Canada's new watchdog group -- charged with overseeing the firms that distribute mutual funds -- could not have been formed at a better time.

This was the view espoused by many panelists at the 12th annual Investment Funds Institute (IFIC) conference. They cited surging asset growth in the Canadian mutual fund industry and increasing acceptance by consumers of these investment vehicles as factors making the time ripe for new oversight. But there are still many details to be resolved concerning the new Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA), IFIC delegates learned.

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