The week's winners
Brit up 9.3%
Wellington Underwriting up 5.7%

The week's losers
SVB down 9.4%
Windsor down 4.6%

Despite the multitude of voices complaining about the bear market there are companies that could stand to do well this year - if they play their cards right.

Aon admitted that the state of the world's markets continues to cause it pain. The downturn in equities pushed up its pension costs by an estimated $130m (£81.4m) over the past year, according to the company.

Meanwhile John Charman's start-up Axis is understood to be plotting some sort of securities issue next month.

If it has a float in mind it could capitalise on confidence in the insurance cycle from its position before the claims start rolling in.

The company's recent results will certainly have bolstered support.

It hit a combined ratio of 70.7% and loss ratio of 42.7% on gross written premiums of $1.1bn (£689m) for the year ended 31 December 2002, generating net income of $265.1m (£166m).

Whether Axis chooses to repay some of its investors or boost its underwriting capacity, it will attract serious interest.

If only Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) was in the same boat.

Eyes are on R&SA following word that it is on the lookout for a qualifying quota share deal to help it to increase its underwriting while prices stay high.

London's controversial congestion charge, introduced this week, provoked a storm of protest from drivers angered by the £5 a day fee for entering the capital, but gave outsource operation Capita a push.

The company, a major player in the insurance outsourcing market, is responsible for administering the scheme and had attracted heavy criticism ahead of fears of chaos on the streets.

But a relatively trouble-free first day of the charge on Monday helped the stock jump 7% on Monday.