More and more financial advisors are adopting social media to help build their business. SmartBrief recently chatted with Melissa Socci, senior vice president of brand and analytics for LPL Financial, to get her insight on best practices for advisors as they delve into social media. The following is an edited transcript of that conversation.

LPL was a relatively early adopter of social media within the finance space. What lessons did you learn early on about getting advisors to embrace social media?

Our advisors have been able to use social media for about 4 years now and we continue to work with them to help them understand it. These are numbers people so they want to know what the hard ROI numbers are. They want success stories about what has worked from Day One right up until now.

Social media is part of a larger mix of an advisor’s marketing plan. It is not a plan in and of itself. (read more…)

CBOE Holdings Inc. has announced an investment Tradelegs, a New York-based analytics and decision-support technology. CBOE, the holding company for the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the CBOE Futures Exchange, made the announcement Wednesday at the International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Fla. The undisclosed investment is subject to delivery of a definitive agreement between the parties.

The Tradelegs Derivatives Strategist platform calculates investment scenarios based on users’ tailored parameters and the opinion of specific securities. Currently, the technology is used by a range of professional investors, including hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds and insurance companies. CBOE CEO Ed Tilly said the investment is a “natural fit” given the CBOE’s “strategic objective to further expand the institutional use and appeal of options trading, including with our proprietary index products.”

Tradelegs’ founder and CEO Gideon Agar said the investment will allow the company to expand its options optimization services to include securities portfolios, which should happen later this year. (read more…)

The next-generation trading platform from Chicago-based Trading Technologies International Inc. will leverage both co-located servers and the cloud to provide unprecedented computing power and flexibility. The company’s Nextrader platform, unveiled Wednesday at the 39th Annual International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Fla., will be available in the latter half of this year. Nextrader represents a faster and more scalable option for users of TT’s X_TRADER platform. TT will continue to provide robust support for X_TRADER as users migrate to Nextrader.

In addition to offering traders almost limitless analysis capabilities though its secure, encrypted cloud infrastructure, Nextrader will integrate with mobile devices for many key features, including the ability to select specific FCMs to clear orders. TT introduced this capability last year through its MutiBroker service. CEO Rick Lane praised the “significant changes to the underlying architecture” Nextrader represents, noting that TT “is at its best when it’s building for what’s next.”

According to Stefani Sandow, TT product manager, Nextrader’s new, open architecture “will significantly reduce the software development timeline going forward,” fueling the platform’s next stage. (read more…)

Highlights from Day One of the 39th Annual International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Fla.

Wetjen says CFTC’s spending priorities include spot-checking work of SROs: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission should focus its spending on surveillance, examinations and enforcement, according to acting Chairman Mark Wetjen. Wetjen said part of the CFTC’s examination program should include spot-checks of examines conducted by self-regulatory organizations. Alluding to the situations of MF Global and PFGBest, Wetjen said it wouldn’t hurt to have the CFTC act as “another set of eyes.”

ICE’s Sprecher shares some of motives behind SMX acquisition: IntercontinentalExchange Chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher said the fall of MF Global was one of the incidents that motivated the ICE to acquire the Singapore Mercantile Exchange. Sprecher said clients in other parts of the world were scared by the notion of their funds being dramatically affected while they were asleep. Sprecher also said poor harmonization on global regulations continues to present challenges for the industry. (read more…)

Singapore Exchange is poised to bring on new Asian currency futures this year as the exchange plans to expand its Asian FX suite to include renminbi, yen and baht. The new offerings, if approved, are slated to go live in the third quarter, SGX announced Tuesday during the 39th Annual International Futures Industry Conference. The latest announced expansion comes only four months after SGX launched its FX futures contracts business, which has seen more than $1 billion in notional value traded since its inception.

Adding these currencies falls in line with SGX’s stated commitment to transparency in the marketplace. Bringing major currency FX derivatives onto the SGX platform will also enable better risk management for traders in the Asian time zone and “facilitate greater use of RMB in international trade and investment,” said Magnus Bocker, the CEO of SGX.

The move also increases the importance of Singapore as a derivatives hub and supports SGX’s effort to and grow its relationship with China . (read more…)