Mortenson Construction has used building information modeling, or BIM, in conjunction with virtual design and construction since 1998 when it started work on the Walt Disney Concert Hall project, a multi-award winning structure with a curved steel frame in Los Angeles. The project team found that BIM/VDC was essential in the project, in large part because it helped them visualize complex sequences of work that before had only been listed in an Excel worksheet or on a Gantt chart.

Since then, the company has worked on a multitude of BIM/VDC projects beginning with the pre-planning process, through the design and construction. It found that the process and technology enhances communication among project stakeholders, increases productivity, improves safety, reduces time and cuts costs. A team at Mortenson studied 18 of its projects and created an infographic that shows their quantifiable results, including the cost savings enjoyed by its clients. (read more…)

Tim Buckeridge is a vice president and sales director for the Investment Only team at Franklin Templeton. He is responsible for marketing to financial service firms and communicating Franklin Templeton’s investment management and retirement capabilities.

In this post, sponsored by Franklin Templeton, Buckeridge talks about retirement challenges and how people can work to maximize their incomes.

Q: What challenges do retirees face in providing the income needed for retirement?

A: We have found that retirees have a pretty good sense of what their expenses are likely to be. They struggle with the income side of the equation. They are unsure of what their sources will be and how to best use what they have saved. For many, the scary part is having a strategy for their income lasting long enough, keeping up with rising prices, and withstanding unexpected economic bumps in the road.

Understanding income sources and how they compare to retirement expense needs is essential. (read more…)

One of the lesser known financial regulations implemented as part of Dodd-Frank is the requirement for swap dealers to be able to produce a full reconstruction of a trade within 72 hours of a request by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Satisfying the new requirement will require a range of technologies and processes, many of which are still in their infancy.

Bloomberg Vault sponsored a webinar “Tackling the Challenges of Trade Reconstruction,” exploring issues such as:

• Handling unstructured data, including tagging
• Weighing in-house versus outsourced solutions
• Establishing best practices around compliance

“The new rules [regarding trade reconstruction] are onerous and affect lots of different parts of the organization—front, middle and back office of firms,” said Harald Collet, Global Head of Bloomberg Vault. Those rules cover such areas as:

Recordkeeping: Records must be kept of all written and oral communications that lead to execution of swap.
Searchability: Data must be maintained in a form that identifiable and searchable by transaction and counterparty. (read more…)

Kelley Mavros is a partner in Strategy&’s Digital Business & Technology practice with expertise in the financial services industry. Her work includes lean operating model, cost transformations, IT effectiveness and post-merger integration programs. The successes of today’s financial services firms require taking on a more strategic approach to costs. In this post, sponsored by Strategy&, Kelley Mavros talks about how companies can adopt a Fit for Growth approach to cut costs and grow stronger.

Question: What is the concept behind the “Fit for Growth” strategy and how can it help financial-services firms in particular?

Answer: The financial-services industry faces a unique set of challenges in the wake of the financial crisis. New regulations and capital adequacy requirements, changing client behavior, the rapid advance of digitization, and a fluid competitive landscape have permanently altered the rules of the game and raised the cost of doing business. In short, there’s a lot of pressure to remain profitable in an environment where a lot of obstacles stand in the way of doing so. (read more…)

When do you advise clients to start thinking about death planning? Have you broached this subject with your own loved ones? Not easy questions to process, are they?

As with many things, understanding the appropriate time to have these discussions with clients is both personal and widely varied depending on client preferences and generational differences. A recent Bloomberg article got me thinking about this topic specifically as it highlighted that many millennials aren’t currently purchasing life insurance, nor do they consider it a priority. Of course, this is partially due to younger generations marrying and starting families later in life; however, it also serves as a reminder of the role social media plays in helping financial professionals educate and advise certain consumer segments, particularly those who that may not be actively looking to make a purchase.

A new viewpoint for a new generation

What if firms viewed social media not as a chance to sell to younger prospects, but instead an opportunity to educate and build a relationship with them? (read more…)