BERMUDA - The expected global growth of mutual funds, particularly in Europe, has not materialized, and growth is being driven by conservative investments, said speakers at the Globalization of Mutual Funds conference here earlier this month.

Business in the European Union is anything but unified. Fund companies are dropping partnerships with distributors, as many are demanding 50% to 75% of management fees. Fund supermarkets and a truly open system exist only in the United States. International joint ventures typically fall apart after merely a few years. The bear market has given countries that were considering using mutual funds for pension reforms serious pause, and investors, for that matter, are not embracing equity mutual funds, speakers told attendees of the conference,

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