Bernard Day, (pictured) the vice-chairman of Ecclesiastical Insurance, and Robin Wallace, the former chief engineer at Eagle Star, have been awarded OBEs in the New Year's Honours List.

Day has been rewarded for his services to insurance throughout a career which has spanned more than 40 years.

He became chief executive of Ecclesiastical in 1976, retiring as the group's managing director in December 1997.

But his wide-ranging achievements and positions have included stints as the president of the Chartered Insurance Industry, president of the Insurance Benevolent and Orphans Fund, chairman of the Association of British Insurers, and chairman of the General Insurance Council.

He achievements also include chairmanship of the Council for the Employment of People with Disabilities in Gloucestershire and Master of the Worshipful Company of Insurers.

In May 1997 he was awarded the Cross of St Augustine for outstanding service to the church.

"It has been an enjoyable surprise especially as we are not everybody's favourite industry at the moment," Day says.

Robin Wallace was rewarded for his services to industrial health and safety.

He retired in June 1999 after 22 years' service with Eagle Star Engineering, which recently became Zurich Engineering, part of the world-wide Zurich Financial Services Group.

He played a major part in the development of health and safety standards relating to the engineering inspection industry.

For many years he worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive, and was involved with the development of the Safety Assessment Federation, the organisation that represents engineering inspection bodies in the UK.