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17 Aug 2010

Grant Thornton LLP outlines key financial reform issues in Dodd-Frank Act for public company audit committees paper

The recently enacted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Act) will change the landscape for financial services firms and financial institutions. The Act addresses four major issues: transparency, risk management, accountability and structural oversight; and will create new regulators, bring new firms and markets under regulatory oversight, and provide new rulemaking and enforcement powers to regulators.

Although central elements of the Act focus on regulating the financial services sector, it also includes provisions affecting every public company, including enhanced SEC enforcement authority and additional corporate governance requirements.

Grant Thornton LLP’s Financial Service practice has created a paper – Financial reform: What public companies and their audit committees need to know about the Dodd-Frank Act– that outlines some key financial reform issues that public companies and their audit committees should understand, as well as actions they can consider to help guide their companies through this changing regulatory landscape.

“Although many audit committee members may not want to mire themselves in the minutiae of this complex legislation, they need to know that the important details are being addressed by their management teams,” noted Jack Katz, national managing partner of Grant Thornton’s Financial Services practice.

Some of the issues covered in the paper include:

1. Enhanced whistleblower protections

2. Nonbinding shareholder votes on “Say on Pay” and golden parachutes

3. Risk committees

4. Independence of compensation committees

5. SOX Section 404 (b) exemption

To download a full copy of Financial reform: What public companies and their audit committees need to know about the Dodd-Frank Act, please click here.

Many of the specific rules of the Act have yet to be shaped by regulators, and firms must stay a step ahead. To help companies navigate this uncharted territory, Grant Thornton LLP has created the Financial Regulatory Reform Resource Center. For more information about the legislation and emerging issues from the legislation, visit