MIAMI - While employers at home are increasingly abandoning defined benefit plans in favor of defined contribution programs, other countries are following suit, said Jay Hooley, executive vice president of State Street Corp. of Boston.

What Hooley termed "the pension crisis," is spreading faster than the avian flu, creating a "global mega-trend" that brings with it major opportunities for fund companies, he told attendees of The National Investment Company Service Association annual meeting here last week.

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