Mystery blogger Sid ponders on who'll be the first to bite the dust this year?

Insurance Times is proud, if a little apprehensive, to introduce its new columnist. Known only as ‘Sid’, this big beast of the broking world recently got out of the business. But he’s still picking up the gossip and, with time on his hands, he wants to share it with you. So, meet Sid, on the QT …

Since retirement, my social calendar is looking rather thin. No repeat of the Aviva ‘ferry around the Med’ – well, St Petersburg this year with Spandau Ballet – no big-hitters’ conference where those with small packages show off their new sports cars, no Biba conference (thank the Lord). But I am still looking forward to the undoubted event of the year: Neil Utley’s marriage in August. That will be a party.

Last year’s social highlights were undoubtedly the Swinton Christmas shindig (though no one could hear what dear Peter Halpin was saying – excellent!) and, of course, the Igal Mayer farewell party, held in the phone box on St Mary Axe. Cosy!

On the QT, I’m told that a number of our most successful entrepreneurs are about to move to tax havens to avoid the ludicrous socialist tax imposed by this hopeless government. I don’t know about you, but would you want to be in Monaco with Spencer, Giles, Reid and Cullum? No thank you.

I have enjoyed a bit of skiing recently, but perhaps not as much as the Aviva party, led by new UK boss Mark Hodges. A galaxy of stars joined him, including Jeff Herdman, Stuart Reid and Peter Cullum.

It’s reckoned that Stuart Reid could be a free agent again sometime soon. I predict a spell of hedonism and “Reidy” back in some other role. Perhaps with Paul Meehan? Now that would be a story.

Meanwhile, what’s to become of HSBC Insurance Brokers? Anyone sighting Alan “Muddy” Waters in the offices of Aon/JLT/Heaths, let me know. I have a soft spot for the old boy.

Last but not least, I’m running a book on the first GI chief executive to bite the dust this year. Fancy helping? The current favourite means that bets are in euros, but you’ll have to guess which Euro-lander is the hot runner. Safe in their jobs are Adrian Brown and, well, Adrian Brown. Send your hot tips my way to: or leave your comments.

Read Sid's next blog: On the QT: The ego has landed