Options’ Glass is Half Full: Gary Katz Says Industry is Doing Well

Oct 23, 2013

Gary Katz, president and CEO of the International Securities Exchange (ISE), has seen the options markets change dramatically since he co-founded the all-electronic options exchange in  2000.

His exchange launched ISE Gemini in August, representing the 12th US options exchange. Katz sat down with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf to talk about where the US equity options business is today, why almost flat volumes isn’t a bad thing, and how this industry can keep growing, even in a low volatility, low interest rate environment.

WATCH: Gary Katz Says ISE Gemini Off to Fast Start.

In the first three quarters of 2013, US equity volumes are down, as are futures volumes. But US equity options volumes are virtually flat, up 1.4 percent overall and down 0.24 percent counting just equity options, not index options. To Katz, that shows the strength of the US options markets, especially in difficult times for stocks.

“The industry itself is telling you that it has been able to hold volumes flat, in an environment when overall volumes in stocks are down,” Katz said.

Katz added that options are outperforming underlying stocks because of a number of successful product launches by options markets over the past year, including: weeklies, dollar strikes and more expiration months. This has allowed traders to trade single names in a more flexible manner.

Katz has long been a proponent of growing the options pie. Today, he said the challenges are great. The technology glitches at various stock and options markets in recent months has not served customers well, as market makers put out wider spreads for traders to protect themselves. Katz says the potential of adding “kill switches” and other technical safeguards will help bolster confidence and subsequently, volumes.

John Lothian Newsletter

We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past Options Newsletters

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story