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Robert Ryan, the CFO of Medtronic Inc., liked his work as an outside director for UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Brunswick Corp. He sat on the boards’ compensation committees and got to discuss issues that were out of his purview as a CFO. But since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the companies consider Ryan and his accounting expertise vital necessities and have wasted no time switching him to the place where they need him most–the audit committee. “Sarbanes really narrowed my opportunities,” Ryan jokes.

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