Our Insider muses on the inevitability of being let down by modern technology
As the founder of the web-only insurer Swiftcover, you’d expect AXA personal lines boss Steve Hardy to be up there on his technology. On a recent trip to Bordeaux, he tried to use one of his mobile devices to get through control at the airport. Unfortunately, the recently installed French technology meant for tablets and mobiles wasn’t working, disappointing gadget-man Hardy. C’est la vie.
Catlin group chief executive Stephen Catlin must be chuffed. After winning Ernst & Young’s UK Entrepreneur of the Year award last year, Catlin is now up for the World Entrepreneur of the Year gong. With the deadline coming up in June, there’s still everything to play for.
You’re my best pal
Who says rival brokers can’t be friends? After spending a week together at AXA’s Bordeaux wine chateau, the 20-plus group of brokers became so chummy they set up a blog so they could keep in touch once the trip was finished. How sweet.
Miami time warp
I am not a big fan of the 1980s as you might guess. George Michael instead of Beethoven, fluorescent clothing instead of a sensible tweed - ugh. So imagine my dismay when, on a recent visit to Miami, I discovered there is a group of reinsurers who have taken loving the ’80s to an extreme level. If you want authentic ’80s décor, go and visit Andy Downey in the Miami Validus Re office. Want to hear some ’80s beats? Visit Tony Phillips at Willis. Either way, don’t wake me up before you go-go.
Sparing our blushes
Last week TV viewers found another reason to get hot under the collar after 37 viewers complained that Confused’s latest ad was “overly sexual”. Fortunately for the aggregator, the Advertising Standards Authority decided the ads were fine.
At least it looks like the shocking weather might be over for a while, but spare a thought for Motor Insurers’ Bureau chief executive Ashton West, who endured the rain and wind last weekend to run part of a relay marathon alongside other members of the MIB in Milton Keynes. “Someone said there was a drought on,” Ashton quipped afterwards.
Good to see the insurance industry as well represented as ever in the Sunday Times Rich List. However, my sources tell me that the folks over at Wapping might not have the full story. Apparently, they left out Peter Cullum’s whopping stake in Open GI, which would more than double his total – depending of course on how the company’s debts unravel at the eventual exit. A couple of other Towergate directors, including Andy Homer, own stakes in both Towergate and Open GI, worth a reckoned £87.5m. Why so shy, boys?