Tom Flack rounds up all that is new on

Reactions to the death of IIB director general Andrew Paddick showed few signs of abating this week, with hundreds of additional readers viewing the online account of his passing.

The story, which has already proved the most widely read in the history of the website, has now amassed more than twice as many viewers as any other. Biba’s subsequent announcement received a similar level of attention. A fitting tribute.

Meanwhile, two huge developments in the broking market dominated Insurance Times’ virtual front page. With the axe finally falling at Venture Preference, the departure of co-chief execs Paul Meehan and Chris Blackham drew almost 2,000 readers – many of them no doubt keen to find out when and where the enigmatic duo might resurface. As a result, the story became the third most popular of the year so far.

Not far behind was AIM-listed Jelf’s triumphant three-in-one announcement of its growth in revenues to over £40m, its securing of a £45m war chest courtesy of investor 3i, and the acquisition of Manchester-based heavyweight broker Manson.

Unsurprisingly, the story saw a disproportionately large amount of traffic from locations in the North West. With £45m GWP under its control, Manson is the biggest acquisition of the year so far, unless Oval’s approach to Perkins Slade should end up bearing fruit.

However, Towergate is not far off the pace. The combination of its acquisitions of payment protection insurance provider, British Insurance, Scottish broker McAra and the unveiling of a former Homelet sales team at CCV was enough to ensure a typically high-profile week online for the UK’s fastest growing broker.

In the US, Marsh & McLennan (MMC) was delighted to find its successor to besieged global chief Michael Cherkasky, with the announcement that it would be former Ace chairman and chief executive, Brian Duperreault.

The news of Duperreault’s return to the market, after a hiatus of 16 months, was greeted with slightly muted interest by market commentators, who continued to focus on the plight of US bond insurers.

Despite it being seen as a strong move for the group, MMC’s stock fell by 1.2% to $27.17 in the wake of the news. More promisingly, however, it has risen by 2.7% in the last month – aided in no small part by speculation that rival Willis had launched a renewed bid for the company.

Most Read

The most read stories this week on

1. Blackham and Meehan out at VP

Stuart Reid appointed sole chief exec of AXA-owned broker

2. Jelf swoops for Manson

Group reveals 62% rise in turnover and £45m acquisition fund

3. Towergate CCV unveils former Erinaceous team

Ex-Homelet staff to drive Maras expansion

4. Andrew Paddick dies

IIB director general passes away

5. Biba saddened by Andrew Paddick's death

Chairman says IIB boss represented industry with conviction

My Favourites – Kevin Cleary

NASA – for the space geek in everybody

For when I don’t understand insurance, or what people talk about in meetings. Wikipedia was also useful to settle an argument I had with a colleague about the baddie in Thundercats (I was correct)

Itunes – so I don't have to listen to people talking on phones and/or coughing/ sneezing/vomiting on the train home

To see how badly my penny shares are doing these days

Official Premier League site – because Man United are top of the league – and I am actually from that corner of the country!

Kevin Cleary is senior regional manager at Dual Corporate Risks


Tasker & Partners

David Wheeler has joined Tasker & Partners as director of UK commercial business.

He has 30 years’ insurance experience and will head-up the commercial clients operation.

Michael Hilder is another new recruit to Tasker & Partners as sales and marketing executive.

Millin Insurance Services

Andy Smith has joined Millin Insurance Services as commercial broking manager.

He joins from Chartwell Insurance Brokers.


Cobra Underwriting Agencies (CUA) has announced details of several appointments.

Frank Such joins the board of CUA as underwriting director.

David Drew has been appointed as a non-executive director and also joins the board of CUA.

Graham Ringer has joined CUA as sales manager from NIG Insurance and Sandra Chapman has been promoted to underwriting manager.


Ecclesiastical has appointed Clare Pardy as fine art underwriting manager.

Pardy joins Ecclesiastical from XL Insurance where she was an underwriter responsible for its UK retail account, and global marketing, sponsorship and PR for fine art and specie.

Ernst & Young

Anthony Kirby has joined Ernst & Young as a director in the regulatory and risk management practice.

He joins from Accenture.


Weightmans has appointed long-standing DLA Piper partner Mark Leach.

He joins the firm’s existing employment team.