The Backchat Insider learns that even insurance bosses have their loyalty tested, while others are too busy reliving their glory days in a band

Backchat Insider

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Just too funky for me

There’s no end to some people’s talents it seems. Take esure communications head Adrian Webb, who I have already described as a unicycle prodigy. I now understand he was also the guitarist in Slab!, a post-industrial funk band that had some success back in the day. I will not pretend to know what post-industrial funk is, though I can’t help thinking it wouldn’t make my after-dinner playlist. Hats off nonetheless. How about a comeback tour? I’m sure those fine chaps at Robertson Taylor would be able to arrange the appropriate coverage …

On the right track

A few years ago, Leeds broker Lockyer helped out a very young and skint kart driver by giving him a sponsorship deal. Now 17-year-old Luca Hirst has just been crowned world champion. As it seems Lockyer sponsorships have the Midas touch, perhaps they could send a bit of money to my team, West Ham. Given their recent performances, they could do with the same kind of luck.

Grant designs

I hear that the construction of Grant Ellis’s country pile is coming on at a rate of knots. The builders are just putting the finishing touches to the basement area, which alone will have space for a six-car garage, wine cellar, cinema, music room, games room, swimming pool, gym and sauna. The place should be ready next year, I hear. I wish Grant all the best in his new home. And this information has nothing to do with the bowling alley I just ordered work to begin on at Backchat Towers.

Geddes-mania sweeps the nation

Being a man of refined tastes, I’ve always loved a bit of classical music. So I was very interested to hear recently that RBSI chief executive Paul Geddes is an accomplished violinist who plays regularly for an orchestra. He did tell me that he doesn’t want to publicise this too loudly, for fear of his concert venue being over-run by crazed fans. Well, bad luck Paul, it’s now in Backchat, so you’d better think about beefing up your security.

A very closed debate

There was a touch of unreality about last week’s Solvency II conference. In the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in Westminster, where the FSA held its gathering, the video monitors were showing a live feed of then Greek prime minister George Papandreou’s speech to parliament, announcing his referendum U-turn. But inside the hall, where the EU insurance directive’s implementation was being debated, it was as if the week’s seismic events were taking place on another planet, not the same economic union.

Aviva’s big bang theory

Ah, bonfire night. I like a good fireworks display and a bonfire as much as the next man, but it seems criminals had their own plans for 5 November. My counterparts over at Aviva tell me that burglary claims go up 28% on Bonfire Night compared with an average evening, making it the worst night of the year for break-ins.

Temptation’s a terrible thing

LV= has been successfully piling on the personal lines customers in recent years, but there’s one customer who may have been tempted elsewhere. Yes, I’m talking about LV= chief executive John O’Roarke, who admitted recently that while cruising the internet to purchase an insurance policy, he was tempted by an RAC policy that was considerably cheaper than LV=. Now that’s what I call a test of loyalty.