Speculation of a sale had of course been raging for months beforehand.
The question of why the process has taken quite so long - and indeed the announcement was of four weeks of exclusive talks rather than a deal - is just one that is still to be answered.
However the overwhelming reaction from brokers has been one of relief.
The French-owned insurer has been in limbo for too many months and while brokers were initially supportive there is no doubt that the pressure was, and still is, on the pro
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