Waterland Financial Holdings (WFH) has ambitious plans to grow through direct financing by expanding its financial services throughout Greater China. By striving to maximise shareholder value, the firm aims to evolve into an investment banking group. Having grown with niche expertise in the electronics industry, it is reaching across other sectors for clients throughout the region. Among Taiwan's leading financial holdings firms with 30 years' experience, WFH ranks sixth in terms of performance with capitalisation at HK$5.9 billion. Its wholly-owned units include International Bills Finance (IBF) and Waterland Venture Capital (WVC). It also provides brokerage and securities trading services, asset management and research through its ownership stake in Waterland Securities (WSC), which includes Paradigm Asset Management among other subsidiaries. Through Paradigm, WFH seeks to launch a new fund of funds in Hong Kong that will cater to its client base and attract more mainland and regional investors. WFH will set up a representative office on the mainland this year to cultivate relations with local players and deepen expertise on their needs. It aims to open a branch office within three years, and is also looking to enter the mainland's leasing market through WVC. With niche expertise in bills financing, WFH has positioned itself strongly in Taiwan by developing a secondary market for commercial papers. It plans to extend short-term bills financing services to corporate clients on the mainland to help serve unmet needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). "The secondary market for short-term bills in China can be very prosperous," says Michael Ding, WFH president. "China has a well-established market for short-term bills trading but SMEs also need bills financing. We are very experienced in dealing with Taiwanese SMEs and are also capable of taking care of SMEs in China." Bills financing is a niche expertise in Asia as Taiwan is the only one in the region to have authorised the activity as a standalone service. Having acquired IBF's licence back in the 1990s, WFH controls 35 per cent of the Taiwanese market for short-term loans and has almost unparalleled expertise in developing this market on the mainland. Through its growth strategy, WFH will raise its capitalisation within the next three years to HK$15 billion. With strategic acquisitions, it is positioning WSC to join the ranks of Taiwan's top 10 brokerages. "Timing is important and we have a strong team in place to deliver professional service and build a profitable platform for our clients," Ding says.