MFSA’s new fund structure to strengthen Malta’s positon as domicile of choice

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has unveiled a new framework for Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) targeted at qualifying and professional investors.

Under the framework, the MFSA will only have to be notified about new AIFs (Notified AIFs) and full-scope fund managers will have full responsibility for the governance of their fund.  Full details are to be set out by the MFSA but the regulator has already confirmed that the notification process will only take up to 10 business days. The MFSA is due to publish a list of documents and a pro forma prospectus template that require completion as part of the notification process.

The MFSA will cease to provide ongoing supervision to Notified AIFs and the funds will not be authorised or approved by the regulator. However the MFSA has said it will provide an updated list of Notified AIFs on its website which the regulator considers to be in 'good standing'.

Neville Carabott, Managing Director, Heritage International Fund Services (Malta) Limited, said, "The new Notified AIF framework looks set to strengthen Malta's already sound reputation as a jurisdiction of choice for fund managers.  It also presents an opportunity for Heritage to work in closer partnership with our clients.  With the onus of responsibility for compliance placed on the AIFM, we expect our role to have increased significance to ensure they remain compliant and in good standing with the regulator, particularly for those clients not familiar with local laws and regulations.

“Of course there are many details still to be outlined by the MFSA but, overall, this is a very positive development.  We feel the simplified and efficient authorisation process reflects Malta’s flexibility and responsiveness to the changing needs of the global financial services industry."

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