Kathleen O'Halloran, the National Investment Company Service Association's [NICSA] newly appointed director of education, joined Colonial as its director of training in 1986, just about the time new government regulations clamped down on investors' ability to totally duck taxes on their IRAs.

Hoping to sock some money into the accounts before the cutoff date, thousands of investors began filing new IRA applications in the months that followed. The applications, she said, were piled up everywhere and Colonial and other companies hired droves of new employees to process the forms. The employees were, she said, like drones who knew how to do one task and do it quickly.

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