Ask Matthew Fink, president of the Investment Company Institute for the past 29 years, about the slowdown in growth in the U.S. mutual fund industry and increasing competition from foreign fund companies, exchange-traded funds and separate accounts, and Fink either gently deflects or dismisses each question.

"I am a lawyer-lobbyist," said Fink, in his authoritative, matter-of-fact fashion. "Marketing is not my bag."

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