WASHINGTON -- In a far departure from the self-congratulatory back-slapping that went on at last year's Investment Company Institute General Membership Meeting, the largest mutual fund industry gathering of 2004 featured a more humble tone from the top.

As the organization's constituents flocked to sessions designed to hammer home the message of fiduciary responsibility, ICI leaders spoke more frankly than before about past transgressions in the industry and the challenges mutual funds now face.

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