Kakao Pay wants majority shares in Siebert

Kakao Pay, a South Korean fintech, has acquired a 19.9% stake in US-based financial services company Siebert Financial Corp for about $17m. Kakao Pay plans to purchase a further 31.1% of newly issued Siebert shares, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. If the second purchase goes through, Kakao Pay will become a majority shareholder with 51% ownership of Siebert.

Siebert, headquartered in New York, provides a variety of brokerage and financial advisory services, including securities brokerage, investment advisory, insurance offerings, securities lending, and corporate stock plan administration solutions. The Gebbia family, current majority shareholders of Siebert, will continue to hold a significant ownership stake in the firm, while the current management team will continue to operate as usual.

Kakao Pay, a subsidiary of Korean conglomerate Kakao Corp, provides financial services such as online and offline payments, money transfer, bill payment, and payment authentication. It launched an investment service in 2018 and has since expanded to offer credit ratings, loans, and insurance. The partnership between Kakao Pay and Siebert is expected to allow the firms to leverage each other’s capabilities to accelerate growth. Siebert plans to broaden its platform and distribution, while Kakao Pay intends to enhance its user experience and offer additional benefits for users who invest in foreign stocks.

According to Gloria Gebbia, controlling shareholder and board member of Siebert, the partnership with Kakao Pay will provide significant financial resources to invest in the firm’s key business lines and expand its reach and enhance its technology offerings.

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