Blog: Taking the Michael

Esure's Michael Winner in conversation

After Aviva’s email mix-up, Post looks at five insurance Michaels who might have been none the wiser.

Aviva found itself splashed across the national news today, after admitting to a bungle that saw it call ‘several thousand’ customers Michael in emails.

Fortunately the insurer has said that no personal data was shared, but it must have left consumers feeling a little confused and perhaps somewhat undervalued.

Unless, of course, they were called Michael.

A 2019 analysis by the Mail on Sunday found that there were more men named Michael (including variants Mike and Micky) chairing FTSE 100 firms than women.

However, popularity of the name has waned in recent years; 869 babies were called Michael in the UK 2018, according to Office for National Statistics figures.

It used to feature in the top 10 from the 1930s to the 1980s, the BBC reported.

Insurance has its own slew of Michaels who might have been more surprised to receive Aviva’s paperwork than by the name on the email.

They include:

Michael Lawrence

Michael Lawrence, LV

Despite his geography teacher’s assertions he would make a “great second-hand car salesman,” boyhood cacti collector and LV general insurance’s personal lines director, Michael Lawrence has been in the job since 2010.




Michael Sicsic

Michael Sicsic, Spixii

Former Financial Conduct Authority head of retail general insurance and a former Aviva Michael (he was operational risk director at the insurer until 2015), these days Michael Sicsic is working with insurtech Spixii in an advisory role.




Michael Gaughan

Michael Gaughan, NED

Michael Gaughan, the author of Post’s very own NED blog, has held a number of insurance roles including as senior commercial underwriter at RSA. A serial NED, he’s currently an advisory board member at Insurercore.






Michael Rea, Gallagher

Gallagher UK retail boss Michael Rea, a self-confessed fan of club cricket and reading “trashy novels”, joined the broker in 2015 from Towergate, having previously worked at Cullum Capital Ventures and NIG.





Esure's Michael Winner in conversation

Michael Winner, Esure

And who could forget Esure television star Michael Winner? Describing how Winner’s infamous commercial came about, Peter Graham recently told Post’s Jonathan Swift: “Winner, in his own inimitable style, told us our adverts were rubbish, and asked to write a script. So Peter told me ‘Winner is going to fax you a script and I want you to read it when you get it and tell me what you think’. “And verbatim the first ‘calm down dear’ [Esure] advert script came through and I said ‘Peter, it is shocking, but it is so bad it will cut through and it will be remembered and recognised so we should do it’. The rest of the senior team were against it, but we did it and, of course, it was the thing that got us going’.”

Are we missing a Mick? Let us know @insurance_post

  • LinkedIn  
  • Save this article
  • Print this page  

Only users who have a paid subscription or are part of a corporate subscription are able to print or copy content.

To access these options, along with all other subscription benefits, please contact [email protected] or view our subscription options here:

You are currently unable to copy this content. Please contact [email protected] to find out more.

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have an Insurance Post account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an individual account here: