In an extensive report, Opalesque gives a healthy check to
Malta's financial services industry, noting that Malta as a
funds and finance centre is on a healthy growth path. In 2015, 112
new funds were registered and two new custodians and 22 new
investment managers were licensed. The insurance gross premium was
up 33.6% year on year and pension assets were up 66% year on year,
with now 38 retirement schemes and 27 asset managers in that
The report notes that in the early days of AIFMD, one of the
main criticisms was that it was forcing regulation on investors who
do not need or require the protection afforded by AIFMD and that
this regulation will increase compliance costs for those type of
investors that do not need or want this protection. Malta has
designed a solution for these type of investors where they could,
through a new regime called Notified Alternative Investment Funds
structure (Notified AIFs / NAIFs) reduce their compliance costs, if
they so wish because the regulation of the NAIF will be undertaken
through the AIFM.
"These new breed of funds has the potential to become the
vehicles of choice for the industry within the next four years.
Once included in the list of notified AIFs, the fund can be
passported in terms of the AIFMD and therefore marketed on a
cross-border basis pursuant to the AIFMD. The new Notified AIF
regime applies to not only AIFMs licensed in Malta but also to
other AIFMs passporting into Malta. An influx of Notified AIF fund
launches is expected already by the end of 2016."
The 2016 Roundtable discussed the characteristics and benefits
of Notified AIFs and also lists the categories of AIFs which are
excluded and cannot be Notified AIFs. Alongside the AIFs, which
until now the authority has always regulated and supervised, Malta
also offers the Professional Investor Fund (PIF) regime, which was
retained for the de minimis fund managers which fell outside the
scope of the AIFMD and third country fund managers. The PIF funds
provide a "lighter" regulatory regime and more
flexibility than UCITS, AIFs and other funds which are also
licensed by the MFSA. Malta's PIF regime has been a great
success. Read in this Roundtable how MFSA is currently reviewing
the PIF regime.
Participants in the Opalesque 2016 Malta Roundtable included the
MFSA Chairman, Prof Joe Bannister as well as Angele Galea St John,
Christopher Buttigieg, Robert Higgans, Joseph Agius and Isabelle
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