Christopher Donahue, chief executive officer of Federated Investors Inc., is sticking up for the family business when he defends money-market funds.

Donahue, whose family-controlled firm has three-fourths of its assets in the cash-like products, is the most outspoken opponent of an effort to impose new regulations on the $2.6 trillion industry. Donahue, who refers to the funds as “the eighth wonder of the world,” called one of the proposals “totally brain dead” in an interview.

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