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Options Industry Services Celebrates Its First Year At OCC 1-888-Options Experts Respond to 63,000 Inquiries

ChicagoJuly 19, 2001

"What does liquidity mean?" "How do you measure volatility?" and "Is increased open interest bullish?"

These are just a few of the questions regularly answered by the Options Industry Services call center, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary under the management of The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) and The Options Industry Council (OIC). The center, which provides investors with comprehensive options information, education and trading data at no cost, is available at 1-888-OPTIONS or options@theocc.com.

During its first year of operation, Options Industry Services responded to 63,000 inquiries from a broad scope of options users and industry professionals. As a result of the inquiries the center distributed more than 18,000 videos, 47,000 brochures and 13,000 software packages related to options education. Over the course of the year, the center received an average of 300 calls and 40 e-mails per day.

"Options Industry Services provides an essential educational service to investors and brokers," said Paul Stevens, President, OCC and OIC. "We are pleased with our first year's results, but we feel there is a largely untapped market that we still need to reach. We are committed to spreading the word to the investing public so that more individuals take advantage of the expertise and education we provide."

Options Industry Services is staffed with six former traders and industry professionals in a trading room environment. They do not solicit securities transactions or provide investment advice, but focus on providing education and tools for learning about options. An educational Web site, www.888options.com, complements the phone service and supports the call center. "Options Industry Services provides self-service educational resources via the Web site and personalized services via the call center to assist investors and brokers with options-related educational inquiries," said Carolyn Mitchell, First Vice President, Investor and Internet Services.

In addition to answering inquiries, Options Industry Services also fulfills requests for OIC options materials. Fulfillment consists of options videos, interactive educational software and brochures. Investors may also register for OIC's free seminars, with the majority entered through the Internet.

Options Industry Services is funded and operated by OCC, the central clearing organization for exchange-traded options. To reach Options Industry Services, individuals can call 1-888-OPTIONS or options@theocc.com. The call center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST) and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours to 5 p.m. on Expiration Fridays.

OIC Background

OIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 by the nation's options exchanges to provide investor education about equity options. Today, its members include The American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free educational programs include: an educational Web site at www.888options.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos, educational brochures and interactive software. More information on these resources is available by visiting the Web site, calling 1-888-OPTIONS (6784), or sending e-mail to options@theocc.com.

OCC Background

OCC, founded in 1973, is the largest clearing organization in the world for financial derivative instruments and was the first clearing house to receive a ‘AAA’ credit rating from Standard & Poor’s Corporation. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission, OCC is jointly owned by The American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange and Philadelphia Stock Exchange. OCC is headquartered at 440 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Ill. More information is available through its Web site at www.optionsclearing.com.

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