Aon generated hot debate at this year's Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo by releasing a report arguing that changes occurring in the reinsurance market are structural rather than cyclical.

Deputy chairman of its UK reinsurance group, Charlie Cantlay, launched the report on Monday.

He said: "The reinsurance market is alive and kicking. It has responded to a challenge that is as severe as anyone could possibly have imagined."

He also said rates had risen by 40% this year but would fall back by 15%-20% next year.

Cantlay said that reinsurers would bear about two-thirds of the WTC losses and, instead of undermining the industry, reinsurance has emerged resilient.

Converium Group chief executive Dirk Lohmann set the tone of the conference at a briefing on Monday by PricewaterhouseCoopers by advocating a "back to basics" approach.

He called for a renewed focus on traditional reinsurance and insurance profitability, a sentiment which has been echoed throughout the industry.

Swiss Re chief executive Walter Kielholz said: "Since 11 September risk appetites in the world has drastically reduced."

He said the industry must address this and other challenges by taking underwriting back to basics and improving risk and claims management.

Moody's senior analyst Dominic Simpson said: "I think the big issue is that recent results from many companies have been disappointing, due to the investment market and the legacy of the past.

"Another issue is rates and what will happen at the next set of renewals. To what extent will bad news keep pressure on rates to keep them high."

Standard & Poor's director Rob Jones said people were talking about "price accuracy, capital efficiency and shareholders getting adequate returns on their investments".

Aon deputy chairman Max Taylor said an issue was that the new god was underwriting profits and people were steering clear of areas they did not understand.

"Where is the capacity and expertise going to come from to support the more complex risks," he said.

Other big issues he identified were new capital versus traditional capital, the asset side of the balance sheet coming under scrutiny, and the amount of data now required by clients.

Ri3k chief executive Alex Letts said: "Everyone is talking about how to reduce incredibly high information technology costs, as well as increasing the movement and visibility of data."

Delegates at Rendez-Vous events reported a "business as usual" approach to the anniversary of the WTC events.