Although the mutual fund industry has grown phenomenally in recent years and now holds more than $8 trillion in securities, it still operates in a highly competitive market. Mutual funds today face strong competition from defined contribution plans and particularly from 401(k) investments. Administrators of 401(k) and other pension plans, aware of their fiduciary responsibilities, may be seeking out the most inexpensive management—especially for index fund investments that track the market indexes, and others that do not require active management. In this environment, bank trust and collective investment funds have grown faster than mutual funds and become major providers of investment services to defined contribution and 401(k) plans. This conference will examine the reasons for this growth and its implications for the regulation of mutual funds.
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