Never work with animals…they’ll always come back to bite you


I spent an enjoyable day last week watching the England vs Australia cricket match with my chums from Ai Claims. The Ai team were reminiscing about the glory days of the London Market’s amateur cricket competition, when teams met regularly to enjoy the thwack of leather on willow. It seems David Sandhu, Phil Salmon and Chris Shaw should not be underestimated with a bat and ball. Anyone for cricket?

Take a bow

Congratulations are surely in order for BGL chief executive Peter Winslow, who was presented with his New Year’s Honours CBE from Prince Charles. I understand Peter was understandably over the moon with his new gong.

Old dog

I also had to chuckle at the news that Churchill, whose mascot is a chummy bulldog, had denied pet insurance to a bulldog owner, Apparently cover was turned down because the dog in question was too old.


I had a catch-up with Cobra chief executive Steve Burrows this week and naturally we discussed how his acquisition vehicle, Alto, was set to buy Cobra. Steve told me that ‘alto’ means ‘aiming high’ in Spanish. Read into that what you will.


I was amused when a Brighton broker pal sent me a photo of a defaced GoCompare billboard in his hometown that had been apparently defaced by a vandal to read: “Go… jump off a cliff.” I later discovered that the graffiti was actually an advertising tactic by GoCompare, which has been poking fun at any negative sentiment towards its opera singing mascot with a national campaign of altered billboards. Personally I’d have just got another mascot.

Summertime blues

Those of us fearing that we might not have a proper UK summer should follow Sabre boss Keith Morris’s example. I called Keith this week and was astonished when he picked up the phone despite being on holiday in Majorca. “It’s wonderful, 30 degrees and blue skies. It can’t be bad,” Keith
said modestly.

Pain threshold

Brokers are known to use a range of metrics to measure their performance, from profit margins, turnover per head and the controversial EBITDA. However, the chaps at JLT have a more straightforward, common sense measure - “return on hassle”. I’m not sure how it is calculated, but I would imagine it is a simple profit-to-grief ratio. Rumours JLT wants to get this included in the international financial reporting standards are unconfirmed.