For the first time, Malta has been won the coveted award of Europe's favoured domicile in the Hedge Fund Service Provider rankings 2013, a significant change to the old guard in this category. The choice of most favoured domicile was selected as the biggest change over 2012 results by Hedge Funds Review, the leading publication for the alternative investment industry.
Malta rose from third position in 2012 to first place this year. Voting in the survey was conducted online between August 27 and October 14. Eligible to vote were individuals from single-manager hedge funds or FoHF organisations and investors, such as family offices, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies and asset allocators, underlining Malta's popularity with a broad range of hedge fund formats and professionals.
Financial services already accounts for at least 12% of Malta's GDP and is worth well in excess of €1 billion to the Maltese Islands in direct and indirect revenue, employing some 10,000 people and the selection of Malta as Europe's favoured domicile will undoubtedly spur all stakeholders to consolidate their activities for further growth beneath the FinanceMalta brand.
FinanceMalta's Chairman Kenneth Farrugia was in London to receive this distinguished award on behalf of Malta's international financial services centre. Mr. Farrugia said," I am highly pleased that Malta’s value proposition as a European Fund Domicile has been recognised through this Award as conferred by Hedge Funds Review. Malta’s ranking as the most favourite European Fund Domicile is in essence a reflection of the critical success factors that have underpinned our value proposition over the past years primarily driven by the presence of a steadfast legal and regulatory framework, an accessible and pro-business regulatory body, a highly developed operational infrastructure and above all the presence of a “can-do” mind-set in the industry. Within this context, over these past years,
FinanceMalta, through its management team and its member base, has been pivotal in the organisation of various international promotional initiatives aimed at showcasing the funds sector and its critical success factors. As a result of these initiatives, which included the use of various media channels, Malta is today renowned as highly competitive European Fund Domicile as this Award clearly confirms. Despite this laudable Award, sustaining our competitiveness is in my view a journey and going forward this can only be achieved by continuously measuring our responsiveness to the needs and wants of our clients, and more so measuring the quality of service that is being delivered to Malta’s various international client base through stakeholder surveys.
This will ensure that the sector constantly remains client centric avoiding the common pitfall of successful jurisdictions in becoming victims of their own success". As an EU Member State, Malta is a highly regarded onshore jurisdiction remaining up to date with all the legislative and regulatory changes being enacted by the EU, the latest of which was the AIFMD. Malta's improved reputation as a financial services hub on a level playing field with other EU jurisdictions such as Luxembourg and Ireland. The AIFMD now provides EU managers managing EU funds with the right to provide their management services and to market their EU funds throughout the EU through a pan-EU passport, without requiring another authorisation in the host State/s in addition to that obtained in their home Member State.
The EU passport will allow managers to choose more freely where to establish themselves and the funds they manage, enabling them to concentrate their fund management and marketing activities reaching across or involving various European jurisdictions within one EU State. This is expected to entice cross-border managers to establish their funds in an EU fund domicile. At the same time, some non-EU managers who rely substantially on the EU investment market for distribution of their funds may ultimately decide either to relocate to or establish a management operation in an EU domicile. In both cases, given its selection as "Most favoured domicile in Europe" in Hedge fund service provider rankings 2013, Malta will certainly figure as a front-line candidate and EU domicile of choice, given the excellent value proposition, as well as the acquired reputation of having robust, flexible regulation exercised by an approachable, yet robust regulator.
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