Ever wondered how actuaries let their hair down?

The latest edition of The Actuary magazine offers the following insight.

Editor Timothy Braham replies to a common dilemma, namely: “I like to chat about my work when I get home at night. Is this OK?”

Mr Braham answers that chatting about work when you get home is fine, provided your partner is an actuary. Otherwise, he warns, your marriage may be in jeopardy.

“But do make sure you restrict it to chatting. If you find yourself delivering PowerPoint presentations, you know you have gone too far.”

Groovy, man

To Hedgestock 2006, a conference for hedge funds, held at the rock festival venue, Knebworth, where a Sixties theme was due to be enhanced by a performance from The Who.

According to Mudlark’s spy, (a full report is at www.ft.com/hedgestock), participants hadn’t quite got into the spirit by wearing BlackBerrys alongside their love beads.

But we like the mordant humour on display.

After a discussion on Hedgestock Radio, the on-site broadcaster, about the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management, the next track chosen was Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale.

Steerage class

Mudlark’s knowledge of the Classics starts with The Derby and ends with the St Leger.

So we were grateful to be told that Aurigo, the name of the fund launched by Archie Norman for buying and reviving businesses, can mean “I steer the chariot” in Latin.

Investors in Chariot, the ailing lottery group, must hope that Norman, a former boss at Asda and Energis, might be attracted to their company by more than a similarity of name.

But like most people and Chariot, we wouldn’t want to take a punt on it.

Brought to book

Bloomsbury is to publish the official history of MI6, the secret intelligence service. Reports that buyers will have to exchange unmarked suitcases with a man in a trench coat by the clock tower at midnight are untrue. Sadly.

Assuring words

The sale, announced on Wednesday, of Abbey’s life assurance business to Resolution Life, the specialist investor in closed life funds, prompts the question of what next for Hugh Osmond, the entrepreneur frozen out of the Abbey auction.

Advisers to Mr Osmond, however, on Wednesday described him as “totally relaxed” and “philosophical” about being pipped to the Abbey business, one of the larger closed life businesses expected to be sold.

Sickly sensations

“Innovations” from Cadbury Schweppes in the US include Dr Pepper Berries and Cream and the oxymoronic-sounding 7 UP Natural.

Water everywhere

Northumbrian Water owns businesses in the rain-rich north-east and in the parched south-east.

“We are positively schizophrenic,” admits John Cuthbert, the group’s chief executive.

Luckily, full reservoirs and a good leakage record mean the group isn’t testing customers’ mental health with hosepipe bans.

Shuttle diplomacy

The International Badminton Federation’s Cheltenham office is being sold.


No one can accuse agents Simon Pontifex & Associates of underselling as it describes the building as “a real rarity” with “unique qualities” and “a prize property just waiting to be snatched”.

Readers can judge from the picture (right).

Get alerts on Columnists when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Comments have not been enabled for this article.

Follow the topics in this article