Two brokers’ actions to help home a British lad with a phobia of planes gets a gold star from our Insider

All at sea
I was touched to hear about the big hearts of Willis brokers Ian Harris and Nick Roblin this week, who stepped in to help Joe Thompson, the British boy marooned in Abu Dhabi after he suddenly developed a phobia of planes. The Willis duo managed to get the boy passage on one of their clients’ ships leaving from Jeddah, arranging insurance as well, naturally. The only snag is that he missed the boat - but Willis is coming up with a plan B.

iPad’s at my pad
Remember when brokers in Lloyd’s started using iPads, and this was hailed as a big step forward for the market? Well, my spies in Lloyd’s tell me that when underwriters recently did a spot check on how brokers were using these iPads, they found that the vast majority had been left at home in favour of using the traditional slipcases. So much for progress …

It’s not about the money
Those who want cast-iron evidence that insurance is nothing like banking need look no further than Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada. Despite chairman Bertie Hiscox describing him as “brilliant old Bronek”, I gather Mr Masojada is disarmingly modest. “He isn’t greedy - he doesn’t want to be paid a lot,” Bertie tells me. “I had to force him to take the salary he does.” Good grief.

Holding a torch for him?
When JLT boss Dominic Burke was invited to attend the Olympics opening ceremony by Stephen Catlin, he briefly entertained the thought that he was the Catlin boss’s favoured broker. Dominic later discovered that Stephen had
also invited Marsh’s Brian Duperreault and Dan Glaser, Aon’s Greg Case, and Ryan Specialty’s Pat Ryan. Two’s company, six is a crowd, eh Dominic?

Doing it for the kids
Lancashire Group chief executive Richard Brindle will be especially busy during the school holidays. Richard is on the fundraising committee of the charity Kids Company, which supports underprivileged London schoolchildren. The charity has just launched a drive to help run events for kids during the holidays.

Travelers with the flame
With the Olympic torch finally reaching the stadium last weekend, I was interested to hear of the exploits of Travelers Syndicate Management manager Mark Clifford. Mark was one of the lucky few selected to carry the Olympic torch, and he ran a 300-metre section of the relay in Brentwood, Essex, because of the work he has done for Macmillan Cancer Support.