As well as the usual round of meetings with clients and insurers, Aon deputy chairman Max Taylor said Rendez-Vous was still a good place to find out what is going on in the marketplace and pick up new business.

High on the agenda for the broker was to present a cohesive image and convey the message of Aon's analysis he said, referring to the report released at the conference - Reinsurance: a retreating or resurgent market.

The report argues that recent changes such as Zurich Financial Services spinning off Zurich Re as Converium, Generali pulling out of non-life commercial treaty reinsurance and St Paul intending to spin off its reinsurance operations as Platinum, are symptomatic of a structural chance to the industry, rather than the usual cyclical process.

The report also depicts reinsurance as a resilient industry that has bounced back from 11 September and shown its strength.

Taylor stressed that the document was not static, but was a working document that would be continually added to.

"The most important message from us is that we think we have a very good understanding of what is going on in the marketplace and can advise clients," he said.

As for big issues at the conference, Taylor said: "Now that capacity is rationed, the new god is underwriting profit and people are steering clear of areas they do not understand."

This presents difficulties: "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.