NEW YORK -- While corporate governance in the financial services industry has improved markedly over the past year, unsettled problems such as high executive compensation and continued conflicts of interest must be rectified, a top Ernst & Young executive said last Tuesday. The resulting tightened regulation combined with heightened competition from separately managed accounts and alternative investments for high-net-worth investors, is going to mean an especially competitive landscape in the year ahead, he said.

"As of yet, we don't see a great deal of evidence that executive compensation is changing," said Robert W. Stein, the company's chairman of global financial services, at Ernst & Young's annual "State of the Financial Services Industry" press briefing.

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