By Terry Flanagan

OIC Reaches Out to Buy Side

With trading volume lower compared with last year, the Options Industry Council is expanding its outreach to institutional investors.

As options exchanges await more volume and traders look for deeper liquidity, the group that acts on behalf of options market participants is trying to gin up order flow from the coveted buy side.

The Options Industry Council’s outreach itself is nothing new, but the industry group has stepped up its efforts. Aside from continuing to educate market participants about the benefits and risks of using options, the OIC is reaching out to more pension funds – especially the risk managers at those institutions – as well as wealth advisors.

In fact, there was a Wealth Advisors Summit held in conjunction with the OIC conference in New Orleans late last week. Both conferences were at the Roosevelt Hotel and at least some OIC attendees visited the wealth advisors event at some point.

For their part, options trading venues are doing some direct outreach to the buy side, but they are mostly working through the OIC and respecting the traditional arrangement of allowing the sell side to do its job of drumming up business to be routed to exchanges.

“We don’t want to be disintermediaries,” said Amy Farnsworth, co-chief executive of NYSE Arca options exchange, at OIC.

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