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Malta: When It Comes To Funds, Why Choose Anywhere Else?

1024 778 Amicorp Fund Services

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Malta’s accession to the European Union in May 2004 has brought with it a growing reputation as a hedge fund domicile of choice. Malta was voted as Europe’s most favoured fund domicile by Hedge Fund Review’s 2013 and 2014 service provider rankings.

Flexible regulation, transparency and good governance are just some of Malta’s advantages, as well as its status as a cost-effective domicile for funds, asset managers, fund administrators and for custodians catering to the thriving fund industry.

Malta hosts around 600 investment funds with a combined net asset value of almost €10 billion, and the sector is growing and attracting sophisticated asset management activities all the time.

EU membership has enabled Malta to introduce rights so that investment services and UCITS schemes may be registered in Malta and passported to any EU country.

Alongside the advantages of EU membership and access to a market of over 500 million people in 28 EU economies, Malta also enjoys excellent relations outside of the EU, specifically with other Mediterranean nations in North Africa and the Middle East, making it an attractive base for European, American or Asian companies wishing to enter markets to the south. In addition, Malta is a signatory to more than 70 double-taxation treaties, covering most of the world’s high-growth markets facilitating international business.

Malta has established a comprehensive regulatory framework for the registration and marketing of funds and investment vehicles. Malta’s financial services framework and tax laws are in line with EU directives and requirements and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). The licensing process with the MFSA is quick, efficient and thorough.

That said, the MFSA does not accept just any type of investment funds into Malta, but will readily assist those funds carrying a seal of quality. The MFSA carries out regular due diligence on the fund manager, the board of directors and the members of the investment committee, and regulatory and statutory issues may be discussed with the regulator, even at the earliest stage.

What funds does Malta offer?
Collective investment schemes may come in the form of the SICAV, with its variable capital nature and the possibility of establishing sub-funds. This is the most widely used vehicle, particularly in the non-retail sector, and it can be structured to include master feeder funds and umbrella funds with segregated sub-funds.

Professional Investment Funds (PIFs) are targeted at increasingly experienced investors. PIFs target 3 main types of investor: the experienced investor, the qualifying investor and the extraordinary investor. The regime is designed to fast track regulatory approval with a reduced level of ongoing regulation and supervision, but the type of investor, and therefore the ongoing regulation, is determined by qualifying criteria.

The creation of a new regime for Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) is one of the biggest recent additions to Malta’s fund market after the coming into force of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) in 2014. Malta was one of the first EU member states to transpose the AIFMD into law and the AIF regulatory regime was specifically set-up to cater for this new fund category.

Malta’s legislation also provides for the setting up of UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) and non-UCITS retail funds.

A new vehicle was established in 2012, called the Recognised Incorporated Cell Company (RICC). Directly targeting fund platform providers, this structure allows the RICC to provide, in exchange for payment of a platform fee, certain administrative services to its Incorporated Cells.

What about the Benefits & Costs?
The tax structure in Malta provides a significant incentive. Companies that list securities on the Malta Stock Exchange are not charged with capital gains tax and no stamp duty is due on the transfer of such shares or securities.

Malta’s regulatory and ongoing costs are extremely competitive and, when taken together with the various funds options, regulation and passporting rights, makes it a very attractive proposition.

How can Amicorp Fund Services Malta help?
Amicorp Fund Services Malta Limited forms part of Amicorp Group and is recognised as a fund administrator by the MFSA and offers a complete package of support services. These services allow our clients to focus on their core competencies of investment management and capital-raising. We achieve these goals by focusing on the following factors:

  • Fully automated fund administration services, based on state of the art, globally recognised technology, which integrates NAV calculation, investor administration, general ledger and KYC/AML features
  • Establish automatic feeds of financial data whenever possible, whether it concerns broker information or market data

The reporting package is carefully reviewed by a team of highly experienced fund administrators. As an ISAE-3402 Type II certified fund administrator, our internal control process is accredited by one of the reputable ‘Big 4’ firms. Using our state-of-the-art PFS Paxus software and online web reporting, we provide accurate and timely information to fund operators and investors.

OneLife

The Isle of Man as a Wealth Management Centre

1024 576 Wealth Management Services

Peel Castle

Many readers may be familiar with the Isle of Man as a centre for motor-racing i.e. the famous ‘TT’ races or Manx Kippers! You may even be familiar with its Loaghtan sheep or award winning cheeses but how many of you will realise that the Isle of Man is one of the top 5 centres for space commerce or that it has a thriving eCommerce and eGaming industry or recognise it as a top centre for Wealth Management?

Well, it is pleasing to be able to say that, while the Island was relatively late into the financial services boom of the middle and late 20th Century – seeing the benefits of such only shortly before the creation of the digital world that we now know, it’s relatively recent development has had a significant advantage: the Island did not base its growth on an ‘old world’ economic model but took some inspired decisions early on in the age of the digital evolution or, for many of us, a digital ‘revolution’ i.e. the 1990s and 2000s, that have provided a sound, leading-edge platform for much commercial opportunity and wealth creation & management.

The Isle of Man has benefited by virtue of needing to differentiate itself from the other financial centres that grew up in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. As a UK Crown Dependency, located just off the North West coast of England, it has benefitted from the physical location as the closest Crown Dependency to the City of London and the UK finance sector and has been a conduit of much business to the United Kingdom, from listings on the Stock Exchange, to investment related undertakings such as collective investments or property purchases and commercial undertakings. However, merely replicating what the other finance centres did was not likely to provide long term growth opportunities on a sustainable basis and that was certainly evidenced when we saw the fallout from the recent Great Recession. By identifying some (niche) areas where we could punch above our weight, the Island has enabled real value-added economic development and opportunities for entrepreneurs and professional support services alike.

With a physical location in the centre of the British Isles, occupying an area of c500 square kilometres with a population of only 85,000, the Island is well positioned to provide a secure and accessible location from where we can act as a conduit for investment and business into and within the United Kingdom and the European Union, and, for international trade between Asia and North America. Being part of the ‘Common Purse’ arrangement with the UK enables VAT registration for single point of entry to the EU as a whole. Having significant Ship and Aircraft registers, Space/Satellite licensing ability, and, having an extraordinarily large-capacity and robust digital infrastructure with multiple access points allows the Island to offer the latest IT ‘platform’ to commercial operators, including the eGaming sector.

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Alongside the ‘digital’ platform i.e. IT and logistics stands the intellectual property opportunities that we can offer clients. Whether UK entrepreneurs wishing to engage in international commerce, international businesses wishing to trade within the European Union, wealthy individuals and families wishing to ensure a lasting wealth legacy (whether for their families or through charitable foundations etc.), the Isle of Man has a wealth of experienced professionals who can advise upon and structure their clients financial and business requirements, from the simplest to the most complex needs. The professional services sector has been dealing with wealthy individuals, families and corporate businesses for decades and the Island’s links with The City of London has ensured that our connections, knowledge and experience spans all areas of wealth creation and retention, whether physical property, in terms of homes, yachts, aeroplanes, intellectual property, in terms of copyright ownership etc, or the areas of family trusts, foundations and other structuring needs or (possibly) more mundane matters such as pensions and financial planning.

The Island has had to be nimble in its approach and has benefitted from a government that has been both proactive and supportive of business and wealth creation, whilst ensuring best practice in terms of adoption and adherence to international legal and taxation standards and professional expectations.

Our door is open to all-comers, large and small, mainstream and niche. We merely seek to offer professional solutions and adopt best practice in fulfilling our clients’ worthy and legitimate needs.

Whatever your financial or business interests and requirements, do take a little time to enquire how we may be able to assist you in your endeavours and see what we may be able to achieve together.

Wilton Wealth Management is an independent team of highly skilled financial advisers. Our fee based planners are experienced in all aspects of advanced wealth management, analysing complex situations and implementing solutions globally. They manage the financial affairs of a range of clients from professionals to individuals with significant family wealth.

The team will work with you to understand your lifestyle, goals, timeframes and financial requirements. Only then will they put a strategy in place to help you to achieve your overall objectives.

We work hard to create long-term relationships. Our ethos is to provide a service that is transparent and focused on tangible outcomes. We will meet you on a regular basis to track your progress and review your planning. If your goals change, as they often do, we will work with you to ensure the strategy changes as well.