Investment Services Law

Investment Services Law

The steady growth registered in Malta as a hub for investment services law within Europe has encouraged Malta’s role as a host for a variety of investment business such as investment advisors, fund managers, forex brokers, securities market makers and stock brokers.

Maltese Investment Services Law

Business-friendly regulations, competitive costs and fiscal base, the availability of a qualified and English-speaking workforce and the island’s excellent connections with international financial centres such as London, Zurich, Milan and Dublin, have attracted a multitude of different businesses to Malta. The innovative proposals from Malta’s jurisdiction regulator, the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority) has played an essential part in the growth experienced due to its high levels of accessibility and responsiveness.

Passporting Maltese Investment Services Licenses throughout Europe

One of the main advantages for investment services providers in Malta is the ability to passport their services and set up branches throughout Europe, which means that Maltese investment services providers can use their license acquired in Malta to provide their services throughout the EU, without the need for further licenses, thus reducing cost as well as regulatory complexity.

Malta Investment Services Law: The Investment Services Categories

Maltese Investment Services Law regulates the field according to the level of sophistication of the business in question, and it is also proportionate to the size of the business. There are four categories of investment services in Malta:

  • Category 1: reception and transmission of orders, investment advice, placing of instruments without a firm commitment basis, cannot hold or control client’s money or assets
  • Category 2: can provide any investment service as well as hold and control client’s money, but cannot operate a multilateral trading facility or underwrite or place instruments on a firm commitment basis
  • Category 3: can provide any instrument service and hold control over the client’s money
  • Category 4: can act as trustees or custodians of funds.

Fund Management in Malta

Fund management companies under Maltese investment services law are investment services providers and are typically licensed as Category 2 investment services providers. Malta is an attractive domicile for funds managers; the same arguments that apply broadly to all investment services providers apply for funds managers, plus, the country is now a genuine international centre for both hedge funds as well as UCITS.

Cypriot Investment Services Law

Our firm’s legal practice centres on Cyprus’ status as a prime European financial Services hub. Our firm provides a comprehensive service to clients, cater for their legal, tax and accounting needs at set up, pre licensing and post licensing and compliance stage.  Our services include representation in any preliminary or subsequent meetings with the local regulators, completion of documents required for licensing purposes, drafting of business plans, completion of the various official documents required and the drafting of prospectuses and offering documents where these are required.

Moreover, investment services providers and other financial services providers established in Cyprus are required to comply with the various regulatory requirements established by the relevant EU directives.  Our fully-fledged team is well-equipped to provide holistic compliance advisory services, even with respect to critical areas such as anti-money laundering regulation and data protection law. Thus, our fully integrative services have put us at the forefront of financial services solutions providers in Cyprus.

Our Investment Services Practice

Our investment services law practice group revolves around Malta and Cyprus’ roles as a European hub for financial services. Our investment services law advisory group enjoys a breadth of industry expertise, enabling our professionals to provide services ranging from licensing to compliance, corporate and tax, accounting and project management of the entire set up process for the client.

The day- to-day of our investment services law group advise and assist financial services operators in the setting up and in the on-going aspects of their operation from a Maltese and Cypriot regulatory and legal perspective. We work hand in hand with owners, directors and legal advisors of investment service companies, collective investment schemes, insurance companies, financial institutions and credit institutions in the establishment and maintenance of their activity whilst at the same time working around the most appropriate and tax-efficient structure for that particular case.

Some members of our investment services law practice group have taken on an active public role and form part of professional associations including Malta Institute of Taxation, the Council of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP), various instrument services subcommittee of such institute, the Society of Trusts & Estate Practitioners, the Malta Institute of Accountants and the Chamber of Advocates. The drafting of position papers and consultative documents which are to be presented to the Regulator on all aspects of Maltese Financial Services is one of the most common requests we receive.  On top of that we regularly speak at conferences and host specialist panels and we also regularly deliver investment services-related sessions in local and international fora. 

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