Malta: FinanceMalta 10th Annual Conference Made Its Quantum Leap
Last Updated: 14 June 2017

The Prime Minister of Malta, Dr Joseph Muscat inaugurated the 10th edition of the FinanceMalta conference, 'Malta's Financial Services Industry - Taking the Next Quantum Leap'.

The full day conference, which attracted over 450 delegates, and featured 38 speakers and panel members addressed the prospects and opportunities resulting from global events, particularly those brought about by Brexit and the consequences of this development within the context of the Commonwealth. Other topics included Securitisation, Fintech, Crowdfunding, Blockchain, Family Business matters as well as a number of other global and domestic industry-related developments.

The event kicked off with a pre-conference networking event which was held on the eve of the conference at the Blue Elephant, Portomaso. This year's event also coincided with the 10th anniversary of the setting up of FinanceMalta.

Addressing the conference, FinanceMalta chairman Kenneth Farrugia said, "FinanceMalta is committed to promote Malta as a unique financial services centre in Europe and beyond. For this calendar year, the Board has approved a strong promotional plan aimed to sustain the growth experienced so far in the key financial sectors of Malta's financial services industry. The plan covers various initiatives supporting the Private Wealth, Insurance and Asset Servicing sectors as well as subsets of the key financial sectors such as securitisation, pensions, protected cell insurance business, venture capital and private equity business and a number of related areas of business. From a geographic reach perspective, the key focus will remain centred around the European markets particularly London and Milan but will also extend to Zurich and Geneva. There are also a number of third party events that will be organised in other EU member states which will see the participation of FinanceMalta through the presence of information stands, speaking opportunities as well as bespoke Malta centred events. The program also covers a number of events that will be organised in New York, Abu, Dhabi, Dubai and Singapore."

Speaking about the conference, Mr Farrugia said that, "during this year's conference the delegates had the opportunity to discuss not only the challenges and opportunities of the financial services sector in its drive to take a quantum leap and strengthen its position in the current financial sectors, but also to focus on the new emerging sectors that will support the business going forward. However, for this to happen, we need to ensure that innovation is centric to our initiatives enabling us to harness various opportunities particularly those driven by technological developments."

Mr Farrugia's address was followed by that of The Rt Hon Lord Marland of Odstock who took the stage with a presentation on 'Leveraging the Commonwealth's Economic and Business Potential'.

The Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy Minister, Dr Emmanuel Mallia delivered his address and views on 'Malta and the new frontier in financial services.' The event also included an address on 'The UK, Brexit and Malta: Implications and Opportunities for the UK and Malta' by the renowned economist Susan HayesCulleton.

The second part of the morning session was dedicated to the ever-increasing demand for online financial services, where the debate focused on the new technological opportunities brought about by Blockchain, Fintech and Bitcoin. This session was delivered by Steve Tendon, an expert in the field. This topic was discussed in further detail during the subsequent panel discussion entitled 'How & why will the Blockchain fuel Global Economic growth in the next 20-30 years? What are the Blockchain opportunities for Malta with, and beyond, Fintech?'

The morning sessions came to an end with the stimulating presentation on 'The Resurgence of Securitisation – Leveraging Malta's Opportunities' by Janet Oram, Head of European ABS at BlackRock, which was followed by a

The afternoon sessions were taken up by three workshops each tackling a separate industry, namely 'Pension Schemes – A Changing Scenario'', 'Creating an Environment for Entrepreneurs through Crowdfunding, Private Equity and Venture Capital business', and 'Malta's Fintech Strategy'. These ran concurrently allowing delegates to delve into their preferred topic.

After the coffee break, the Hon Professor Edward Scicluna delivered his address on the performance of the Malta's economy and provided and other related matters which impact the financial sector. The Minister's address was followed by a panel session on the 4th AML directive. Juanita Bencini, partner at KPMG and IFSP President, delivered her address on 'The business and operational implications of the 4th AML Directive', which was followed by an engaging panel discussion on the various facets of this Directive.

The last panel for the day was moderated by Michael Imeson, Senior Content Editor of FT Live. During this session, the benefits of the recently enacted Family Business Act were discussed alongside other matters which are highly relevant to family business within the overarching context of Malta's proposition in this regard.

Jeremy Leach, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Partners Group, commented: "We were very proud to be diamond sponsors of this highly successful event. The presentations and panel discussions were topical and engaging while the delegates included a great mix of international professionals. Bigger and better than ever, this event was a testament to the progress Malta has made in becoming one of the European Union's leading financial centres."

The main sponsor for this year's conference was Managing Partners Group (MPG), an asset management group that specialises in structuring, managing and administering mutual funds, securitisations and collective investment schemes. Other conference sponsors included Swissquote Financial Services (Malta) Ltd., Bank of Valletta, and VacancyCentre as Platinum Sponsors; while Linedata, Kane LPI Solutions (Malta) Ltd, Trident Trust Company (Malta) Ltd, Fenech & Fenech Advocates, Camilleri Preziosi Advocates and KONNEKT were Gold Sponsors. The pre-conference networking event was sponsored by Castille Resources, and the workshops were sponsored by Curmi & Partners, Harbour Pensions, Active Services (Malta) Ltd, and Ascent Software, respectively.

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