Malta: Centro per i servizi finanziari: le opportunita` per gli operatori italiani

FinanceMalta, a foundation set up for the purpose of promoting the Maltese financial services industry, organised an afternoon seminar directed at Italian financial services operators. Its aim was to give Italian financial service providers a flavour of what Malta has to offer as a financial services centre.

A welcome speech was delivered by the Chairman of FinanceMalta, Mr. Kenneth Farrugia. Mr. Farrugia gave an overview of the growth of the financial services industry in Malta over the last decade. The Chairman explained how Malta’s accession to the European Union placed our island state on the global financial services map. Indeed, 2004 marked the birth of Malta as a financial services industry. Nowadays, Malta is the domicile of over 600 collective investment schemes and 70 fund managers. It has attracted some of the largest insurance and re-insurance operators in the industry, such as AON, Marsh and Willis. Furthermore, Malta can boast itself of having the 13th soundest banking system in the world.

Dr. Louis de Gabriele then proceeded to deliver a presentation on the legal and regulatory scope of financial services in Malta. This presentation served as a prelude to the panel discussion which was moderated by Mr. Gianpaolo Broccardi, director general of La Mia Finanza. Dr. Marina Grech, Associate at GANADO Advocates, together with other operators in the funds, wealth management and insurance industry, participated in the panel discussion. The panel elaborated on the flexibility and unique advantages offered by Malta, which have turned the small island state into a recognised financial services hub. In particular, Dr. Marina Grech highlighted the various legal and regulatory structures available to fund promoters. The Maltese legal system, being a hybrid of common law and civil law systems, has permitted the development of a number of structures which both legal systems are thoroughly familiar with. This includes the traditional limited partnership, which may take the form of an investment company with variable share capital (SICAV) and trusts on the one hand, as well as foundations on the other. In this way, promoters are certain to find the particular structure which fits the needs and expectations of their clients.

The event organised by FinanceMalta attarcted over 100 participants. These included major operators in the banking, insurance and investment services industries in Italy. H.E. Vanessa Frazier, Malta’s ambassador to Italy also attended the event. The seminar was followed by a reception during which attendees could discuss specific issues with the members of the panel.

Participants at the event included Dr Marina Grech (GANADO Advocates), Dr. Louis De Gabriele (Camilleri Preziosi Advocates), Dr. Joe Ghio (Fenech & Fenech Avocates), Mr. David Zammit (Zeta Investments Holding Limtied), Dr. David Zahra (David Zahra & Associates Advocates), Mr. Joseph Camilleri (Valletta Fund Services).