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After months of waiting, it appears that Benfield is ready to launch its flotation.

The listing is likely to be London's biggest float this year, after estimates valued the company at between £650m and £900m.

It was due to get moving this week, with listing documents beginning to drop on to desks.

Deutsche Bank, Fox-Pitt Kelton, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch are all believed to be involved in the task of drumming up demand for the shares.

If all goes according to plan the float will bring a massive windfall for Benfield's staff, who own about 75% of the company.

Top of the beneficiaries will be chief executive Grahame Chilton, whose 12% stake could make him a cool £100m.

The world's third biggest reinsurance broker, Benfield rejected the option of following broker Willis to a New York listing and made it clear it preferred London.

The acquisition of US-based broker EW Blanch helped push revenues up by 31.5% to £284.5m for last year, but Benfield is thought to want to raise £100m to repay debts incurred in the purchase.