Mutual fund shareholders' woes stemming from revelations of endemic misconduct has amounted to a windfall for investment bankers. The pace of consolidation within the asset management industry continues to accelerate under the weight of massive regulatory investigation, according to a new study by Putnam Lovell NBF Securities.

Putnam Lovell's study partially attributes the upturn in asset management sales to 137 in 2003 from 111 during the previous year to added regulatory costs nudging smaller investment firms onto the block. Smaller deals accounted for the bulk of asset management transactions last year. This year also promises lofty profits for the investment bankers.

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