"Everyone's a winner". It's the kind of consolatory phrase reserved for those who valiantly limp across the finishing line in last place.

But there was no suggestion of sympathy as the remark was bandied around Lloyd's last week after Berkshire Hathaway answered everyone's prayers and bought Equitas.

Try as they might, even the worst cynic would struggle to find any negative connotation attached to this "wonderful news", because quite frankly, it is in every sense of the word, "wonderful news".

Estates can finally be closed and Names and their families can sleep soundly at night safe in the knowledge that in years to come they won't be hit by claims from bygone policies.

Apart from dramatically improving the financial position of Equitas, Berkshire too seems likely to improve its balance sheet with the amount sitting in Equitas' reserves likely to outweigh those expected claims.

But as one senior industry figure points out the most important thing was: "Berkshire was offering more than any payment could bring for that asset. It was offering what people desperately wanted and that was finality."

The true impact of the deal is not likely to be known for quite some time, but one thing is certain, Lloyd's as a corporation and Lloyd's as a market is also a 'winner' in the whole equation.

The well securitised market, with an already healthy rating that may well improve to an A+, is suddenly all the talk among potential investors.

The baggage of the past has been tidied up by the £3.8bn deal and now every Lloyd's company is complicated claim-free with a history dating back only to 1993.

It's true to say that it's not just a healthy future that, no doubt, encouraged Lloyd's to place £90m at Berkshire's door, but saved blushes of having to "stave off reputational damage" had Equitas failed.

As one Lloyd's source puts it: "Although there was no legal obligation on the part of Lloyd's to pay for Equitas, what could have happened had Equitas gone bust is that the US regulators could have said, 'to hell with that, if you want to trade in this country then dip into your pockets'.

"Lloyd's may then have come to the market and said if you want to carry on trading in the US you have to pay into a levy and pay that over to them."S&P credit analyst Marcus Rivaldi says: "Without the drag of Equitas and the prospect of much improved business administrative processes, Lloyd's existing competitive strengths would come into starker relief."

In essence, Lloyd's will be able to step out from Equitas' shadow, and this should in turn have a positive impact on the long term operating performance of Lloyd's

So, everybody really is a winner. IT