In his year-end letter to member firms, Matthew P. Fink, the president of the Investment Company Institute called for severe sanctions against those who willfully acted against the interests of shareholders, but warned against misguided fixes to the industry that may end up increasing costs and diminishing returns.

"The law enforcement message must be loud, tough, clear and measurable. Fund shareholders who were harmed must be made right," Fink wrote in his letter. "Strong and effective regulatory reforms must be put in place to ensure that these and similar abuses never happen again."

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