ORLANDO -- Conducting risk self-assessments has become a paramount concern for mutual funds, as new compliance rules, mounting client demands, product innovations and heavier workloads are all tugging operations personnel in every direction. And there is more work coming down the pipeline.

This changing environment demands that fund companies adopt new risk models so that they can better anticipate problems and deal with them internally before they grow too large to contain. Speaking at an Investment Company Institute operations conference here recently, Charles Fishkin, director of the Office of Risk Assessment at the Securities and Exchange Commission, told attendees that risk assessment is a collaborative process and urged them to get more involved. "We are all risk assessors now. Each one of you has a critical role," he said.

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