The Business On: Bronek Masojada, Chief executive, Hiscox
The Ernie Wise to Lord Hiscox's Eric Morecambe?
Quite. Lord Hiscox is the chairman (the company is named after his family) and is entertainingly old school: charming, politically incorrect and inclined to say what he thinks. The South African Mr Masojada is very much the straight man, rather formal, measured, comfortable with business speak.
And he's been known to blanche when Lord Hiscox really gets going (by which time his PR people are usually having heart palpitations).
Not that surprising given his background, though?
No, Mr Masojada's yet another McKinseyite (take a board, any board, and you'll probably find at least one) who has been at Hiscox since 1993. So he's used to his boss's eccentricities and is used to the insurance market's eccentricities.
What's he saying today?
That Hiscox isn't making as much money as it would like because of those eccentricities. The company saw sales, in the form of gross written premiums, slipping 3 per cent to £1.17bn during the first nine months of the year. In August, the interim pre-tax loss of £85.6m was worse than expected thanks to the Japanese earthquake and other catastrophes.
Ouch! Will things improve?
Trouble is, lots of investors see insurance as a good bet given the economic circumstances, and that's stopped premiums from rising. While Mr Masojada isn't the type to gush with optimism, though, he says rates are starting to edge up and Hiscox ought to benefit in January.
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Alton Towers closed after horror crash on The Smiler raises safety questions for theme park
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...