I love a cliché as much as the next man but, up until now, I haven’t been able to roll out the old industry favourite: “It’s all about relationships.”

Well, as you will have no doubt noticed by this point, this is as good a time as any to prove that that point.

It’s certainly worth noting that all five of our top stories (see below) during the past week involved partnerships of one sort or another. In some, it is clear who will be wearing the proverbial trousers.

It was in fact a bumper week on the web, led by CCV’s acquisition of part of Lockton, which has already secured fourth place spot on the 2008 insurancetimes.co.uk hit list. Though it was far less surprising, many of you were nonetheless intrigued by the latest instalment in the Towergate/Open GI saga.

But back to the matter in hand. With there being such a huge turnover of staff among and between insurers and brokers, it is inevitable that old friends should end up rekindling old professional flames. So I’ve dipped into the online archive and dug out four of the most popular and high profile insurance reunions in recent history.

Nick Crocker and Towergate
The former managing director of Towergate, and right hand man of Peter Cullum, Crocker left the company in 2003 and subsequently joined Keelan Westall, which was bought by Erinaceous in September 2006. In the Autumn, he came full circle when he was appointed chief executive of Towergate’s new Network Division.

Mike Quinton and Annette Court
After being parted for almost two years, Quinton rejoined his former boss on 1 January when he was appointed managing director of retail and partnerships at Zurich. Court became Zurich’s chief executive of European General Insurance after leaving the top job at RBSI in November 2006.

Laurent Matras and François Xavier-Boisseau
Matras and “FXB” formed a formidable partnership at AXA five years ago, before the latter jumped ship to French rival, Groupama. Matras’ appointment as managing director to sees them reunited.

Daniel Glaser and Marsh
The former AIG UK boss’s love affair with the broker began 25 years ago when Marsh offered him his first job in the insurance sector. Following the axing of global chief Brian Storms in September, Glaser was asked to finish what he started; in November he proved that he could not resist the broker’s advances.

Top Five News Stories This Week

Cullum venture swoops for Lockton retail divisions

Moorhouse and Cobra in £40m tie up

Royal & Sun Alliance buys motor trade broker

Towergate becomes strategic partner for countrywide

Brokerbility adds five members

My Favourites – Peter Longstaff

Very important to keep my diary updated with fixtures so that I can maximise the number of games when in UK (and to read about Ronaldo)

For everything you need to know … and things you didn’t know you needed to know!

My daughter is an out of work actress and I am trying to find her a job!

I like to be able to get a daily news update anywhere in the world (including live Today programme)

To find out why my flight to Gibraltar is late!

Peter Longstaff is chief underwriting officer at Zenith

Going Places

Priest & Co

Priest & Co has appointed Jonathan Monk to its construction risk team.

Monk will concentrate on non marine risks relating to the construction industry.


Weightmans has appointed long standing DLA Piper partner Mark Leach.

He joins the firm’s existing employment team and will be responsible for growing Manchester’s existing employment department.

Blyth Valley

Blyth Valley has made three appointments to its Ipswich-based team.

Cheri Clough joins the company as an account handler, assisting Blyth Valley’s business clients over the phone and online. She joins from Norwich Union.


Bennetts has appointed Caroline Robertson as senior marketing manager.

She was previously commercial manager for SodaStream.


Liberty International Underwriters has appointed John McCammon to manage its European claims operations.

As head of claims, McCammon will be responsible for claims across all product lines.

He joins Liberty from Sagicor where he was also head of claims.


Carvill has announced that Steve Smith has been promoted to president of property solutions for ReAdvisory, Carvill’s analytical arm.

Smith will lead a team whose primary focus will be Carvill’s Hurricane Index.