Lord Sheikh, best known as the boss of Camberford Law but now to be found on the Conservative benches in the House of Lords, is beginning to find his feet in his new surroundings.
He has been chipping in quite frequently since Parliament returned, making a plea for more cleaning shifts in government buildings during normal office hours (citing his experience as a broker to several cleaning businesses) and making a forceful case for the insurance industry during a debate on economic competiveness last Thursday.
He focussed on the barriers placed in the way of UK insurers wanting to expand overseas, citing restrictive ownership rules in India, the lack of transparency on the part of Chinese regulators and the continuing problems with reinsurance collateral in the United States. This latter issue has been taken up on several occasions by the All Party Parliamentary Group, both with the Treasury and US regulators.
He seems to have caught the minister, Lord Davies of Oldham, on the hop as he was obviously well briefed to reply on every point raised in the debate except those on the insurance industry: the minister promised to write to Lord Sheikh with answers on his concerns.
It is refreshing to see that someone who has such deep roots in the insurance market wants to develop those in the political arena. It doesn't always happen. Take Sandy Leitch, former boss of Zurich in the UK. He became a Tory peer in 2004 but has hardly uttered a word on the insurance industry since.
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