Our inside man is happy as ever to take the big issues seriously. No, seriously. Okay, maybe not

Shutting up shop

I’ll end up looking like a real turkey if the people in question are busy crafting a press release detailing their world domination before you read this, but hey I’ll take the risk. Whatever happened to the forum of 12 wise men charged with lobbying on behalf of the reinsurance massive at last year’s Monte Carlo? Can you remember it? It was a flashy affair, launched at Hôtel Hermitage by SCOR boss Denis Kessler and billed as a “talking shop to lobby decision-makers on matters impacting the reinsurance industry”. Yawn. But I heard a whisper on the grapevine that a few of the folk in the group have been split on some of the really tedious tax issues hitting the USA. Either way, nearly six months on,

I haven’t heard a lot of talking being done yet in this new all-important shop, have you?

What’s in a name?

It’s that time again to focus on the big issues in the market. You may know by now that I don’t like to get dragged into this kind of high-level dialogue when it comes to such matters as electronic trading and Lloyd’s reform – and you know as well as I do how sensitive they can get. But anyway, I couldn’t resist this one: exactly what is it to be called? ‘The Lloyd’s Exchange’ or just ‘The Exchange’? The reason I ask is that I hear there are a few within the tower who have been getting themselves in a bit of a pickle about it. Let’s just hope the new New York Stock Exchange doesn’t get in on the act too over naming rights, otherwise they’ll have to send in someone with local knowledge on both sides of the Atlantic to troubleshoot this very important issue … and very, very fast indeed. Tom ‘Usain’ Bolt anyone?

‘No comment’ O’Kane

I see my old mucker Chris O’Kane is interviewed in Global Reinsurance this month, at a time of quite a bit of change at Aspen. But what about that Ariel deal? Well, he simply wouldn’t talk about it. Could it have been a price issue? A strategy fit? Or was Ariel being a little more bullish in all this than everybody first anticipated?

Get the party restarted

I hear Travelers had to postpone their 50th anniversary party for their iconic red umbrella branding at the end of last month, because some of their US counterparts had problems with travel arrangements. I’m so relieved. The party just wouldn’t have been the same without those crazy guys there …

Fact of the month

Aon got fined for bribery and we all know that the international scene can be a bugger for paying your way through to the right people or, in my case, out of trouble. But here’s a Monty fact for you. There is more litigation against brokers in the reinsurance space than there is in the primary space, despite it being outnumbered 4,000 to three. Why, you ask? Because it’s more interesting, that’s why. And if you don’t believe me, I know a man who knows a man who will be able to explain it to you for the right price, if you catch my drift …

Fainting ignorance

So there I was again, airport lounge, champagne flute in one hand, stroking my furrowed brow with the other, while my client waxes lyrical about the ins and outs of the market. Suddenly, he turns to me and says: “So Monty, if reinsurers are posting bumper profits and the cat bond market is fluxing slightly more tangentially than the over-the-top linked securities in the captive space – just who will be the winners and losers when push comes to shove, old boy?” I didn’t reply, just feigned unconsciousness. Luckily, he just assumed I couldn’t handle my bubbly. GR