Blanc speaks about misogyny on BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs, a managing director runs a marathon and one Insurance Times journalist is in a play. You heard it here first…

Blanc on BBC Radio Four

Aviva’s chief executive, Amanda Blanc, discussed the sexist remarks directed at her last May during a company annual general meeting with BBC Radio Four host Lauren Laverne on Desert Island Discs in mid-March.

Blanc told Laverne that one shareholder insinuated that the Aviva boss was not “the man for the job”.

Speaking about her time as chair of the Welsh Rugby Union between January 2020 and February 2022, Blanc said she was “simply not listened to”. Blanc, who was born in Rhondda Valley in Wales, commented that she was forced to step down from this role after two years due to misogynistic comments.

Amanda Blanc

Credit: Aviva 


Freelance journalist Trevor Hemsley, who writes regularly for Insurance Times, is starring as Wilf in play called Quartet at Hebden Bridge Little Theatre in West Yorkshire between 17 and 22 April 2023.

The play, written by Ronald Harwood, follows the lives of four opera singers - Cecily, Reggie Giuseppe and Wilf - in a retirement home.

As Giuseppe’s birthday is coming up, Wilf, Reggie and Cecily practice for a celebratory concert, but this rehearsal is hampered by the arrival of Jean in the retirement home, who was previously married to one of the quartet singers. Sparks fly, but the show must go on.

Theatre curtain

Credit: Getty 

McComish MD runs for ICUs

James McComish, managing director of McComish Insurance Brokers, is training to run a virtual marathon on 23 April 2023.

He will be running for the Poole and Bournemouth Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that saved his life in October 2021 following a bout of Covid-19.

McComish said that during his illness, he was put on a ventilator in ICU with no guarantees that he would pull through. He continued: “That left me having the hardest conversation in my life with my family.”

McComish explained that every week on a ventilator led him to lose 20% of his muscle mass - he lost a total of three and a half stone while unwell.

James McComish_McCormish Brokers

Credit: James McComish

Stop in the name of love

On 17 March 2023, climate group Mothers Rise Up staged a Motown inspired concert outside Lloyd’s of London to beg the London market to stop insuring fossil fuels.

The concert featured a soul diva named Mother Earth, who performed reworked Motown classics including Respect, Heatwave and Stop in the name of love. She was joined by more than 50 mothers, babies and grandmothers on Mother’s Day weekend.

The protest group claims that Lloyd’s insures up to 40% of the global energy market, including oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.

Mothers Rise Up noted that some insurers and reinsurers - such as Munich Re, Hannover Re and Swiss Re - are introducing coal, oil and gas exclusions, but the group believes that Lloyd’s is lagging behind its European counterparts in this respect.

Mothers Rise Up_Motown

Credit: Mothers Rise Up


The Speculator 


Insurer RSA has decided to exit the UK personal lines motor market to make its combined operating ratio (COR) stronger. RSA revealed the news on 28 March 2023 following a “thorough review” of its business.

The insurer noted that the UK motor market remained competitive and “requires significant scale to drive meaningful outperformance”. Insurance Times understands that the insurer’s COR for this market segment was operating significantly above 100%.

Will other motor insurers follow suit? What will RSA look like after its UK motor line disappears from its personal lines book?