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Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms
A procedure implemented to protect an option holder where the Option Clearing Corporation will automatically exercise an "in the money" option for the holder.
The procedure that prevents in-the-money equity options from expiring and becoming worthless. In this procedure, the clearing firm will exercise certain kinds of options that are in the money without instruction from the option holder, thus allowing option holders who may not be monitoring an option to still capture a profit. Not all options are subject to automatic exercise. Certain options (known as "capped-style options") become subject to automatic exercise if the price of the underlier hits a certain price (known as the "cap value"), regardless of when the price is achieved (this is only possible in the case of an American-style option). Other options will be subject to automatic exercise just before expiration and at no other time. In such cases, the trigger for automatic exercise is either when the option is in the money, or when it is in the money by a certain amount.