Kakao Pay, a fintech subsidiary of Korean-based conglomerate Kakao Corp., has on last Thursday announced an agreement to purchase a 19.9 percent stake in United States-based brokerage firm Siebert Financial Corp for approximately $17 million.

Both parties said in a statement that subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, Kakao Pay will acquire an additional 31.1 percent of Siebert shares.

After the close of the second transaction, Kakao Pay will become the largest shareholder of Siebert with a total of 51 percent ownership of Siebert.

The Gebbia family will continue to hold significant ownership, and Siebert’s current management team, led by the Gebbia family, will continue to manage the company’s operations and branch locations.

According to the statement, the senior management teams at Siebert and Kakao Pay have a shared vision that supports each firm’s strategic direction.

The partnership and capital infusion will accelerate Siebert’s growth plans while broadening its platform and distribution capabilities.

Kakao Pay will leverage its technology expertise in the financial services sector and work in partnership with Siebert to strengthen the company’s business and growth strategy, while providing an enhanced user experience and additional benefits for users who invest in foreign stocks.

“We are excited to announce this transaction with Kakao Pay which will enhance our capabilities and accelerate our growth plans,” said Gloria E. Gebbia, controlling shareholder and Board Member of Siebert.

“The partnership with Kakao Pay will provide us with significant financial resources to opportunistically invest in our key business lines while leveraging the expertise and technological capabilities of one of the leading financial services innovators in the Korean market to expand our reach and enhance our technology offerings,

“We look forward to working with Kakao Pay as we chart the next phase of our evolution to empower our clients’ success,” he added.

Won-Keun Shin, the Chief Executive Officer of Kakao Pay, said Kakao Pay has attained a great opportunity to expand its financial business abroad by making a strategic investment in Siebert, a company with over 55 years of tradition and experience.

“We will continue to enhance our user experience and benefits as a financial platform and seek new chances for innovation in the global market,” he added.

Siebert is a diversified financial services company and has been listed on NYSE since 1967.

The firm operates through its subsidiaries Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc., Siebert AdvisorNXT, Inc., Park Wilshire Companies, Inc., RISE Financial Services, LLC, Siebert Technologies, LLC and StockCross Digital Solutions, Ltd.

Through these entities, Siebert provides a full range of brokerage and financial advisory services including securities brokerage, investment advisory and insurance offerings, securities lending, and corporate stock plan administration solutions.

Kakao Pay is a TechFin subsidiary of Kakao Corp., spun off in April 2017.

The firm has approximately 40 million registered users and offers a diverse array of financial services.

Since 2014, Kakao Pay has served the Korean market including online/offline payment, money transfer, investing, membership, bill payment, and authentication services.

Kakao Pay’s subsidiary, Kakao Pay Securities, enables users to easily invest in a diverse offering of financial products and is currently offering the lowest transaction fee for United States stock online trading in Korea.