The U.S. fund management industry ranked second overall, finishing behind that of Australia, according to Cerulli Associates' CA Lodestar Update, a 400-page report designed to provide an assessment of retail and institutional fund management marketplace in 16 countries around the world.

Australia' s industry, according to the semi-annual Cerulli assessment, has maintained its position at the top due, in part, to its compulsory retirement savings system, coupled with deeply ingrained open architecture and a strong tendency toward platform-based distribution of asset management products.

Rounding out the top five are: Canada, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Cerulli considers Germany Europe's most vibrant retail fund management marketplace. The country has jumped up from ninth place a year ago to sixth place. Cerulli now ranks Germany's $400 billion mutual fund industry the second-most attractive in the world, up from fifth in June 2001.

Cerulli forecasts Australia's retail fund management industry to grow at a compound yearly rate of at least 18% between now and the end of 2006.

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