The flotation would have been one of the biggest in London this year but weak demand has forced advisers working on plans to float 26% of the business to postpone the share issue.

Swiss Re, which co-owns the business with Japan’s MS&AD Insurance Group, had set a price range of 280p to 330p, notionally valuing it at £2.8 billion to £3.3 billion. Trading in the shares was meant to begin in London this morning.