A Complimentary Jurisdiction
Malta is now officially viewed as a complementary jurisdiction to other major centres such as Luxembourg and Ireland. However, the Maltese domicile carries additional advantages such as being more cost efficient and having a sole regulator with a committed pro-business approach and stalwart attitude.
A Specialised Regime for PIFs
The area of alternative funds is that in which Malta continues to experience strong growth; partially due to the country being one of the first European jurisdictions to introduce a specialised regime for Professional Investment Funds (PIFs), in line with both the EU AIFMD and UCITS V Directive.
At the end of May 2016, The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) will be introducing a new regime for Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs): the Notified AIF. NAIFs will not require a licence and will not be subject to MFSA supervision, but rather the onus will fall onto the AIF Manager (AIFM).
This new NAIF regime will reduce setup and ongoing costs, minimise time-to-market, and is also tax exempt and passportable; providing yet another attractive benefit in opting for the Maltese domicile, already well-known and recognised for its pro-business attitude and cost efficiency, among many other appealing traits.UCITS
The UCITS V Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 28 August 2014 and became effective as of 17 September 2014. Member states were given 18 months to implement the Directive which came into force on 18 March 2016, however there is a further grandfathering period of 24 months being implemented for those UCITS whose depository was not compliant as at 18 March 2016 and such UCITS will therefore not need to be fully compliant until 18 March 2018. The UCITS V provisions seek to address certain perceived weaknesses in the UCITS regime, particularly following the Madoff fraud and the default of Lehman Brothers. In addition, certain provisions of UCITS V seek to align the UCITS regime with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, and to harmonise regulation across the EU. The key aspects addressed by UCITS V relate to the depository function, remuneration of personnel and regulatory sanctions.