There’s plenty of choice, from McManus to Hodges to Ross – and let’s not forget the big question of what will happen to RBSI

It’s great to see Brendan McManus make such a quick return to the market – though the appointment to Giles has raised a few eyebrows. There was a rumour he could be in line for a job at Marsh, and questions have been asked about how responsibilities will be carved up between him and Chris Giles, who has taken on an executive chairman role. No doubt, McManus’s arrival in post and subsequent actions will be one of the biggest stories of 2012. Here are some of the others:

1. While McManus is shaping up Giles, Mark Hodges will be getting busy at Towergate. Who will win in the battle of the consolidators - and when will Oval resolve its future direction?

2. David Ross at Gallagher will be preparing for another busy year - so be nice to your staff at the Christmas party, people, because the team raids that have characterised the market this year are unlikely to stop soon.

3. While brokers are jostling for position, insurers will be mainly concerned with the fallout from the eurozone crisis. With a Groupama sale already mooted, other highly exposed European insurers could be forced to consider a UK divestment if the situation continues to deteriorate.

4. Government scrutiny of the motor market will continue - but is likely to be nothing compared to the public pressure that insurers will face over flood cover when the statement of principles expires next year.

5. And it’s float or sell time for RBSI.

♦ 2011 ended in style with the Insurance Times Awards - our biggest and best party yet. See pages 19-82 for full coverage of the event, and go to for video interviews with our winners. Congratulations to all winners and finalists, and a huge thanks to our judges, sponsors, and everyone who participated.

We’ll be back in print on 12 January, and still bringing you all the industry’s news, with cutting-edge opinion and analysis, online throughout the festive period.