MZ Corporate Broking was set up by MZ Investment Services Ltd in 2019 and is already the largest player on the market. Financial analyst for capital markets and investments, Josef Cutajar, explains what this entity does.

Picture: Josef Cutajar, Financial analyst for capital markets and investments, MZ Investment Services Ltd

  • For those who don’t know MZ Investments, can you provide some background?

MZ Investment Services Ltd is an investment services firm specialising in the provision of tailored income-generating solutions that take into consideration the returns as well as the unique goals, interests, preferences and risk profile of its clients.

Since its inception in January 1999, the company adopted a strategy that enabled it to focus on specific areas of expertise and investment strategies while maintaining at its core a client-centric approach that delivers a high level of attention and dynamic responsiveness. This approach also proved very effective during periods of elevated uncertainties across financial markets, as it allowed the company to respond quickly to its clients’ needs by limiting potential downsides and tapping opportunities as they arise.

As part of its growth strategy, in late 2019, MZ Investments increased its presence in the local capital market through the setting up of a Corporate Broking arm. Over the past four years, MZ Corporate Broking raised circa €0.5 billion in capital for various companies listed on the Malta Stock Exchange that operate in different economic sectors such as real estate, tourism, port infrastructure and financial services, among others.

  • Can you elaborate further on the services provided by MZ Corporate Broking?

The key services offered by the MZ Corporate Broking unit are:

  • Capital raising – this involves assisting companies seeking to raise capital through initial public offerings, rights issues or placements. This service also includes advising on the type, structure, timing and pricing of the capital raising, as well as the coordination of the overall process that leads to capital being raised and/or listing obtained.
  • Research – ahead of any capital-raising exercise or major corporate action (such as merger and acquisition activity, or spin-off), extensive work is done with a view to ensuring that the corporate entity has the right credentials, organisation and strategy in place for securing a feasible and successful outcome that lasts for many years. In this respect, our analysis looks at various aspects of the prospective capital-raising exercise or corporate action, including the underlying dynamics of the local capital market; investor appetite and sentiment; macroeconomic forces; as well as the distinct characteristics, competitive landscape, and prospects of the market in which the corporate entity operates.
  • Corporate governance and compliance – a lot of importance is placed on providing the necessary guidance for companies to adhere to all obligations in line with prevailing legislation, regulatory requirements, listing policies, as well as financial reporting and disclosures. This also includes the compilation of Financial Analysis Summary reports on an annual basis for eligible companies, which would contain financial forecasts and other matters related to strategy and governance.
  • Investor relations – insight is provided on how best a corporate entity can maintain a healthy, ongoing, and long-lasting relationship with market participants including regulatory authorities, existing and potential investors, stockbroking firms, as well as other interested players. This often entails providing support in the presentation of financial information during analyst meetings, other direct communication with market participants, as well as advice in the formulation and upkeep of the companies’ online investor relations platform.
  • Treasury management – comprises offering investment solutions that optimise liquidity and cash flows in support of the overall financial objectives of the corporate entity.
  • Transaction management – this involves providing access to and/or facilitating the process of negotiation and execution of deals and investments that would typically take different forms depending on the nature of the business transaction. Assistance is also provided in the specific structuring of the deal, including terms and conditions, due diligence, valuation, as well as financing, legal and regulatory considerations.
  • Can you share a little-known fact about MZ Corporate Broking?

Perhaps one of the most underappreciated aspects of our business is the significant influence that we have in the local corporate bond market. The aggregate nominal value of bonds issued by our corporate clients represents circa 37% of the total local corporate bond market, making us as the largest player in the field. Naturally, this position carries substantial responsibilities and demands hard work. However, we prefer maintaining a low profile and dedicate our time to providing the best possible service to our corporate clients and investors.

What are you currently working on, and what are your plans and strategic priorities for the coming years?

2023 was a record year with approximately €200 million in new bond issuances. Although the year started in the context of an adverse investment climate marked by surging inflation and tightening monetary policies across developed economies, aside from the war in Ukraine, it turned out to be a highly successful 12-month period. This positions us well to look ahead with optimism as we prepare for another busy year with some exciting activities expected to take place which we hope will receive a positive response from the market at large.

  • Are there any projects/achievements that you are exceptionally proud of?

We are a dedicated team and the success achieved to date reflects our long-standing experience, extensive knowledge in investment services and corporate broking, excellent reputation and track record, strong industry relationships and network, comprehensive suite of customisable services, and an ethos that prioritises long-term business relationships built on trust. We believe that these are the elements which altogether give us our identity and make us recognisable.

  • What in your opinion makes Malta an effective jurisdiction to set up a business?

Malta is a stable economy and has all the required structures in place to welcome international investors. When it comes to the Malta Stock Exchange, the costs involved are comparatively attractive, and this is an advantage especially in an era of high inflation.

On the other hand, it is only fair to say that the Maltese capital market has its own challenges as well, the most obvious being the very low level of liquidity on the secondary market especially when compared to international markets. The reasons for this are various, including the general small size of the issues and the absence of any market-making mechanisms. Furthermore, most retail investors tend to adopt a ‘buy and hold’ investment philosophy, while substantial participation from sizeable institutional investors is lacking. Another plausible reason could be matters related to governance as although Malta has made important strides forward in this regard, the country may still need to take further steps to be on par with other jurisdictions.


Josef Cutajar is a seasoned financial analyst with a strong background in banking. Throughout his 20-year career, Josef established an extensive network with key market players and today is part of the Corporate Broking arm within MZ Investment Services Ltd. His work involves assisting companies seeking to raise capital on the Maltese capital market, as well as providing guidance on matters related to market research, investment analysis and valuation, transaction management, corporate governance and investor relations.