SIG launches venture program

Susquehanna International Group (SIG) is planning to enter the U.S. venture capital market. The firm said that it expects to invest about $50 million per year in U.S. venture capital and growth equity deals in technology, financial services, business services and health care services.

SIG spokesman Todd Simkin said that the $50 million figure is only a target, and that the actual investment volume could be substantially higher.

Amir Goldman, a former principal with TL Ventures, is the venture group’s first employee, and others are expected to join soon.

“SIG is pretty substantial in public equity and is growing in private equity,” Goldman says. “It’s exciting to be part of something new.”

SIG is probably one of the largest financial firms you’ve never heard of, with $16 billion in assets and 1,400 global employees.

Nestled in the Philadelphia suburb of Bala Cynwyd, SIG was formed in 1997 as an options trading boutique. It later expanded its market-making activities to include a variety of equity and equity derivatives, an institutional brokerage business and a research operation that features 60 equity analysts covering 20 sectors.

The firm recently launched an investment banking operation, which so far has worked on a handful of IPOs, secondary public offerings and a closed-end fund.

SIG’s latest foray has been in private equity, which includes a PIPE program, mid-market LBOs, distressed German real estate, secondary acquisitions of private equity fund interests and a venture capital operation in China. —Daniel Primack