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Welcome to the final Insurance Agenda of 2009. I expect most of us will be glad to see the back of a year that has seen economic misery across the globe, a massive slowdown in mergers and acquisitions, a dearth of debt funding and of course that lingering soft market.

The good news is things are looking up in 2010. Insurance – and particularly reinsurance – has remained comparatively insulated from the banking meltdown, and is set to reap the rewards of its more cautionary approach to risk. From reinsurers such as PartnerRe, which recently acquired Paris Re, right down to the UK regional brokers, all sectors of the market are getting ready for action next year.

But 2010 will be about more than deals. The impact of the credit crunch will continue to be felt as politicians radically alter the regulatory landscape. The insurance sector will have to lobby the government hard as it gets ready to implement the long-awaited Solvency II, to make sure that insurers are not treated as harshly as the banks. The industry will also continue to push back on encroaching taxes and the crackdown on tax havens.

All this and more will be making headlines next year. Until then, have a great Christmas.

ellen.bennett@instimes.co.uk