As from July 1, 2013, fund managers who wish to set up, manage or market alternative investment funds in the EU must be compliant with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The date is fast approaching and managers who wish to set up base in Europe ahead of this important date must be prepared. Malta has all the legal infrastructure in place to help them get AIFMD-licensed from day one. For some, the re-domiciliation route could be their best option in the present circumstances. Malta’s tried and tested re-domiciliation procedures for both funds and fund managers, and the guiding approach the domicile is renowned for, could indeed be the best proposition.
During the course of discussions with fund promoters, many different queries are posed on how alternative investment funds; referred to as Professional Investor Funds (PIFs) in Malta, may be set-up and structured. Such queries usually revolve around the financial services regulator Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), time to licence, the need of service providers (including Directors) to be established/based in Malta and their availability on the island, taxation issues, and obviously cost. Malta has been building its reputation as a flexible yet onshore EU domicile and is competing well with its larger and more established European competitors, which begs the question - why are fund promoters choosing Malta?