February 6, 2012 1:52 pm
More UK Fund Managers in MaltaBy Anthony Manduca
Sturgeon Ventures, a UK incubator (start-up) firm, has established three of its fund manager clients in Malta, a jurisdiction it sees as set to attract an increasing number of start-up financial firms.
“Low cost, efficient regulation and access to the European Union are the three key attributes that are putting Malta increasingly on the wish-list of financial firms looking for a regulatory jurisdiction,” said Seonaid Mackenzie, managing partner at Sturgeon Ventures.
The three clients that Sturgeon has guided to Malta include hedge fund Tertius European Absolute Return, which returned 5.42 per cent in Q4 2011, put-ting it in the 93rd percentile of 1,150 funds in its sector; Clerkenwell Capital, manager of the Clerkenwell Matterhorn Fund, a professional investor fund that invests in listed European real estate securities; and Sarum Partners, a private equity fund manager.
Tertius Capital and Sarum are now both domiciled in Malta while Clerkenwell Capital’s application is currently being processed by the Malta Financial Services Authority.
According to the MFSA, the number of funds located in Malta has now grown to 500 with a net asset value (NAV) of €8 billion from 165 funds with less than €5 billion NAV in 2006. Six fund management companies have re-domiciled to Malta since 2009.
Mr Mackenzie said: “Malta is a perfect regulatory jurisdiction for start-ups. It has a fast-growing financial services community and the authorities are very engaging and understanding. It is well on the way to becoming one of the world’s most highly respected financial centres.”
Adrian Elwood, managing director of Clerkenwell Capital, commented: “Malta is an onshore European jurisdiction offering a high level of investor protection but is sufficiently cost effective to attract start-up funds. It’s an up and coming jurisdiction seeking to establish itself and we are very pleased with how it has gone so far. Sturgeon works in the same way – it appreciates small businesses and is happy to grow with us over time.”
Mario Reinisch, chief executive officer of Tertius Capital, commented: “Malta has many advantages for us. It uses the English language and the traditions of the UK legal system; it is about a third cheaper than Luxembourg to operate in, but you get the same service levels as in other centres; it is a sovereign country of good standing within the EU, with all important double taxation treaties in place globally; and it is part of the eurozone”.
Oliver de Giorgio-Miller, a director and investment committee member of Sarum Oncology Fund, said: “Malta provides a very efficient and flexible regulatory regime for investment funds which contribute to the island’s increasing popularity as a European fund jurisdiction.”
Sturgeon specialises in helping entrepreneurs establish start-up financial services businesses.
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