Board directors and general counsel are spending more time on enterprise risk management as a result of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, but they would prefer not to, according to a newly released study.

Forty-five percent of directors and 48 percent of general counsels spent more time on ERM in 2006 than in 2005, according to a survey of 802 directors and 235 general counsels by FTI Consulting and Corporate Board Member magazine. However, only 27 percent of directors and 25 percent of general counsels would like to see their boards spend more time on risk management in 2007.

Similar findings emerged in the area of compliance work. The survey found that 53 percent of directors and 55 percent of general counsels spent more time on compliance in 2006 compared to 2005, but 62 percent of directors said they would like to spend less time on compliance work. In contrast, only 37 percent of the general counsels polled agreed.

Both groups agreed, however, that corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions were the areas most in need of an ERM assessment.

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