On the 11 February 2016 the Malta Financial Services Authority (the “MFSA”) announced the launch of a new investment fund structure – the Notified AIF. A Notified AIF need not be authorised or in any way approved by the MFSA. In addition, Notified AIFs will not be subject to ongoing supervision. The MFSA will however make available and maintain on its website an updated list of Notified AIFs that are in good standing.
This new notification framework will be applicable to Alternative Investment Funds which are to be promoted to qualifying or professional investors. Moreover, for a collective investment scheme to avail itself of the notification framework, it must not already be in possession of a licence issued by the MFSA in terms of the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta).
A Notified AIF may be established in any legal form allowed for collective investment schemes under Maltese law. However, for an AIF to fall within the scope of the notification process, it must be managed by a full-scope AIFM. The AIFM will assume full responsibility for the Notified AIF and for the fulfilment of the obligations of the Notified AIF. EU/EEA AIFMs may submit a notification to the MFSA for an AIF to be included on the list of Notified AIFs. Third country AIFMs will be able to submit a request for notification of an AIF once the country where these have been established has been granted pass porting rights pursuant to the AIFMD.
Within 10 business days from the date of filing of all the necessary documentation, the MFSA will proceed to include the AIF in the list of Notified AIFs. In the coming weeks, the MFSA is expected to publish a list of documents required together with a proforma prospectus template to be submitted as part of the notification process of the AIF.
The new regime is likely to buttress Malta’s reputation as a jurisdiction of choice for fund promoters and managers alike.