Long, winding road to US financial reform at an end

A bill intended to address the problems that plunged the U.S. into full-blown financial crisis in 2008 has recently become law. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains some key corporate governance provisions. These are of obvious interest to Canadian investors in U.S. equities. They are also worthy of note by Canadian companies and their investors because of the significant influence that U.S. developments have in our market.

New governance requirements for most U.S. firms are:

Compromises were made on the way to finalizing the bill, some affecting the governance provisions. Majority voting in director elections, which would have provided that directors must receive the support of a majority of votes cast to be elected, was included in earlier versions of the bill, but dropped from its final incarnation.

On Wednesday, July 22, President Obama signed the bill into law.

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