WASHINGTON -- Venturing into what might seem like hostile territory, a top Treasury Department official sat for an on-stage interview at the opening day of the annual general membership meeting of the Investment Company Institute, a group that has reacted critically to several financial regulatory initiatives undertaken by the Obama administration.

Mary John Miller, a veteran of the asset-management industry who now serves as Treasury's under secretary for domestic finance, offered a defense of a number of administration policies that could affect advisors, including the proposed caps on tax-deferred retirement contributions and proposals to strengthen regulation of money market mutual funds.

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