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Malta’s Financial Services Industry: Latest Insights

MaltaProfile provides the most valuable insights into trends, challenges and opportunities in the Maltese financial services industry from C-level executives and key experts within the sector.

 1. Sharon Cilia Tortell

Sharon Cilia Tortell

Role: President of the Malta Association of Risk Management (MARM)

Quote: "Malta continues to invest heavily in the financial services industry, and whilst it maintains a strategy of growth and low unemployment levels, it manages its risks through diversification and innovation."

Sector: Insurance


2. Ian Gauci

Role: Managing Partner at Caledo, GTG Advocates & Afilexion

Quote: "Malta provides an optimal operating environment for business, which ensures the island's placement on the radar of the international finance industry. Moreover, Malta's financial centre currently enjoys greater credibility when compared to the past due to the island's financial stability, reputation, competitive tax regime as well as the innovative concepts and structures in the financial services sector."

Sector: Legal Services

 

3. Stewart Davies

Role: Group Chief Officer Momentum Pensions and Chairman of the Malta Association of Retirement Scheme Practicioners (MARSP)

Quote: “In recent years, Malta has been increasingly used as an international location for pension savings. This shift is encouraging new ideas and new growth areas, with a number of local firms taking the initiative to create products for this area.”

Sector: Pensions 

 

4. Joseph Portelli

Role: Executive Chairman of the Malta Stock Exchange

Quote: “Over the past few years, we have seen an impressive level of growth as a result of the investment in the newly launched markets: the Institutional Financial Securities Market (IFSM) and Prospects MTF, while the Regulated Main Market remains our main source of new business.” 

Sector: Foreign Exchange Market

 

5. Catherine Calleja

Role: President of the Malta Insurance Association

Quote: "Embracing digital transformation could help to rejuvenate the Maltese insurance sector, while also making it leaner and more efficient in its service offering."

Sector: Insurance 

 

6. Paulianne Nwoko 

Paulianne Nwoko

Role: Managing Director at Apex Funds Services

Quote: “I believe the main challenges are coming from rapidly evolving regulation, which also presents an opportunity to create new products. Investing in new technology will help us to ensure we can keep acting as our clients’ ‘one-stop-shop’.”

Sector: Financial Services

 

7. Alan Craig

Alan Craig

Role: Partner at Mazars Malta 

Quote: “Over the past years, the country has seen a growing number of entities increase their substance in the country, which has had a positive multiplier effect on the local economy. However, the strength of Malta’s future as a financial services centre is very much dependent on its reputation and its ability to remain fiscally attractive.”

Sector: Tax Advisory 

 

8. Priscilla Mifsud Parker 


Role: Senior Partner - Corporate, Trusts & Fintech at Chetcuti Cauchi

Quote: "What is needed today in this over-regulated environment is self-regulation and self-pruning with mechanisms focusing on internal and self-imposed compliance and risk management processes as well as focusing on internal audit and compliance processes. The sector should be supported by good governance, and not overregulation."

Sector: Legal Services

 

9. Josef Cardona

josef cardona

Role: General Manager at GVZH Trustees

Quote: "We are seeing a marked reduction in the number of Maltese companies being formed in the financial services space, but there is a steady flow of inward direct investment, particularly in insurance business, payment and technology."

Sector: Legal Services


10. Andrew J. Zammit

Role: Managing Parner at GVZH Advocates

Quote: ''The hypersensitivity of banking institutions and their somewhat formalistic approach towards compliance is creating a tremendous bottleneck and severe delays for legitimate and reputable businesses seeking to set up operations in Malta. There is a clear need for more operators with a specialised knowledge and understanding of specific businesses Malta is seeking to attract, amongst which we find iGaming operators and crypto-currency and blockchain-based models.”

Sector: Legal Services


11. Paul Grech

Role: Finance Director of Agribank

Quote: “Tax harmonisation will be extremely harmful for Malta, hence the country needs to base its offering on high-quality infrastructure and HR rather than tax benefits to attract FDI.''

Sector: Banking

 

12. Paul Mifsud

Role: Managing Director of Sparkasse

Quote: "The theme for the next few years should be one of focus, specialization and service. Malta is no longer the low cost jurisdiction it may once have been perceived to be, so the emphasis on service and value has become all the more important.''

Sector: Banking 


13. Joseph Ghio

Role: Partner at Fenech and Fenech Associates

Quote: “Malta should not shy away from servicing more niche industry segments that might at first glance appear too complicated for a small jurisdiction. Fenech & Fenech is proud to have recently assisted the first market making firm to be licensed by the MFSA — and this could perhaps be the first small step in turning Malta into a market making hub.”

Sector: Legal Services

 

14. Keith Mallia Milanes

Role: Assistant General Manager at MAPFRE Middlesea

Quote: “As the global insurance industry is going through a digital transformation, leading players including MAPFRE Middlesea strive to be at the forefront of technology and innovation. We have invested heavily in digitalisation for both internal processes and customer engagement.”

Sector: Insurance

 

15. Albert Alsina

Role: CEO, Managing Partner and Founder of Mediterrania Capital Partners

Quote: “Viewed by the industry professionals as a particularly business-friendly location with a strong and robust EU compliant regulatory framework, Malta is well positioned to continue its successful growth story. However, to cope with the country’s economic performance and attract even more companies, infrastructure investment needs to be substantially increased.”

Sector: Fund Services

 

16. Walter Cutajar

Role: Managing Director at Avanzia Taxand

Quote: “Malta performs extremely well in many areas of competitiveness, especially when it comes to niche markets — wealth management in particular, offers tremendous opportunities. But I believe the time has come to re-look at the Malta offering. The government needs to undertake a proactive approach to improve efficiency and reduce bureaucracy.”

Sector: Tax Advisory
 
 
17. Natacha Ebener 
Natacha Ebener

Role: Chief Operations Officer at Reyl & Cie 

Quote: “The financial services industry is undergoing a digital transformation, so it is the time for the banking sector to embrace technology. Emerging online banks and digital solution providers offer a very limited scope of services, this is why traditional banks need to invest in digitalisation and embrace new trends to provide a more holistic approach.” 

Sector: Banking


18. Francesco Scotto


Role: Chief Executive Officer of Zarattini International

Quote:Malta as a financial centre, should focus on those sectors where the fund industry has not entered yet. The island has become a hub for both shipping and aviation, yet these are two sectors where there is very limited interaction with the fund industry.”

Sector: Financial Services 

 

19. David Galea 

Role: Senior Vice President at Captive Solutions - Marsh Captive Solutions

Quote: “Malta continues to maintain a steady new business pipeline within the captive insurance sector. This is mainly due to the broadness of the options available within its regulatory regime, which provide a wide array of possible structures and have proven to be effective not only at incorporation stage, but also when the captive either reaches maturity or the end of its lifecycle.”

Sector: Insurance 

 

20. Karol Gabaretta

Role: Secretary General of the Malta Bankers' Association

Quote: “The concentrated nature of the banking sector’s local business creates scope for further diversification, which is both a challenge and an opportunity for the sector.”

Sector: Banking 


21. Brian West

Role: Private Client Manager at Conrad Family Office.

Quote: "Malta has an incredible pro-business attitude and a high level of professionalism. Business meetings with the industry key players take place on a regular basis, and we notice an extraordinary openness to share ideas and willingness to work together for mutual benefit."

Sector: Family Office 



22. Geraldine Noel

Role: Partner of Acumum Legal & Advisory 

Quote: "Malta has retained a steady focus as a finance centre by both corporates looking to establish themselves in an EU Jurisdiction, as well as high-net-worth individuals looking to structure their assets from an intergenerational wealth perspective."

Sector: Legal Services

 

23. Louis De Gabriele  

Role: Partner at Camilleri Preziosi

Quote: "I believe that Malta’s main attraction is the ability of the Maltese professional to be business oriented and to try to better understand the business drivers of the international client. We can have the most advanced regulatory or tax framework, which are indeed necessary - but ultimately – it’s about the people on the ground who make them work."

Sector: Legal Services

 


Published: 12 August 2019

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