PALM DESERT, Calif. - A culture of compliance and dedication to long-time shareholders has to be priority No. 1 for mutual funds. That was the consensus of a number of high-profile industry professionals at the annual Investment Company Institute Mutual Funds and Investment Conference last week.

With funds under siege for widespread trading abuses, there is a sense of urgency for the industry to get its house in order. But the industry's chief regulator is not entirely convinced that fund firms have embraced the burden of accountability.

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