Swinton's swoop for Colonnade earlier this year came as a bit of a shock to many in the industry - not least its personal lines rivals.

It seems that both the AA and Hill House Hammond took meals with Colonnade and its owner Friends Provident. Both politely made inquires about the broker, only to discover the Swinton deal a few days later. Given the level of interest, I wonder whether Friends Provident could have achieved a better price?