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Investment Funds

Dr. Maria Chetcuti Cauchi
Malta Law Firm > Investment Funds

Investment Funds

Malta: a leading hub for funds

With hundreds of hedge funds, retails funds and UCITS schemes choosing the country as their home every year, Malta is no longer seen as an 'emerging' funds domicile, and is now regarded as a well-established jurisdiction of considerable depth and sophistication. A number of important factors have contributed to this success:

  • Sound and sensible regulation which takes into account the needs of businesses whilst safeguarding the interests of investors;
  • A low cost and favourable fiscal base, rendering business models feasible where they would be unworkable elsewhere;
  • An approachable regulator, willing to discuss innovative ideas whilst requiring compliance with the highest standards;
  • Ease of access to the European market for investment;
  • Quick application turnaround times;
  • Flexibility as to the choice of service providers, e.g. local fund administrators not being required;
  • Availability of self-managed structures;
  • Sub-fund (protected cell company) legislation, permitting the creation of ring-fenced pockets of assets and liabilities within the same legal entity.

Investment Services Law in Malta

Malta funds: Collective Investment Schemes

Malta offers fund managers a variety of vehicles that can cater for a broad range of investment strategies and investor types. Most funds are structured as SICAVs, investment companies with variable share capital. However, a Malta fund can also be structured as an INVCO (an investment company with fixed share capital), a unit trust, a contractual arrangement or a partnership. These legal structures serve as vehicles for a variety of fund types, including Professional Investment Funds, UCITS funds, retail funds and private collective investment schemes.

Malta Hedge Funds: Professional Investor Funds

The Maltese hedge fund product is the Professional Investor Fund (PIF), which has proven to be the most popular fund type that Malta offers. The PIF is highly flexible, providing fund managers with a product which is generally subject to no leverage and investment restrictions. A PIF can thus be used as a vehicle through which to conduct highly innovative or unorthodox investment strategies. The flipside of this flexibility is that PIFs can only be sold to investors meeting certain minimum investment and sophistication criteria. Having said that, Malta also offers an interesting, 'quasi-retail', variant of the PIF, the Professional Investor Fund sold to 'Experienced' Investors, which can be sold to investors with a low minimum investment threshold of EUR 10,000, as long as certain leverage restrictions and broad investment limitations are adhered to.

Investment Funds Practice

Our funds practice focuses on the structuring and setting-up of funds and the provision of on-going advisory services at post-licensing stage. We assist our clients with the drafting of all regulatory documentation, including offering memoranda and ancillary agreements. We also manage relations with regulatory authorities. From a practical perspective, we connect clients to high quality personnel and service providers in the jurisdiction and generally act as primary reference point for all aspects of the project. Our firm has a particular focus on the creation of funds which follow unorthodox investment strategies or which use unconventional structures. Every client benefits from a dedicated team of lawyers and other professionals who provide advice which is not staid and legalistic and which instead centres around the practical, real-world needs of the applicant.

Malta Financial Services Lawyers

Our lawyers work closely with other practitioners in the firm to provide an ‘all-in-one’ service to our financial services client portfolio. We are responsible for the set up and maintenance of a large portfolio of investments services companies and funds, where we assist the client on various aspects including jurisdictional selection, choice of legal vehicle, and ensuring that such structures comply with all local company law and regulations. Ancillary services we provide include corporate compliance and company secretarial services for private and public companies, setting up of brick-and-mortar or online business operations, assistance with the selection of external service provides, real estate advisory services and restructuring or redomiciliation assistance.


Featured Publications

Investment Funds Publications

Malta UCITS Funds - Stefania Grech - 16/10/15
Malta AIFMD: Revision of the Investment Services Rulebook - Stefania Grech - 12/09/14
EMIR: Provisions for Maltese Entities Trading in derivatives - Stevie Aquilina - 21/08/14
Malta Fund Corporate Governance - Charles Cassar - 19/08/14
Malta Loan Funds: MFSA Issues Investment Services Rules for Loan Funds - Charles Cassar - 16/04/14
Malta Professional Investor Funds Post-AIFMD - Dr Charles Cassar - 16/09/13
The Definition of AIFs under the AIFMD - Stevie Aquilina - 30/08/13
Calculation of Capital Requirements Under AIFMD - Dr Charles Cassar - 01/08/13
Malta Binary Options - Dr Charles Cassar - 25/07/13
Malta AIFMD Passporting - Dr Charles Cassar - 11/07/13

Investment Funds News

2015 Changes to VAT Rules - Kenneth A. Camilleri - 18/03/15
Limits Applicable to Cross Sub-Fund Investment in Malta - Maria Chetcuti-Cauchi - 19/02/14
Malta's Financial Services Industry - Performance in 2013 - Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker - 21/01/14
MiFID 2: EP and Council Reach In Principle Agreement - Charles Cassar - 14/01/14
Malta: Best Funds Domicile in Europe - David Joseph Borg - 29/11/13
Malta In Line With EU Rules On Hedge Funds - Dr Charles Cassar - 03/09/13
Opinion by ESMA regarding marketing & passporting rights under the AIFMD despite late transposition - David Joseph Borg - 06/08/13
FATCA deadline extended till 1st July 2014 - Justine Bielik - 17/07/13
AIFMD Implementation in Malta: MFSA Issues AIFMD Implementing Measures - Dr Charles Cassar - 28/06/13
MFSA Issues AIFMD Self-Assessment Questionnaires - Dr Charles Cassar - 10/05/13

Recent Work in Investment Funds

We are regularly approached by traders working in a variety of markets in order to set-up tax efficient vehicles for their operations. Unless the activity constitutes market making or is otherwise regulated, simple, two-tier unregulated vehicles can generally be set-up and provide the client with a sound structure through which to conduct business. We have assisted clients in the creation of vehicles for the trading of foreign exchange (both spot as well as futures), listed equity, debt instruments, various types of derivatives as well as various types of commodities. Given the unregulated nature of these structures, we are generally able to achieve very rapid time to market, with the client being able to operate the structure within a few days from the commencement of our engagement.

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Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Institute of Financial Services Practitioners FinanceMalta The Malta Chamber of Commerce & Industry Malta Institute of Management The Foundation for Human Resources Development Malta Remote Gaming Council International Financial Law Review The International Tax Planning Association International Fiscal Association International Bar Association The Malta Institute of Accountants Legal500 HierosGamos Legal Directories Chambers & Partners


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Chetcuti Cauchi is a Malta Law Firm specialising in Malta Company Formation, Malta Tax Advisory, Malta Gaming Licenses, Malta Investment Funds, Malta Investment Services, Malta Permanent Residency, Cyprus Company FormationMalta Yacht Registration, Malta Ship Registration

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