwanted access and attack while letting users pass sensitive data safely and privately with user-ID and password identification.

A stringent rulebook
Brokers can ease some of the strictures imposed by the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) if they use the new broking system, it was claimed this week. The internet-based system includes a "commission calculator" which allows brokers to manipulate both the fee income and end price of the premium. In addition, all products are written using the same wording, making it easier to train staff. Managing director Michael Whitfield said brokers had yet to realise how stringent the GISC rulebook was.

New chairman at B F Caudle
Ray Salter has been appointed chairman of B F Caudle Agencies. Salter has been a director of Advent Capital, Kiln Underwriting and GAN. In addition to the new chairman, B F Caudle has appointed John Towers as operations manager. He will be assisting managing director Keith Thompson with the integration of the B F Caudle and Kingsmead businesses. B F Caudle Agencies has managed the underwriting business of Syndicate 780 since 1975.

Fortis lines up
Fortis Insurance has launched a new range of national phone numbers to allow it to handle larger volumes of calls. The new service means that callers are guaranteed to be connected to an adviser, even during the busiest times or in case of a fault.

Joining forces
Zurich Financial Services UK has joined forces with IBM Global Services to create a new IT outsourcing model. The 10-year agreement between the world's largest IT services company and one of the world's leading financial services is expected to deliver annual cost savings of nearly £15m through productivity gains and economies of scale. It aims to create and manage an Advanced Solution Centre to give the insurer fast access to specialist technical expertise.

Fraudster jailed
Financial adviser Malcolm Peter Millward has been jailed for almost three years for defrauding 18 customers of about £145,000 following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.The case was the result of two years' investigation by the Financial Services Authority. Millward defrauded retired customers who trusted him because they had used him as an adviser for 20 or 30 years and had bought legitimate products from him previously.

History calling
Axa Nordstern, the high net worth division of Axa, is holding a series of broker briefings at historic houses in different parts of the country. The briefings coincide with a series of art exhibitions that the insurer is sponsoring. Most recent is the loan exhibition of paintings by English artists Edward Burra at the Olympia Spring Fine Arts and Antiques fair.

£8.3bn in loans
There are now around 110,000 outstanding buy-to-let mortgage loans worth a total of £8.3bn according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. In the second half of 2000 lenders made 25,700 buy-to-let loans, totalling £2.1bn. The figures are based on a survey of 39 lenders, who together represent more than 90% of all buy-to-let lending.

Easy as Pye
Charrington's, the Lloyd's service company for Pye syndicate 962, has won the contract to underwrite Allied Underwriter Agencies' (AUA) non-marine account. t is the 12th account that Charrington's has secured over the past year. The service company now underwrites more than £10m of premium income. David Pye's association with AUA dates back to 1986 when he was a director at Aegon (UK).

Poles together
Disaster restoration company Rainbow International is sponsoring Mike and Fiona Thornewill, from Nottingham, who are aiming to become the first husband and wife team to reach the North Pole.
The couple's expedition begins on March 2 with a flight to Cape Columbia in northern Canada. The 500-mile journey is expected to take 60 days. The Thornewills walked to the South Pole in 1999.

Water danger
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is holding a national conference to tackle the problem of drowning. About 570 people drown each year in the UK. Latest figures showed 54 deaths among children, 50% up on the previous year. The ROSPA conference, called ‘State Management of Water sites - The Risk assessment Route', will be held at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, on Septmeber 24-25.

New office for Hiscox
Hiscox has opened an office in Birmingham. The branch will focus on developing insurance for high net worth individuals, insurance for business professionals and specialist cover for commercial properties. David Henderson will head the office as regional manager. He was previously with Independent and Norwich Union. Anthony Judge, formerly of Chartwell Underwriting, is appointed regional development underwriter and Liz Brown is appointed office manager.

AA profits up
The AA made an operating profit of £25m on revenues of £447m in its first full year of trading under Centrica, the group's results for 2000 reveal. The consumer services group whose interests range from gas and electricity to the AA, said its financial services had performed better than its energy businesses.
Total pre-tax profits for the year to December 31 were £438m, up from £268m in 1999.

Taken care of
Town & Country has won the contract to provide full accident management for around 60% of the fleet of Siemens, the electronics and telecoms giant. Town & Country provides online management reporting through its secure website for its clients.