While the mutual fund industry has wrangled over, and largely resisted, the logistics and the estimated $617 million cost of complying with Rule 22c-2 for the past three years, funds should actually view the perceived regulatory onus in a new light: As a tremendous marketing opportunity.

Since the rule is designed to require fund companies to partner with sales intermediaries to monitor for market timing, it could give them, for the first time ever, details on the 145 million underlying shareholder accounts, representing 35% of the mutual fund industry, held in the omnibus accounts that these brokerages, 401(k) plan sponsors, registered investment advisers and bank trust departments handle.

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