With the ink now dry on Dodd-Frank, corporate executives, board members and counsel are trying to determine what the financial reform legislation means in the real world, said Clarke Camper, head of government affairs and public advocacy at NYSE Euronext, in a speech to business leaders in Washington in September.

Some of the hot-button issues the law raises involve executive compensation. Dodd-Frank mandates that regulators delve into pay issues ranging from income disparity within corporations to say-on-pay votes.

For starters, it requires that companies have an independent compensation committee. What the Securities and Exchange Commission will have to determine over the next year is what constitutes independence for a board and for a company's consultants, Camper said.

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