Fubon Financial Holdings had made waves as the first Taiwanese financial institution to extend its reach into mainland China in spite of tense cross-straits relations.
Fubon set the precedent when it invested in mainland lender Xiamen Bank through its Hong Kong subsidiary. Getting the approval to acquire a stake in Xiamen Bank was nothing short of a regulatory nightmare, said Daniel Tsai, the chairman of Fubon Financial holdings.
Daniel and his brother Richard Tsai topped the Forbes 2014 list for Taiwan's richest, with a combined net worth of $10 billion.
"[It took] three years of hard work to get regulators' approval from both sides, and [it is probable that] even Hong Kong's regulators had to seek some kind of consent from Beijing," Tsai told CNBC's Managing Asia.
Tsai noted that because of the approval delay, the Taiwanese financial heavyweight had "missed the best part of China's very dynamic economic growth" between 2000 and 2010.
"The political environment in Taiwan [back when the agreement was first signed in 2005] was not very friendly to people like us who were trying to invest in China," he said.