New business environments and regulations have reshaped the financial sector. Three experienced forecasters shared their outlooks at the “Redefining The Financial Sector: The Industry Analyst’s View” panel held Monday at the SIFMA Annual Meeting in New York.

From the regulatory fate of high-frequency trading to the commoditization of asset management, these analysts discussed how the financial industry will adapt to the changing marketplace.

Exchanges haven’t won the battle against the big banks yet. Many observers expected exchanges to be the victors and large banks to lose business with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act as more financial products will be forced to be increasingly transparent or traded on an exchange. “The fact is that this [trend] has been very slow to materialize,” said Daniel Fannon, Jefferies Group’s managing director for brokers, asset managers and exchanges.

Regulators have their sights set on high-frequency trading, but Fannon expects the scrutiny to be “data-driven, not politically driven.” He doesn’t foresee a large overhaul of high-frequency trading rather a fine-tuning that may make the market a little less complex than it currently is. (read more…)

The 2014 SIFMA Annual Meeting is right around the corner.

This event is truly a unique experience that serves as a one-stop resource for members and industry and market participants to receive updates on critical issues, as well as connect with colleagues and counterparts from throughout the business. Updates and news are provided by the primary sources of prominent policymakers and financial media.

Our speaker lineup this year is exceptional, and will feature one-on-one question & answer sessions with Mary Jo White, Chair, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York City and Founder, Bloomberg L.P.; David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, The Carlyle Group and Gregory J. Fleming, President of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management , Morgan Stanley.

For the first time, as part of the general program, we are offering two sessions that take a deeper-dive into particular areas of interest to our community. (read more…)

More than 3 in 4 contracting firms are finding it difficult to fill skilled trade positions, and more than 3 in 5 are finding project supers, estimators and engineers hard to find, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America conducted in August and September. The Southeast sees the largest challenge, where 86% of contractors face labor challenges; the Northeast is better off, but far from complacent as 67% of contractors there try to deal with the problem.

To deal with the issue, nearly 60% of the firms surveyed have tried raising wages to attract new workers in both the craft and professional positions. Almost half are resorting to an increased use of subcontractors while more than one-third are turning to staffing agencies.

Many of the respondents say that training and education programs in their areas are sub par and more than one-third don’t see much cause for celebration in their area’s workforce pipeline. (read more…)

APPrise Mobile’s platform for investor-relations communications is designed to help companies, whether large or small, create native applications that supply the target audience with a wealth of crucial information, said Jeff Corbin, APPrise’s founder and CEO.

“Public companies needed a communications solution to inform or ‘apprise’ their investors on their mobile phones and tablets,” Corbin said in an e-mail interview. “TheIRapp was created to solve this problem. It was developed to be a cost-effective, easy-to-implement solution that would provide public companies with their own branded app available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.”

More than 125 companies are using the company’s investor-relations app solution, while the number of investors who have downloaded one or more of APPrise customers’ apps has surpassed 75,000, he said. (read more…)

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…)