Independent registered investment advisers continue to gain on national wirehouses, making it imperative for asset managers to offer distinctive, low-cost funds, speakers said at the FundForum USA 2010 conference in Boston.

Broker-dealers continue to be important distribution partners to the mutual fund industry, commanding 32% of sales in 2009, up from 30% in 2007, according to Strategic Insight. But registered investment advisors' market share soared to 37% in 2009, up from 25% in 2007.

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