Mystery market blogger Sid has been around the block enough times to know what to expect next

I have to admit, I’m pleased to see that my predictions about team defections – Fusion to Aspen, AXA plus ça change, and Utley for an early bath – have all come to pass.

And, as ever, I can’t help but have an opinion on another snippet of industry news. Well, how silly will it look when Aviva and AXA decide yet again that their attempt to become players in the global risks market is a recipe for losing money?

Large insurers can suffer from corporate amnesia, which begets the so-called ‘cycle’. It’s a circle, stupid, and a vicious one at that. I give it three years at most. By then, another chief exec will come along and do the things that new chief execs do: centralise, decentralise; split personal lines and commercial lines, or bring them back together; make hundreds redundant, or go on a hiring spree; pull out of motor or go back to motor. (Delete as applicable.)

So after all that upheaval, what gossip does the silly season have in store for us? JLT’s UK retail business attracting bids? A Bluefin MBO by Stuart Reid? Paul Meehan as the new AXA commercial lines boss? Aviva to buy a stake in Acturis? I’d dismiss these as silly season prattle, but a tipster of mine is prepared to put a huge bet down on one of the above, with Meehan the favourite to succeed.

Last but not least, it looks like contingent commissions are back too (unless you work for Willis!). Like I said, we go round in ever-decreasing circles. If you wait long enough, it all comes around again.

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