Malta has addressed one of the biggest issues in European fund management – the speed to market – with its new Notified Alternative Investment Funds (NAIF) framework, according to Jeremy Leach, chief executive officer of the Managing Partners Group.

Malta, together with Luxembourg, was one of the first two jurisdictions in Europe to adopt the new framework and the move was likely to expand its share of the alternative investment funds market, Mr Leach said.

Under the NAIF framework, it is the product providers that are directly regulated – rather than their products, so new funds can be launched without the need for pre-authorisation by the regulator.

The Malta Financial Services Authority will maintain an updated list of NAIFs on its website.

Speaking ahead of the annual Finance Malta Conference on Thursday, Mr Leach commented: “Asset managers often complain that regulation is strangling them. European regulators are notoriously slow in getting authorisation and it is the biggest frustration most financial groups have. Time to market is critical when you have competition and the delay with getting authorisation through various authorities is commercially compromising.

“This move by Malta is a game changer. It sends out the message that the MFSA is amenable to speeding up the time taken to launch products and it will enhance its share of the European fund market. This new framework is easier, quicker and cheaper without any compromise to the regulatory framework.”

While some other EU financial centres might attempt to get into the securitisations market, it was far easier for smaller jurisdictions to establish the necessary laws and there are very few which have the same passport-ing rights as Malta and Luxembourg, he concluded.

Managing Partners Group intends to offer securitisations and alternative fund management services to the pan-European market.

Source: Times of Malta

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