Malta has taken another step towards growing the size of its financial services sector by becoming the second jurisdiction alongside Luxembourg to adopt the Notified Alternative Investment Funds (NAIF) framework, according to Jeremy Leach, CEO of the Managing Partners Group.
The NAIF framework means product providers are directly regulated rather than the products. This means new funds can be launched without the need for pre-authorisation by the relevant regulator. Under’s Malta’s proposed framework, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) will maintain a list of NAIFs it considers to be in good standing, while the AIF manager assumes responsibility for the NAIF.
Leach said the speed to market proposition would give Malta a significant advantage.
“Asset managers often complain that regulation is strangling them. European regulators are notoriously slow in getting authorisation and it is the biggest frustration most financial groups have. Time to market is critical when you have competition and the delay with getting authorization through various authorities is commercially compromising.”
“This move by Malta is a game changer. It sends out the message that the MFSA is amenable to speeding up the time taken to launch products and it will enhance its share of the European fund market. This new framework is easier, quicker and cheaper without any compromise to the regulatory framework.”
Other advantages that the country has developed in order to foster its financial services sector include membership of both the EU and the Commonwealth, some 65 tax treaties with other jurisdictions, and legislation intended to facilitate securitisations, Leach added.