I believe mutual funds are always retail. Institutional investors have their own individually cusomized portfolios with MER a fraction of a percent. Most of the institutional accounts are pension funds, which are ultimately owned by retail investors, but the investment decisions are made by managers.we should differentiate here. Where are we putting the large number of retail investors who own nothing but mutual funds. The decisions regarding their investments are made by the fund managers ie the institutions. So are those folks "retail" investors or are they "institutional" investors.