Major shareholders in Prudential are warming to the British insurer's $35.5 billion bid for AIG's Asian business following meetings with chief executive Tidjane Thiam, investors sources said.

Thiam, who has been meeting UK investors this week to explain the merits of the blockbuster deal, appears to be winning over previously skeptical investors.

We asked him to justify the deal to us and he made a pretty good fist of it, said one head of equities who met with Thiam.

Coming out of it, we were a little more positive than we thought we would be. It is a bit of an opportunity for Pru; a real catch and it will make them very strong indeed. All in all, there is an argument for (the deal).

Another large investor who also met Thiam added: The key message was that AIA will make a lot more money under Prudential's ownership.