KGI Ong Capital, a unit of Taiwan's second largest securities company KGI Securities, is bringing a Taiwanese presence to Singapore's securities scene.
A 2013 deal by KGI Securities to buy Ong First Tradition, a leading derivative player in Singapore, for $50 million was closed last month.
The acquisition was part of KGI Securities' drive to expand in South-east Asia.
KGI Ong Capital will initially continue with the derivatives business. It is now getting regulatory approval for the cash securities or equities business, as well as corporate finance and asset and wealth management activities, its co-chief executive Foong Hock Meng said yesterday.
The new entity has a staff strength of almost 100 and will hire more people as the other licences are approved, he added.
The last Taiwanese presence in Singapore ended in 2011, when Yuanta Securities, Taiwan's largest securities house, sold its 44.6 per cent stake in Kim Eng to Maybank.
On why KGI did not come to Singapore earlier, Mr Foong said "better late than never".
Outside of Taiwan, KGI has brokerages in Hong Kong and Thailand.
The intention is to have Hong Kong and Singapore as the group's two main international centres, he said.
"We have mapped out a focused strategy to transform our operations and tap opportunities in the South-east Asian market," said Mr Foong.
We will be able to tap immediate synergies between our regional operations in Hong Kong and Singapore, with client referrals and cross-selling of options and futures products for existing clients, he said.
KGI Hong Kong, set up 16 years ago, has a staff of 800 and is a full service securities firm for retail and institutional clients, offering brokerage activities such as equities, bonds, over-the-counter structured products, securities margin facilities and advisory services. Its futures brokerage arm is one of the 10 largest futures and options brokers in Hong Kong.
Ong Ka Thai, founding director of Ong First Tradition and now co-chief executive of KGI Ong Capital, said the company's client base is ready for the services the new company can provide.
"They are listed companies in the region and have exposure in Greater China, and can leverage on KGI to get listed or do M&A in China or Hong Kong," said Mr Ong.
Ong First Tradition, as Singapore's first futures brokerage and a pioneer clearing member of Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading, was among the top five derivatives players here, excluding foreign investment banks.
Founded originally as a joint-venture investment with the then First National Bank of Chicago in 1984, Ong First Tradition grew beyond Singapore through its partnership with the Compagnie Financière Tradition Group, one of the world's leading inter-dealer broking firms.
KGI Securities is wholly owned by Taiwan-listed China Development Financial Holding Corporation, which has a market capitalisation of $5.4 billion.