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Thursday, May 23, 2002

ICI Meets Today

by: Tony Pennino

The Investment Company Institute's (ICI) Conference is underway in Washington, DC this week. 215 fund companies are represented. There are approximately 1,300 attendees, down from 1,600 last year. The uncertain economic times are still making their effects felt on the mutual fund industry.

Follow this link for ICI President Matthew Fink's opening remarks for the conference. His major theme concerned integrity in the industry even during difficult times. "There is only one way to ensure the continued integrity of our industry—that is to judge every action we take by one criterion and one criterion alone—whether it is in the best interests of fund shareholders," he stated.

Terry Glenn, chairman of the ICI, also spoke. Follow this link for his speech. He offered some words of hope and encouragement for attendees, "Despite the market’s downturn, American households have increased their reliance on mutual funds as a way of investing in stocks and bonds. At the same time, households are decreasing their direct holdings of stocks and bonds held outside of mutual funds. This shift to mutual funds occurs despite the expansion in recent years in alternatives to traditional mutual funds, such as exchange-traded funds and separately managed accounts. These products so far appear to have had very modest effects on the demand for mutual funds." 

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