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Archive Stories
Archived stories from Dec 2019

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Insurers no longer poor relation of bankers

By our City correspondent Chas Sillomin

Insurers have reported a silver lining to the current financial markets meltdown that has accounted for several of the world's largest investment banks - it has allowed them a unique opportunity to feel self-satisfied at the expense of bankers.

Bankers are having to face
increasingly smug insurers

The insurance industry has for decades laboured under the image of being dull and unexciting compared to the world of banking. While acknowledging their continued dullness, the turbulence on worldwide financial markets has allowed insurers to make the point to apathetic wives and uninterested diners at neighbouring tables in restaurants that the fate of thousand of bankers has shown that being in interesting professions can get you into trouble.

"This whole financial crisis thingy has given me a wonderful opportunity to ?top it the knob' at dinner parties," chortled London insurance underwriter Piers Moreton-in-the-Marsh.

"For years I've been made to look small by investment bankers and fund managers with names like Armand and Troy, who look like male models and who have more degrees than my entire year at St Pyewackers College," said Moreton-in-the-Marsh. "In the past when they started talking about SIVs and CDS squareds over the desert wine my eyes used to glaze over. They would look at me pityingly. But now they looked terribly hipped when I pipe up over the fondue ?So who's getting a bonus this year? Just me is it?'"

Insurance firms are hoping for a flood of applications from young graduates who in the past would have had much better opportunities to pursue in corporate finance

"For years we've had to watch the investment banks attract the intellectual cream from the world's top universities, while our graduate trainee scheme applicants consisted almost exclusively of those with pass degrees from universities I've never even heard of," said Mona Lott director of Human Resources at Mocha Re.

Lott said she was now so confident that some clever people would apply for jobs at her firm that she was going to scrap Mocha Re's "become an actuary, win a DS" scheme that had attracted bored graduates to the company's stand at the annual milk round in previous years.

City of London police sources have reported a number of incidents in EC3 bars involving gangs of insurers chanting: "You're not trading anymore!" while brandishing their platinum Amex cards at isolated investment bankers.

There is also a human cost to the financial crisis. Divorce lawyers have reported a sharp increase in the number of marital break-ups involving bankers. "When Tatiana, my 25 year-old Russian wife, told me she was leaving me, I was devastated," said 62 year-old hedge fund guru Howard Brendel. "I could handle it when she told me she had never loved me. I didn't mind when she said she wanted to keep the breast implants, the collagen lip injections, our house on Key West and ski chalet in Aspen. But what broke me was when she told me she was leaving me? for a reinsurance broker," said Brendel, dissolving into uncontrollable sobs.

Other news from Dec 2019
Travelating the Wave of Insurability
the serious stuff
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