Consolidation was a hot topic at the annual mutual fund and investment management conference in Orlando last week, sponsored by the Federal Bar Association and the Investment Company Institute Education Foundation.

Barry P. Barbash, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission's division of investment management, set the tone for the event when he revealed that his unit gets merger-related applications at the rate of about one a week. The following is excerpted from Mr. Barbash's keynote address, in which he discussed the impact of consolidation and globalization on the mutual fund industry:

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