The president of the Investment Company Institute called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to rearm itself next year with tough-minded regulatory agendas aimed at policing the mutual fund industry.

Paul Schott Stevens, president of the ICI, in a speech Wednesday called the unprecedented mutual fund scandals a symptom of deeply rooted problems in need of strong tonic from regulators.

Stevens said the recent wave of mutual fund probes led to the implementation of more than a dozen "substantive" new regulations during the past two years. His comments undoubtedly caught some industry experts off guard because the ICI has a history of attempting to temper regulator onslaughts targeting its mutual fund constituents.

Stevens continued by praising New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for acting as a gadfly in waking the SEC and urging Commissioner William Donaldson to continue the ongoing momentum of industry reform.

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