Malta is a jurisdiction that is very attractive to fund promoters. Malta’s economy has come through the credit crunch and market crisis remarkably unscathed. Malta has stable financial institutions and offers a firm but flexible regulatory regime for investment services. As an EU Member State, the Maltese regulatory framework is based on the EU model, however in adopting a principle-based approach rather than a strictly rules-based approach, the MFSA (the Malta Financial Services Authority – Malta’s single regulator for financial services activities) ensures that fund promoters’ requirements are addressed satisfactorily.

David Zahra & Associates advises on the formation, structuring and regulation of collective investment schemes in Malta and provides ongoing legal advice to funds and fund managers.

The Maltese regulatory framework for funds allows for the establishment of both

  1. Retail collective investment schemes (both UCITS and non-UCITS); and
  2. Professional investor funds.

David Zahra & Associates provides a comprehensive service approach to the requirements of fund promoters and managers, including:

  • drafting the constitutive document of the collective investment scheme;
  • advising on any legal matter relevant to the establishment of the collective investment scheme;
  • providing professional and strategic assistance as well as attending meetings with the MFSA for the purpose of obtaining the necessary license for the collective investment scheme as well as acting as the channel of communication between the promoter and MFSA;
  • preparing the licence application for the collective investment scheme (including liaison with all third parties);
  • providing assistance in the drafting of the Prospectus/Offering Memorandum/Marketing Document of the collective investment scheme;
  • providing assistance in connection with the appointment of the administrator, the manager, the custodian, the auditor of the collective investment scheme, the compliance officer and money laundering reporting officer as well as referring a Maltese resident to be appointed as director of the collective investment scheme (if required); and
  • providing ancillary services such as registered office address and company secretarial services.

Maltese funds also enjoy beneficial tax treatment; funds set up in Malta which have more than 15% of their assets invested abroad are not subject to tax in Malta and are also exempt from stamp duty.

David Zahra & Associates may also assist in the re-domiciliation of funds to Malta. The fact that Maltese law permits such re-domiciliations adds to the jurisdiction’s attraction to fund promoters and has, in fact, resulted in a number of offshore companies providing fund management services and offshore investment funds to move to a reputable jurisdiction such as Malta.