NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — More than 30 Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges in 2019 and 12 of them had Tiger Brokers (NZ) Limited ("TBNZ"), a wholly owned subsidiary of UP Fintech Holding Limited (NASDAQ: TIGR) (together with TBNZ and other affiliates, "UP Fintech"), act as one of the underwriters for their offerings.
In 2015, UP Fintech introduced its proprietary trading platform, Tiger Trade, which provides global Chinese investors with seamless access to U.S. equities and other global securities. In the past few years, UP Fintech’s focus on innovation and superior user experience has enabled it to grow rapidly; according to iResearch, the firm has become the largest online broker for global Chinese to invest in U.S. equities.
UP Fintech is also expanding its institutional business, particularly investment banking and equity underwriting in the TMT space through its wholly owned subsidiary, TBNZ. Since 2017, UP Fintech has participated in many high profile Chinese Tech IPOs, including those of Chinese search engine Sogou Inc. (SOGO), ecommerce giant Pinduoduo (PDD), video streaming platform iQIYI (IQ), and online education company Youdao (DAO).
UP Fintech’s growing investment banking business has given the firm the opportunity to closely cooperate with a diverse range of corporate clients, giving it a better understanding of the challenges faced by Chinese companies that have held a U.S. IPO. UP Fintech is expanding its existing portfolio of corporate services to meet the needs of its growing client base.
"Chinese companies from different industries face a variety of difficulties through the IPO process in the U.S. On one hand, many Wall Street institutions are unfamiliar with relatively lesser-known Chinese companies, which may result in less allocation of resources to these companies. On the other hand, Chinese companies may not possess the requisite expertise to efficiently manage a new issue in the U.S. market. This is where our unique business model and market understanding distinguish our firm: we are ourselves a young technology company, so compared to traditional banks, we are naturally more connected to these emerging companies and understand their needs better. In addition we may leverage our growing customer base of institutional and retail investors to provide a huge demand for the new issuance," said Mr. Wu Tianhua, CEO of UP Fintech.
Expanding its portfolio of corporate services is a key strategy of UP Fintech’s development, so the firm has acquired new licenses to support its expansion. In October 2019, UP Fintech’s wholly-owned subsidiary, US Tiger Securities, Inc., received approval for conducting new businesses, including underwriting, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, mutual fund retailing, as well as selling group participant services from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"). Within two months of receiving these licenses, UP Fintech and its subsidiaries had participated in seven more Chinese ADR IPOs in the U.S.
With a staff that draws from its rich range of experiences in investment banking and financial services, UP Fintech is able to assist potential issuers on every step of their IPO planning. UP Fintech’s Corporate Services team advises issuers on capital structure, equity story, and the ECM/Sales team is able to connect issuers with over 200 institutional investors to build demand for the IPO.
In order to develop a comprehensive suite of corporate services for client firms, UP Fintech also provides ESOP management services to corporate clients, enabling them and their employees to conveniently manage their equity incentive schemes. After the IPO, UP Fintech assists issuers’ ESOP participants open brokerage accounts on its platform, which creates a new channel for client acquisition. Furthermore, after a successful listing, UP Fintech may offer other financial services to corporate clients to support secondary offerings or investor relations efforts.
In 2019, UP Fintech and its subsidiaries participated in 18 U.S. IPOs, and UP Fintech served as an underwriter in 12 of these IPOs. According to Bloomberg and SEC Edgar Data, UP Fintech and its subsidiaries led U.S. IPO underwriting of Chinese companies by deal count among brokerages in 2019.
In conclusion, UP Fintech’s growing corporate services are key to its strategy to create a comprehensive financial services platform that fulfills the needs of client companies at every step of their development and that also provides individual investors unparalleled access to global securities markets. Expect more news from UP Fintech as it helps a generation of Chinese companies go global.