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NYSE to Host Third Annual Thought Leadership Forum for Advisors

 

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) knows when it has a good thing. That’s why it is holding its third annual Thought Leadership Forum for financial advisors on June 12. Advisors who attended the previous programs agree. As one Morgan Stanley advisor wrote, “The program exceeded all my expectations and was a very productive use of my time outside of the office. The moderators were on mark and the panel contributors were very informative. The networking was also terrific….”

This invitation only event will be held in the historic Board Room at the Exchange. The program is free for advisors, and offers 2 CE credits. The program will begin at 4:15 p.m. and conclude at 6:30 p.m. and has a first-class lineup of speakers, panelists and moderators including:

  • Steve Sears (Options Columnist, Senior Editor – Barron’s)
  • Jon Najarian (Co-Founder, OptionMONSTER)
  • Bill Johnson (Defense Attorney and Former Federal Prosecutor and SEC Enforcement Attorney)
  • Angelo Robles (CEO, Founder – Family Office Association)
  • Dominic Chu (Markets Reporter, CNBC)
  • Steve Braverman (Co-Founder, Pathstone Advisors)
  • Doug Robb (Financial Advisor, USAlliance Federal Credit Union)

At the conclusion there will be a cocktail reception and an opportunity to meet the speakers and other attendees. To receive an invitation to the Forum please contact Casey MacGuire at CMacGuire@nyx.com.

Creating the Program

James Hyde, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Development at NYSE U.S. Options, created the program with full support from upper management, tapping into the experience and talent of Alan Grigoletto, Vice President of Education, and Eric Cott, Director of Advisor Education, at The Options Industry Council (OIC). Jim is a former Vice-Chairman at the American Stock Exchange who has spent his entire career in the options industry, but the focus here, he said, is on advisor-to-advisor education.

“For the advisors in the audience who do not yet use options, we’ve seen the most success when our speaker or panelist is someone who did not use options in the past, started using them, and can walk the audience through the process of getting started. This kind of exposure, through the forum or OIC, can spark advisors’ interest in options. That leads them to wanting to learn more and ultimately putting that first customer into that first option trade.

“At the same time we want to have speakers for those advisors who are more seasoned,” he said. “Someone like Jon Najarian, who is fully focused on options in all facets, including advising, television commentary and trading. He can dive in a little bit deeper and talk about specific types of trades and scenarios. He speaks from experience and that’s always most interesting and instructive to the advisor community.

“Then, we try to let the audience see the business from other viewpoints. For this Forum we have an advisor who works with family offices, advising them on all aspects of financial planning, including options strategies and an advisor from a credit union who uses options strategies with clients who are retired executives from a Fortune 500 company.”

While options are the main topic, that’s not all the Forum focuses on. Among the speakers is attorney Bill Johnson, who has worked on some of the most important cases in financial history. “I heard him speak and it was so intriguing I wanted to add him to our program,” said Jim. “He goes through the background of the case, how the evidence was captured and how the prosecutor’s office ultimately moved forward. It’s a short presentation but it promises to add value and I know advisors will be as fascinated as I was.”

The Long View

While nearly 25% of options traded are done so on one of NYSE’s platforms, NYSE Arca and NYSE Amex Options, the program takes a much broader view of the industry. “We think options benefit all market participants and that’s our focus here,” said Jim. “If there’s a large bank that has an options arm that commits capital to its customers, well, an advisor might be working with a similar customer that clears at that bank. And if the advisor is more comfortable with options after absorbing one of our panel's comments with respect to his or her own success, he may then be better positioned to advise the client accordingly.

“The biggest hurdle we have,” he continued, “is the idea that options, as an asset class, imply more risk than they may actually have. One of the most popular comments we get from the Forum attendees is ‘wow, I really understand options better now and that there are a range of option trading strategies that actually take risk out of the equation.'

“Working with advisors is an important part of my business development role and it’s probably the most accretive with respect to new growth in the options business which benefits all exchanges,” added Jim. “Also, in my opinion, the markets we’re seeing today are the best markets for participants taking liquidity. In other words, the margins for the market-maker side are the tightest they’ve ever been, hence, the best experience for retail investors, in a fully transparent environment.

“Looking back on a 10-15 year time horizon, one can see that we’ve enjoyed tremendous year-over-year growth and I think it correlates to advisors’ growing interest and education in the options market. Other asset classes have seen volume pullbacks in recent years, which has not been the case for the options industry, which has seen more of a leveling off.

“As always, we continue to work closely with OIC on its outstanding educational programs and we hope that our Thought Leadership Forum helps to further support the options industry’s growth and recognition,” he concluded. “It would be nice to have 100 more Eric Cott’s running around with his educational zeal, but, as that is not the case, we do see ourselves as effective ambassadors, joining with OIC in the important task of educating advisors on options so as to help enhance their interactions with retail investors.”

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