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The Options Industry Council Expanding to Meet the Educational Needs of a Variety of Customers

Chicago—May 4, 2006

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that it is expanding its investor education program to serve the needs of a broader audience.

The OIC is in its 14th year of increasing the awareness, knowledge and responsible use of exchange-listed equity options among individual investors and their financial advisors. OIC is now adding new tools to aid in that mission and is extending that effort to reach out to institutional and international investors as well.

OIC is taking advantage of new technology to add educational webcasts and podcasts to its already robust web site, www.888options.com, which logged a record number of page views in 2005 of more than 13 million. On the international front, more than 60 pages of the web site have been converted to Simplified Chinese as part of the effort aimed at the Asia-Pacific region. And later this year, OIC will launch a web site designed to meet the educational needs of institutional investors.

“Equity options trading volume is nearly 15 times what it was when OIC was formed,” said Michael Walinskas, OIC Executive Director. “Institutional and international investors have played an increasing role in that growth in recent years. We’re pretty far along in acquiring the tools necessary to meet their needs. The expanded use of the Internet, and the expanded broadband service in particular, has changed the way we approach our mission. Live education remains an effective tool. But the internet gives us a practically limitless reach. And the quality of available on-line educational tools is improving at an unbelievable pace. Our goal is to be a leader in applying these state of the art tools to options education.”

Internationally, OIC has determined there is a demand for U.S. options in the Asia-Pacific region and plans to hire a locally based resource to serve as a full-time ambassador in the area. In Europe, OIC is planning a survey to better understand and meet the needs of that particular market. On the institutional front, OIC intends to commission several academic studies - likely in cooperation with prominent business schools - to analyze certain options trading strategies that may be of interest to fund managers and other institutional users of the product.

Support for the effectiveness of OIC can be seen in the vote of the Options Clearing Corporation Board of Directors to increase the funding to accommodate the expanded program. OIC is also revamping the structure of its policy roundtable to include direct firm representation. In addition to representatives from the six U.S. options exchanges and the OCC, six representatives from firms trading options will bring their ideas to the organization, ensuring OIC acts as the true industry collective it was designed to be.

About OIC

OIC is a non-profit association funded by the American Stock Exchange, Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, NYSE Arca, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's resources include: The Options Industry Services call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at www.888options.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos and educational literature and software.

Press Contacts

Jim Binder
312-322-9853
jbinder@theocc.com
Erin Green
312-322-6267
egreen@theocc.com
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