The Monex Group has continuously set high goals in a pursuit for growth. Our company was established with the grand mission to provide the best financial services for individual investors by creating a solid financial infrastructure. To this day, we are working tirelessly to better ourselves for our customers. Looking back, Monex tore down the strongholds of existing brokerage companies with a new online service and commission fee system. Recognizing the responsibility that comes with our customers' precious assets, we listed ourselves as soon as possible in a determination to attain the highest standards of information disclosure and governance. With the global nature of the financial markets and the desire to provide global financial services, the Monex Group brought in overseas companies that operate in the United States, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Europe and others. After moving forward to fulfill these major goals, the company is now working toward even bigger aims under our Global Vision set out in 2011 and has made significant progress, which I would like to report to you today.
Our Global Vision has two main themes, the globalization of our operations and the internal development of our systems. By globalization, we mean first and foremost the globalization of our business arena. In concrete terms, this means expanding our customer base primarily in Japan, the United States and China and providing access to trading markets around the world. At the same time, we want to make our own officers and employees more global minded. Each and every member of the Monex Group should be able to utilize the knowledge, experience and network of people around the world to develop and enhance business operations on a local level. In addition, they should be able to create business ideas that can be launched abroad. This globalization will be supported and sustained by the internal development of our systems. In other words, by having our own systems, our technological expertise in creating securities trading systems will become a strength, which will enable us to create new businesses, for example, providing and managing such systems for foreign companies.
During this term, we made two significant strides toward fulfilling our Global Vision. The first is the start of our "active trader business" with the March 29th launch of tools for active traders in Japan. This is the result of a global development project that utilizes the technologies of our U.S. subsidiary TradeStation and is an example of the type of true globalization we are striving for as one of our themes. Another step is the completion of the internal development of our backbone system in Japan, a project that has been ongoing for five years. With the realization of this large-scale development project, we will now be able to prioritize efforts toward creating new functions and improvements and quickly developing services that respond to the voice of our customers.
With these two major project milestones, we have cleared the first stage of our Global Vision and have entered the next stage. While the first stage was to "invest and expand," the next stage is to pursue "efficiency and effectiveness." Growth is not a linear, straight-line process, but rather something that takes place in a repeated spiral pattern of expansion and contraction. This is precisely the type of growth we are going through now.
Monex was founded 17 years ago, and in the past five years, the company has acquired BOOM Securities (Hong Kong) and TradeStation (United States) and set out a Global Vision. Now entering the next stage of growth, Monex has transformed its management structure in preparation to jump to new highs.
Let me explain in more concrete terms how each regional operation is pursuing efficiency and effectiveness in their businesses.
As mentioned earlier, with the completion of tools for active traders, Monex has finally launched an active trader business. Now we will seek greater efficiencies by fine tuning our sales and marketing structure to better meet active traders' needs. It goes without saying that the tools themselves will undergo continuous improvement in order for the company to offer the highest-quality trading platform. At the same time, through our joint operation with the U.S.'s Vanguard Group, we will broaden our service offerings to our existing retail investor customer base. After the completion of the internal development of our backbone system, Monex will be able to outsource a portion of the system or use tools of other companies, for example, to secure greater efficiencies. Being able to take advantage of outside resources in such a manner will first require a full understanding and control our own system, which we believe can be accomplished in the current term.
The U.S. segment, mainly consisting of the wholly owned subsidiary TradeStation Group, registered positive earnings in 2Q and 3Q last fiscal year. Although 4Q was negative due to one-time costs, the U.S. segment can now be considered a profitable business. In addition, TradeStation's trading tool was rated "Best for Frequent Traders" for the sixth consecutive year by Barron's Magazine's annual ranking of online brokerage firms. Building on this strength, Monex will further reinforce derivative trading and promote B2B businesses that license our superior trading platform to companies around the world. In the previous fiscal year, the U.S. domestic retail FX business model was re-evaluated and then transformed into one that pursues profit with lower risks and costs. In a similar manner, the U.S. operations will continue to raise efficiency and increase profitability.
China / Hong Kong Segment
In China, Monex launched a wide variety of businesses to provide services to retail investors in China. Specifically, Monex licensed TradeStation's trading tools to Guosen Securities. We also created a joint venture company with a Chinese domestic brokerage firm and have begun offering online brokerage services as a package. Monex will seek further opportunities for business cooperation with Chinese brokerage firms to leverage our assets and experience and to grow our operations. In Hong Kong through our subsidiary Monex BOOM Group, we will continue to expand our customer base as well as B2B businesses utilizing BOOM's trading platform in the Asian region.
While there were some delays and reassessments during our "invest and expand" stage of growth, the Monex Group has steadily moved forward and completed major projects. By building up the operations that grow with our "efficiency and effectiveness" efforts, we will strive to make the Monex Group an even stronger and more profitable company that brings higher returns to all stakeholders.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Monex Group.