These selected descriptions reveal both the origins and focus of regulation, as well as the extents to which selfregulation is permitted or encouraged, and to which regulation of securities businesses is carried out by a separate regulator or one with responsibility for the cntire financial sector. As a sweeping generalisation, development in Asia began more as a government initiative to marshall capital versus the commerciallydriven initiatives of the Western world. It is also interesting, salutary perhaps, to note that far and away the largest mutual fund nation in the world – the USA – has operated under primary legislation that is now over 60 years old and has not concerned itself either with self-regulation or with combining the roles of separate industry regulators.
Nevertheless, without exception, responsibility for authorisation or licensing and prudential supervision of firms and individuals engaged in the business of funds management lies with a central, governmental agency or department. The authorisation of individual funds usually resides with this same agency, but the agency may or may not be responsible for supervising other businesses in the financial sector – banking or insurance for example. Indeed, setting and monitoring compliance with detailed operational and conduct of business rules that govern the day-to-day activities of firms may even be the responsibility of a self-regulatory organisation, sometimes working with or through trade associations.