It’s still too early to say how Dodd-Frank reform will affect the operations of the financial sector, but rulemaking will be key, industry experts say. “This is an evolutionary process,” said Timothy Ryan, CEO of SIFMA. “The next few months are going to be critical that the dialogue be strong,” he said. Ryan, however, said he’s optimistic about the future of the economy as the country moves forward with the rulemaking process. He and a panel of financial experts discussed how financial reform will affect various business models. “We don’t want modernization to get in the way of impairing investor choice,” said James R. Allen, chairman and CEO of J.J.B. Hilliard, a wealth management firm. Nor does he want new rules to raise the costs of services. Goal is to maintain investor choice at a reasonable cost, he said. Smaller investors could be hurt by new rules as may not make sense for some in the industry to serve them, he said. Chet Helck, COO of Raymond James Financial, a financial services firm, said there an overwhelming task with the rulemaking. “If (they) made a mistake, it was trying to incorporate too much into one bill, he said, referring to the Dodd-Frank reform bill. “Given the times we were in, they didn’t have years to work through this process.” Now it is “up to us to figure out how to make it work.” Helck said business owners are reluctant to grow their businesses until they know the details of the regulatory environment and tax implications that will come from the rulemaking process. The concern is that the country could continue to see the exporting of businesses to other countries where there is a more favorable business environment. But the rules could be such that it encourages businesses to come to the United States, he said. Clients still need help with their finances and their home mortgages, but the issue of trust in the industry remains an issue, said Kent Christian, with Wells Fargo Advisors. The industry as a whole, he said, needs to work on rebuilding that trust. Write to Kerry Curry.