Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) - Malta Investment Funds

Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) - Malta Investment Funds

The Investment Services Act (“ISA”), Chapter 370 of the Laws of Malta, provides the legal framework for the licensing and regulation of Collective Investment Schemes operated in or from Malta. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is an autonomous public authority constituted and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority Act (“MFSA Act”).

The Authority aims to provide a seamless regulatory function for Malta financial services and also regulates providers of investment services, insurance business companies and banks. The MFSA’s general regulatory approach, based primarily on accessibility to regulators and pragmatism in dealing with regulatory issues, has contributed tangibly to the exponential growth in Malta’s financial services sector over the past ten years.

Malta offers a robust and comprehensive legal framework for the establishment and licensing of various types of collective investment schemes (“CISs”) within the European Union, with the following main attractions:

  • A choice of CIS licences such as Professional Investor Funds (or “PIFs”), Alternative Investment Funds (or AIFs) and UCITS schemes, which offer varying levels of regulatory requirements
  • according to the nature of the targeted investors.
  • A legal framework accommodating various legal structures for the establishment of investment schemes.
  • Possibility of re-domiciling or migrating existing investment funds and hedge funds from other financial centres to Malta, thereby ensuring a seamless continuity of the fund and its investments.
  • Availability of multi-fund companies within the same investment company, enabling the creation of separate sub-funds each having a separate patrimony with varying investment objectives.
  • Availability of incorporated cell company structures, enabling the creation of a fund platform with each incorporated cell having a distinct licence and separate legal personality.
  • Time-sensitive handling of all applications by an approachable and pragmatic regulator. Target time-frames are of 7 days for issue of licence for Malta PIFs and of 3 months for CIS or UCITS schemes, subject to the submission of a complete application form.
  • Cost-effective regulatory and professional fee structures.
  • High level of professional services and presence of all major audit firms.
  • All business is conducted in the English language, providing international clients with a more comfortable working environment in a Central European time-zone.

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