Float of insurer Partnership sees value above £1.8bn

Traders have been eating up shares in newly listed Partnership Assurance Group, which was valued at £1.8bn at its London market debut. Shares opened trading 17 per cent above the listing price.

Strong demand enabled the specialist life insurer to bring forward its market debut by more than a week to today. The company sells more generous annuities to members of the public with reduced life expectancy, such as smokers or people with heart disease.

Steve Groves, the 38-year-old chief executive of Partnership Assurance, is selling a quarter of his five per cent stake. His management team owns a further 15 per cent. Private equity business Cinven control the remaining 80 per cent.

Cinven bought Partnership in June 2008 for around €200m (£172m).