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MINNESOTA EXECUTIVES EXPECT MORE LAWS AND REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT UNDER CLINTON, SAYS SURVEY ON CORPORATE COMPLIANCE

 MINNEAPOLIS, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Top executives with Minnesota's largest public and private companies believe there will be more laws and regulations to comply with and increased regulatory enforcement during the Clinton administration, according to Fredrikson & Byron's second annual Survey of Executive Opinion released today.
 While more than 94 percent of the 100 survey respondents said that complying has become more time consuming and costly in the last five years, 85 percent expect greater difficulty in the coming five years. In addition, almost two-thirds think Minnesota corporations have more of a compliance burden than companies in other states. The executives also feel that politicians and regulators have far more impact on laws and regulations than do corporate leaders.
 Despite the apparent weight of the regulatory burden and concern for keeping up with changing regulations, more than 90 percent of Minnesota executives surveyed said they are satisfied with their company's actual compliance. And, according to the survey, the motivation to comply with laws and regulations is more a result of the executives' sense of corporate responsibility than it is to avoid fines and penalties.
 The law firm of Fredrikson & Byron chose the topic of corporate compliance for its second annual Survey of Executive Opinion due to the increased regulations it sees its clients facing in many facets of business, explained Dobson West, Fredrikson lawyer and chair of the firm's Mergers & Acquisitions Group.
 "We found it interesting that compliance areas viewed as major concerns don't differ significantly between public and privately held companies," West said. Occupational safety, environment and taxes were of greatest concern, followed closely by employment issues, securities and finance.
 The law firm retained the independent research firm of Anderson, Niebuhr & Associates to conduct the survey. Telephone interviews were conducted with chief executive officers and other senior executives at 100 companies in February and March 1993. The executives interviewed were from 100 Minnesota-based corporations with revenues ranging from $150 million to more than $1 billion. Of those interviewed, 28 percent held positions of chairman, president or CEO; 27 percent were in general counsel positions; and the remaining were in senior executive roles.
 "While they don't think it's easy, Minnesota companies appear to be playing by the rules," said John H. Stout, attorney and chair of the firm's Directors & Officers Services Group. Stout noted that nearly all the companies interviewed have adopted a written Code of Conduct and most discuss their compliance decisions with their board of directors.
 "There is a great sense of responsibility among the executives to maintain a fair and safe environment for employees and their communities. The concept of corporate responsibility is clearly understood and respected in Minnesota," Stout said. While 59 percent said their compliance efforts have made their company a better place to work, 41 percent of the executives said compliance has a negative impact on competing internationally.
 Fredrikson & Byron plans to tailor its corporate compliance services to meet the needs identified in the survey findings. "Minnesota companies' response to the demands of compliance can be a major factor in their financial performance. More than half the executives we surveyed said that compliance demands influence their company's decisions about which products to offer," said West.
 Fredrikson & Byron, one of the Midwest's largest business law firms, conducted a survey of manufacturing executives last year on the topic of "Environmental Issues for the 90s."
 -0- 5/03/93
 /CONTACT: Copies of survey results are available and/or interviews with Fredrikson & Byron lawyers may be arranged by contacting Leigh Dance at 612-347-7063; or Pat Goodwin of Goodwin Communications at 612-338-3173/


CO: Fredrikson & Byron ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

KH -- MN001 -- 3640 05/03/93 09:45 EDT
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Date:May 3, 1993
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