English Wine Tasting Evening - 1 May 2019

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

AirSP members and their guests enjoyed a pleasant and informative evening exploring the qualities and diversity of English wines.

The Group was addressed by Julia Trustram Eve of Wines of Great Britain Ltd. Julia is an eloquent and knowledgeable spokesperson for English wines, a cause to which she has devoted many years.

It is certain that the gathering’s awareness of the quality and range of English wine and the wine industry was limited, but Julia soon put an end to that and the group quickly developed a new appreciation of these wines.

Giving an outline of the industry in the UK, Julia explained that there were over 500 commercial vineyards and 164 wineries in operation and annual production in 2018 was some 15.6 million bottles, of which 31% was still wine and 69% was sparkling. The most active region was the South East, where some 76% of the total area in production was situated. A large percentage of all wines produced were white, but red was also being bottled.

It was evident that the quality of English wines has progressively improved since Roman times and that quality was reflected in the ever increasing international awards won by these wines.

The group had the pleasure in tasting wines produced from a range of areas, from Cornwall to East Sussex which included still, sparkling and dessert wines.

A comment from one of the attendees:

“Contrary to the widely held medical view that alcohol destroys brain cells, I left this evening’s event feeling that I knew a little more than when I arrived!

Many thanks to Julia for the most insightful and entertaining “virtual” vineyard tour.”

One last thought—it was explained that the fermentation process involved the production and release of carbon dioxide—let’s hope the environmentalists do not pick upon this, or wine and alcohol will be the next thing they will try to ban!!!

Charles Catt

AirSP raises over £600 for Macmillan

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

I was delighted to attend the AirSP Quiz night on the 28th November and to meet so many lovely people who told me their own cancer experience and how Macmillan had been there to help. We all know that being told ‘you have cancer’ can affect so much more than your health – it can affect your family, your job, even your ability to pay the bills. But life with cancer is still life and Macmillan gets that. And, after over 100 years of helping so many people, we get what’s most important: that we treat everyone as a person, not just a patient.

The fantastic £609.66 that you raised from the quiz night is enough to pay for a Macmillan nurse for 22 hours. So, with your help we are able to do more for people living with cancer, giving each person the support they need to look after all that matters and take care of their health, protect personal relationships and deal with work and money worries. We want to help everyone with cancer find their best way through, from the moment of diagnosis, so they’re able to live life as fully as they can. You have helped us make that happen, so thank you to everyone who organised and took part in the event.

For more information on Macmillan and how you can fundraise or volunteer please call 0300 1000 200 or visit macmillan.org.uk.

Judy Spence

Area Fundraising Manager

AirSP Charity Quiz Night - 28 November 2018

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

AirSP in Wonderland! Our pre-Christmas Quiz in Davy’s Habit wine bar had everyone entertained and puzzled, all at the same time. Generous sponsors made for a great evening’s fun and all in support of Macmillan Cancer. The Mad Catter got the evening off to a brisk start, followed by Quizmaster & Cheshire Cat, Robert Harrison. Heads 'n’ Tails was a huge success, and then came the questions! Jokers flew hither & thither; drinks were had and we had a goodly spread of food.

The winners were - The Unbearable Politeness of Scheming! You know who you are!

A brilliant raffle added some lovely funds to send to a great cause …

(Prizes were sponsored by Byward Kitchen, Davy's, Challenge Group, Robert Harrison, Res Bachofner, Tracy Bailey, Gerard Dupré, David Brackenbury & AirSP)

Presentation by Rocco Pirozzolo - 30 October 18

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

A suitably frightening topic for AirSP’s Halloween seminar - Litigation Funding & After-the-Event Insurance - was given by the doyen of the subject Rocco Pirozzolo. As we approach nearly 20 years since the extinction of "Champerty" and the cork exploding from the Pandora's Box of assisting funding, Rocco brought us all up-to-date on the increasingly mature market of how litigation is being commoditised for the 21st century.

It truly is a new world of opportunities to invest in and develop. So, if you're a likely or unlikely litigant, a part BTE insured, a broker with a disgruntled insured, an insurer or reinsurer, corporate adviser, investigator, insolvency practitioner, non-exec, director, government official - or basically anyone - look sideways these days; litigation through third party assistance might be for you.

Contact your closest AirSP buddy to find out more.

Robert Harrison

Monte Carlo Annual Dinner - Monday 10 September 18

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

Once again, the Association threw it’s weight behind the Spirit of the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous with a splendid dinner at our traditional venue, the Quai Des Artistes on the Marina waterfront. Members and guests were able to take a break from their busy day schedule with a truly relaxing atmosphere in which to convert “business" into “friendship”. We really are very lucky to have secured this wonderful spot and our “regulars” status is always rewarded by the best seats in the house, the best food and the best wine all at preferential rates. It all goes to prove once again that being part of AIRSP gets results way beyond the average.

Chocolate Tasting Evening - Thursday 10 May

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

In the midst of an area famed for its Indian and international restaurants, a unique chocolatier has emerged. Dark Sugars brings the culture of West African cocoa production to Brick Lane. It was the destination for AirSP members and guests on 10 May. Run by Nyanga, the chocolate is made on the premises using beans from her family farm in Ghana.

The evening began with a choice from the hot chocolate menu. Shards from the different chocolate slabs, according to your choice, are mixed with milk and melt as you stir your cup. "Sinful thickness" she calls it. Angelina’s of Paris has competition from the Dark arts!

A short and interesting talk by Nyanga was followed by tastings from the range of chocolates that surround you, displayed on an array of interestingly carved wood. The chocolates are made to Dark Sugars’ unique recipes and styles. "The liquor cabinet" range, in which you inject liqueur into the truffles by squeezing its pipette; the "pearl" range with their soft smooth centres; chocolate covered fruits; truffles with spices (cardamom and orange is a real winner); champagne, limoncello, coconut, mango, stem ginger and honey … the list goes on … and on … and all washed down with a glass or two of wine (yes, there is a wine bar too).

All who went agreed that a return visit is essential. Mr Wonka would have been gobsmacked – or should that be gobstopped?

Stephen Carter

Carter Perry Bailey LLP

Celebrating International Women's Day with Dame Inga Beale

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

What glass ceiling?

Ahead of the curve once again, AirSP celebrated International Women’s Day, with a cut glass seminar celebrating the diversity and inclusivity which lies at the heart of The City.

We were delighted to host Dame Inge Beale, the first female head of Lloyd’s of London, who’s message of “be true to yourself” has such relevance today beyond gender or other barriers.

The audience was truly captivated by Inga’s enthusiasm and drive for recognition of excellence wherever it lay - her own career is testimony to perseverance in the face of male dominance. But her overriding observation was that effort, expertise and application will always be recognised.

Robert Harrison

International Women's Day 2018

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

What glass ceiling?

Ahead of the curve once again, AirSP celebrated International Women’s Day, with a cut glass seminar celebrating the diversity and inclusivity which lies at the heart of The City.

We were delighted to host Dame Inga Beale, the first female head of Lloyd’s of London, who’s message of “be true to yourself” has such relevance today beyond gender or other barriers.

The audience was truly captivated by Inga’s enthusiasm and drive for recognition of excellence wherever it lay - her own career is testimony to perseverance in the face of male dominance. But her overriding observation was that effort, expertise and application will always be recognised.

Robert Harrison

GDPR Presentation - 6 February 2018

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

AirSP’s guest speaker on 6th February, Quentin Archer could not have been more relevant nor more informed and fascinating. GDPR was the subject. It is here. It is unavoidable and it is a considerable challenge to all in the insurance and reinsurance world. Yet Quentin introduced the complexities with ease and humour. A solid reflection on a good speaker is the Q&A to follow. There were many questions & all - both on the floor of the seminar & afterwards in the bar of the The Broker's Wine Bar, Leadenhall Market - generated more knowledge & informed comment by all attending.

Another highly entertaining & relevant seminar from AirSP.

Robert Harrison

Presentation by Penny Hudson - 10 January 2018

Written by AirSP Secretary on .

Penny Hudson has spent many years working in Gibraltar obtaining authorisation for, and then running and managing, captives and agencies there. A familiar face at the Rendezvous de Septembre and other (re)insurance conferences, with global links and expertise, she joined Artex 4 years ago, since when she has spent two years working with the Malta office before returning to the UK to put her vast experience to work in compliance.

--

With her specialist background and knowledge of the (re)insurance laws and practice of these different locations, with significant (re)insurance players, likely to be substantially impacted by Brexit, she talked to AirSP about the problems, risk and opportunities as Brexit draws closer. She explained how, so far as possible, the problems can be avoided, the risks managed and the opportunities taken by those seeking to do business in the UK and the EU in the years to come.

--

Since no-one yet knows the parameters of the UK’s future relationship with the EU in (re)insurance, obviously precautions need to be taken. Both regulatory regimes (‘equivalence’ was mentioned in her speech and in much audience participation) and market access need careful assessment, and continuing monitoring as negotiations move forward.

--

With nimble footwork and astute assessment, in which these smaller jurisdictions excel, and with the talent that they have, Penny believes and convinced her audience not only that the UK market should continue to thrive but also that Malta and Gibraltar will be able to accommodate to, and still have a valuable role, in the market in the future. They will continue to provide a launch’ platform for those wishing to insure risks in the EU and the UK.

-

The watchword is: adaptability. We shall all have to adapt to the new regimes and relationships which Brexit will create. Malta and Gibraltar have the skills, and the (re)insurance base to be in the fore-front of the players doing so, and should remain players of whom everyone should take account.