A term coined in Spain, Los Galácticos were the soccer superstars expensively acquired by Real Madrid following a policy at the time to construct a world-class team by bringing together the most talented, prestigious and marketable players on the planet. The glamour of signing Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham and the spectacle they produced together on the field was fantastic, but the club ultimately failed to build long-term sustainable success. Indeed, any whiff of a Galácticos policy these days is much derided; detractors point to the huge amount spent on prima donnas often incapable of fitting into the framework of an established side.

A far cry from all that glitters at the Bernabéu Stadium, but there was a time when the London insurance market was also the home to a number of Galácticos. Much feted by brokers and their clients, a small group of colorful underwriters with flair and an eye for a deal once ruled the roost, especially so in the Lloyd’s arena. Unfortunately only a handful of them survived the huge losses that emerged from the troubled 1980s and '90s with reputations intact. Since then, the reformed industry has cast a wary eye toward those risk takers who dare to be different. Few businesses now appear at ease nurturing individual brilliance in our monochrome world, where conforming to models and rules is paramount.

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