The Options Industry Council (OIC)'s mission is to educate investors and financial advisors (FAs) about the benefits and risks of using exchange-listed options to manage financial risk. Towards that end, we continue to expand our outreach to FAs with respect to how options strategies can be used to provide risk management for their clients as they work toward achieving their investing goals. To help guide this effort, we created the Advisor Leadership Council (ALC), the first group of its kind in the industry, made up of FAs who use options for their clients and represent the various advisor channels.
It became clear that whether clients were asking about options or advisors were introducing them to their clients, it was important to understand how to implement these flexible, yet sometimes misunderstood, investment products that can help meet investment goals in various market environments. To serve this growing need, the ALC meets throughout the year to help guide OIC in its educational program development for financial advisors and acts as a complement to OIC's Roundtable, which is made up of representatives from the options exchanges, brokerage firms and OCC, the world's largest equity derivatives clearinghouse.
OIC's commitment to educating financial advisors on the prudent use of exchange-listed options has been successful and is reflected in several initiatives. On May 11th at the 35th Annual Options Industry Conference in Scottsdale, AZ, OIC announced the findings of a new study, How Financial Advisors Use and Think about Exchange-listed Options, which found that approximately one-third of FAs currently use exchange-listed options in 20 percent of client portfolios, and that usage is expected to increase to 27 percent in the next three years. Further, the study pointed out that mega team advisors (practices with more than $500 million in assets under management) who currently use options use them for more diverse purposes than smaller teams. The goal of the study, conducted by Cerulli Associates, was to identify target audiences and educational strategies for OIC that may lead to increased adoption of exchange-listed options strategies among FAs. Advisors can access the study by registering here.
Additional FA-focused education efforts include OIC's June 15 webinar, How Advisors Find Opportunities with Options to Enhance Portfolios, which began with an hour-long panel discussion featuring experienced financial advisors sharing how and why they use options to help their clients. In November, OIC has plans to co-host a half-day, live financial advisor forum with the Chicago Board Options Exchange, showcasing advisors and market professionals who use options discussing how and why they do so. Throughout the rest of the year, OIC has several in-person meetings scheduled with firms looking to learn more about how options strategies can help their clients.
Another ground breaking project that is set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2017 is the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) options certificate program, Fundamentals of Exchange-listed Options, which was developed by OIC with assistance from the ALC. This is the first-of-its-kind in the financial advisor space and will provide FAs with the knowledge and confidence they need to serve clients better.
OIC provides free industry approved resources and educational materials. Financial Advisors can register to get access to the recently released Cerulli research study here. For more information about OIC FA initiatives, please contact Eric Cott, Director of Financial Advisor Education.