The curse of Sid has played out once more, but who will it land on next?

My poorly disguised warning in past blogs about the merde about to hit the fan has come to pass. After the August holidays, always beware French manoeuvres. Expect to see Monsieur Maso in some new role in Paris or the French Colonies – they tend to look after their ‘secondees’.

I don’t know Monsieur Evans personally, but if AXA has exchanged a Frenchie for a Brit, then we can expect some ‘efficient process’ man. Certainly if he was involved in the Resolution deal to sell the legacy life business, then he has recent and impressive credentials. But remember Madeleine Albright’s advice when dealing with the French, and I quote “They have a tendency to ask, ‘This will work in practice, but will it work in theory?’”

Elsewhere, my old chum Chris Hanks denies that he is leaving any time soon, which probably means his protégées Dye and McGinn are in line to be headhunted by AXA – watch your back Christopher. Or will Amanda Blanc or Clive Nathan be attracted back there, bored with waiting to hear that Homer has given up the ghost?

Meanwhile, my retirement is about to enter its second year and a lovely time I have had. The offers continue to come in, but the non-executive fees are so paltry given the amount of board papers one is expected to read. However, I do miss the dinners, the meetings, the conferences and the bitchy gossip. So I could be a non-exec on a board or two soon, or even by the time you read this. If it is your board, fear not – the curse of Sid will not apply to you or yours.

But I will tell you where the curse will come down in 2011 soon, on the QT as always, entre nous...