July 22, 2010

“Euan has a stellar track record in leading thriving teams,” said Aon Specialty CEO Robin Hood recently of the leading risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage and human capital consulting services provider’s aristocratically-connected new Head of Upstream & Offshore Construction, Euan Nicolson.

In this case, to be specific, Euan was leading a thriving team out of Marsh and into Aon, via an extended horticultural sabbatical.

But according to his former employees – rather than gardening – young Euan was busy helping Aon net erstwhile Marsh clients Italian energy firm Saipem. That and – more recently – hurling computer hardware into nearby ponds and waterways, leaving egg-faced Aon cast adrift on the stormy waters of adverse publicity.

Fresh from the disappointment of sponsoring a shirt Man U fans refuse to wear in defiance of the Glaziers, Aon have now seen the man who forsook the marshes for deeper waters roundly rebuked in the High Court for destroying evidence of his misspent leave. Accused of contempt of court and making false statements, Euan could yet end up behind bars.

In apparent defiance of a court ruling won by Marsh ordering him not to “destroy, tamper with, cancel or part with possession, power, custody or control” of any computers or data storage devices that might contain material evidence, Euan betook himself early one morn to a mist-enshrouded lake and did a Bedivere on his laptop, before allegedly dispatching three or four USB memory devices to a nearby riverbed.

But forensic frogmen have since retrieved the laptop, 59% of whose data is still readable – yielding potentially interesting reading on Euan’s contacts with fellow ex-Marsh gardeners and with Aon’s Saipem tender team.

Magne Seljeflot, Chairman of Aon’s Energy Team – whose name, fact fans, is Old Norse for large salty floating thing – says “Bringing Euan in to our energy team underlines Aon’s commitment to building first-class teams that lead the industry.” Such was Aon’s excitement at landing such a catch, it seems, they may have reeled him in a little hastily.

Aon, incidentally, is Gaelic for one or oneness. Euan is Gaelic for born yesterday – out of a cleft in a yew tree.


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