Considering last year's string of brutal natural catastrophes, few market watchers would have been surprised if the London market had shrunk a little by the end of the year.
But how many would have predicted that the reason for it shrinking would be M&A at handsome multiples to book value, leaving (once Hardy and Omega complete) just five publicly quoted Lloyd's (re)insurers?
Could this soon be the end of the public small cap Lloyd's (re)insurer?
Can the London market keep its entrepreneurial spirit and lust for innovation as corporations in the sector become larger and larger?
Thinking strategically, should London try to accommodate the world, or should it focus on its core value-added specialities?
Was it right for Lloyd's to go into Singapore? Or should Lloyd's and the London market be concentrating on getting the world to come to London, with the likes of China Re et al?
As a select band of London market (re)insurance leaders gathered once more in the iconic setting of the "Gherkin" building in the City of London this summer, all of the above questions and more were placed before them.
One thing remained clear, however - as a specialist market London still has few equals.
click here to download the 2012 London Market Roundtable.