As U.S. warplanes roared off aircraft carriers in the Arabian Sea on Oct. 7, the fund industry waded yet deeper into an unprecedented economic territory.

Fund companies, with many of their brightest quartered in New York City's financial district, had already seemed particularly hard-hit by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. In the month since, a process of rebuilding businesses as well as working to retain assets and calm nervous investors has become the norm.

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