Fund professionals in Malta face common challenges and opportunities. Three experts share their thoughts on the importance of ESG, digital assets, outsourcing, and more.

Albert Alsina Mediterrania Capital Partners

Albert Alsina – Founder and CEO of Mediterrania Capital Partners

Altarius

Pierre Maliczak, Group CEO of Altarius

Pauline Nwoko Apex Funds

Paulianne Nwoko, Managing Director of Apex Funds Services (Malta)

Over the past several years, Malta has developed into a specialist centre for alternative investment funds as well as an asset servicing and managing hub. We reached out to three FinanceMalta members to find out how Malta is evolving against the backdrop of themes such as ESG investing, investor demands and operational efficiency.

Why ESG Matters

Recent years have seen a significant expansion of ESG funds around the globe as organizations and individuals increasingly recognize the interdependencies between environmental, social and governance issues. Bloomberg calculates that global ESG assets may well exceed $53 trillion by 2025 – that’s a third of total global assets under management. It comes as no surprise that Malta’s investment funds and asset management community also considers ESG as an opportunity.

“Investors will seek more and more opportunities to invest in funds that are ESG focused, so we need to ensure some priority is given to that aspect. ESG investing is certainly an area were growth is expected,” says Paulianne Nwoko, Managing Director of Apex Funds Services (Malta).

Albert Alsina, Founder and CEO of Mediterrania Capital Partners, comments that “nowadays operating with a responsible investing approach is a must. We consider ESG factors a fundamental part of our value creation process, which enables portfolio companies to build the right foundations for long-term growth ensuring that the right policies to protect the environment and enhance social well-being are in place.”

Meeting Investor Expectations

Future growth will also very much depend on the capacity of all actors to match client needs, says Pierre Maliczak, Group CEO of Altarius. “Digital asset investments are a reality. Malta has the capacity to become a reference point in this space. Many of those funds are already serviced out of Malta, especially on the administration side. So, the skill is already on the island.” This obviously requires a solid offering supported by authorities and industry players, he says. “In my opinion, this will define where Malta will be in three to five years.”

Meanwhile, achieving greater operational efficiency is a key focus of the global asset management sector. Outsourcing, the modernisation of asset servicing operations and new technology tools are playing an important role in this process. These are developments that Malta’s investment fund sector can take advantage of. “I believe that Malta has still a lot to offer in the space, we have built expertise and have service providers that provide excellent solutions to the industry. However, we need to ensure we maintain competitiveness in cost and timing for regulatory approvals,” says Paulianne Nwoko.

Working Together

The sector’s top priority is to ensure that Malta is taken off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s advanced monitoring list. Over the past years, Malta has made significant efforts and improvements in its financial crime risk compliance and continues to put in place measures that will lead to standards well beyond the minimum requirements. “For the benefit of everyone”, says Albert Alsina, “it’s very important that regulators, government institutions and companies do all necessary to revert this situation, so Malta regains the confidence of public and private institutions, locally and internationally”.

Paulianne Nwoko highlights that the sector is very focused on ensuring a positive experience to instill change. It’s really about working together, Pierre Maliczak agrees. There are various ways and strategies how this could be achieved. One idea, he says, is the creation of a think tank to facilitate an exchange of on-the-ground experiences between regulatory authorities and companies.

Fastest Growing Economy

The general outlook for the industry remains positive. “If the sector manages to cope with the technology changes, investors’ different mind sets and the appetite for non-conventional traditional asset classes, Malta’s asset management industry will do well,” says Pierre Maliczak.

In 2022, the European Commission expects Malta to have the fastest growing economy among EU member states, according to the Autumn Economic Forecast. The economy is projected to achieve a growth rate of 6.2%, up from 5% in 2021, which bodes well for the future of Malta’s financial sector.

“Malta has the potential to double or triple the size of the finance sector in the next five years,” says Alsina. “It’s located in an unbeatable geopolitical location, being part of the EU and close to Africa. The financial sector is highly profitable and it’s growing at a global scale.”

'Investment Funds & Asset Management' Related News Articles

01
The INSIGHT Interview: Herald Bonnici, Secretary General, Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (PEVCA)
FinanceMalta

by FinanceMalta

17th June 2024

DORA Trifecta – Three delegated regulations adopted by the Commission
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

23rd April 2024

ESG
GRC in Malta: Governance and ESG – Navigating the Intersection between Profit and Purpose
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

5th April 2024

BOV OFFERS MAPFRE MSV Life CAPITAL GUARANTEED AND INCOME PLANS
Bank of Valletta

by Bank of Valletta

5th March 2024

Stable Return Fund of SCM Sicav plc was selected among the best flexible funds at the Diaman Awards
Solutions Capital Management SICAV p.l.c.

by Solutions Capital Management SICAV p.l.c.

4th March 2024

ESMA Consults on the ‘Classification of Crypto-Assets as Financial Instruments’ and ‘Reverse Solicitation’ under MiCA
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

23rd February 2024

Agreement reached on the proposed Anti-Money Laundering Regulation and Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

19th February 2024

MFSA Circular on the Newly Published Accountancy Profession Regulations, 2023 (Legal Notice 299 of 2023)
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

22nd January 2024

The Guaranteed Capital & Income Plan 2026 II now available from all BOV Branches, Investment Centres and Private Banking
Bank of Valletta

by Bank of Valletta

6th September 2023

New Guidance: Practical Guidance for Economic Operators: Detecting and Preventing Sanctions Evasion and Circumvention in Trade
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

16th August 2023

ESG
ESG is here to stay as both the Asset Wealth Management and the policymakers seem set on an irreversible course of action
Zeta

by Zeta

26th July 2023

BOV Asset Management Limited launches the Global Multi-Asset Thematic 60 Fund managed by Fidelity International
Bank of Valletta

by Bank of Valletta

7th May 2023

INFOCREDIT GROUP AMONG THE SPONSORS OF MALTA FINANCIAL CRIME COMPLIANCE CONFERENCE 2023
Infocredit Group Limited

by Infocredit Group Limited

3rd May 2023

The CJEU clarifies key issues on the adoption of enforcement measures in respect of sanctioned entities
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

4th January 2023

BOV Asset Management named official representative of Fidelity International in Malta
Bank of Valletta

by Bank of Valletta

25th November 2022

High calibre international speakers for FinanceMalta’s 15th Annual Conference
FinanceMalta

by FinanceMalta

28th October 2022

CJEU clarifies when dividend payments by fund managers must comply with the sound remuneration principles under AIFMD and UCITS Directive
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

14th October 2022

New EU Cross-Border Distribution of Funds Rules: Key Considerations for UCITS and AIFs and their Asset Managers
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

20th January 2022

ESMA Guidelines on the application of the appropriateness assessment and execution-only requirements under MiFID II
Ganado Advocates

by Ganado Advocates

20th January 2022

SAXO Bank Chief Economist optimistic for recovery in Malta’s Trade, Transport and Tourism
Bank of Valletta

by Bank of Valletta

25th May 2021

The future of Trade, Transport and Tourism in Malta – a business webinar by BOV, Saxo Bank and Malta Maritime Forum
Bank of Valletta

by Bank of Valletta

17th May 2021

What to expect: BOV, Malta Chamber and Saxo Bank debate on the future of businesses
Bank of Valletta

by Bank of Valletta

29th September 2020