WASHINGTON - Despite the enormous weight of proposed regulations bearing down on the financial services industry, mutual funds are taking the issue in stride, focusing on their core strengths of transparency, diversity, customer service - and solutions.

"History has shown that events of this magnitude have a significant impact on investors, on markets and on policymakers," said Mark Fetting, chairman and CEO of Legg Mason Inc. and chairman of the Investment Company Institute's General Membership Meeting, which attracted more than 1,500 executives here last week.

"Investors increasingly are not just looking for access to asset classes; they want solutions to problems," Fetting said.

Bridget Macaskill, president and CEO of First Eagle Investment Management, echoed those sentiments: "If you ask most individual investors what they want from their portfolios, they think in terms of outcomes. They want capital preservation, and they want their assets to grow."

Macaskill added: "We lost sight of the basics. We didn't really understand what we owned."