At this year’s Biba conference, we’ll be asking the questions that count

It’s that time of year again - and the Biba conference 2012 looks set to be the best yet. Here at Insurance Times we’ve a packed agenda and, as ever, we’ll be asking the burning questions. Here’s what is at the top of our list as we head to Manchester this week:

1. First up has to be who will replace Andrew Moss as group chief executive at Aviva? According to reports, Andy Haste has ruled himself out - but if the offer is right, would he really be able to resist?

2. Number two is who’s winning the race to buy Groupama’s UK underwriting and broker assets? With the second round bids all in, will the broker bosses succeed in pulling off management buy-outs, or will they be gazumped by a third party? And if Groupama can’t raise the right price for its underwriting arm, will it simply hold on to it? FXB won’t be at Biba to tell us, but that won’t stop us speculating.

3. Riding high in the charts is new Biba chairman Andy Homer. What does the former Towergate boss have in store for the brokers’ trade body - and will the much-loved conference look any different next year?

4. Everyone’s got their chequebook out at the moment, with all the consolidators lining up to buy. But will any be able to pull off a big deal, and who’s in the market to sell?

5. Talking of deals, when will the long-awaited ‘consolidation of consolidators’ occur? Will Brendan McManus be buying Peter Blanc a drink this Biba?
Keep your eyes peeled: we’ll see you there.

● As the first-quarter results roll in, insurers are showing an improvement on last year. But the financials are still being propped up by personal lines, with commercial lines struggling to turn a profit. See our results special at for the full reports.