MIAMI - Globalization is the most critical issue facing the mutual fund industry, according to industry executives gathered here last week. Globalization presents both enormous opportunities and challenges for the U.S. mutual fund industry, according to executives who spoke at the National Investment Company Service Association's operations conference.
"Expanded products and services in the global market is an enormous opportunity and the U.S. mutual fund industry is best equipped to satisfy the needs outside of the U.S.," said Jay Hooley, executive vice president of collective funds services at State Street Corporation of Boston. "Statistically, if you look four years ago at the worldwide mutual fund market and track the U.S. against that, you'd see that in excess of 80 percent of worldwide assets were in the U.S. That number is down to 60 [percent]. And I think that if you look at growth rates... growth outside the U.S., clearly, is exceeding that within the U.S. So the punch line is - the U.S. mutual fund industry has demonstrated a nimbleness and an ability to reinvent itself and be creative in the market. And I think it has the flexible infrastructure in order to continue to do what it's always done, at an accelerated rate, in other markets."