Following the UK voters’ decision to exit the European Union, several financial services firms, including insurance companies, are in the process of analyzing possible contingency plans to shift their European business to another member state, with Malta posing as an attractive option in this regard.
What does Malta have to offer?
Several factors render Malta as an attractive jurisdiction, including its location in the centre of the Mediterranean, stable political situation, excellent communications, and its well-educated, adaptable and English-speaking work force. There are no restrictions on movement within the EU, since Malta is a Schengen member state.
Further factors which attribute to Malta’s appeal as a destination of choice are:
Malta is the seat of various international (re)insurance undertakings, serviced by highly-qualified and highly-experienced professionals.
• The European Passport
(Re)insurance undertakings whose head office is in Malta are able to passport their Maltese licence into any EU/EEA Member State. (Re)insurance undertakings may opt to passport on a freedom of services basis or freedom of establishment (branch) basis. A branch of a non-EEA (re)insurance undertaking does not enjoy passporting rights.
• Re-Domiciliation and Mergers
Maltese law permits (re)insurance undertakings already registered and established in certain jurisdictions to re-domicile to Malta. Maltese law also applies the EU Cross-Border Mergers Directive.
• Portfolio transfer
Maltese Legislation provides for the transfer of business of insurance by means of portfolio transfer, both in relation to general business of insurance and life insurance business.
• A Low Cost Jurisdiction
Renowned to be a comparatively low cost jurisdiction in the EU and as a developing Financial Services centre, Malta is consistently topping the charts as one of the most cost-efficient domiciles for insurers.
• Availability of International Service Providers
(Re)insurance undertakings located in Malta may outsource management by appointing a licensed insurance management company to provide insurance management services. Malta offers an impressive array of international insurance managers who have set up operations in Malta, the Big Four audit firms as well as a number of local operators.
• The Protected Cell Company as an Alternative Model
Maltese legislation allows (re)insurance undertakings to be created as Protected Cell Companies (PCCs). A PCC is a regular trading company which can create one or more cells for the purpose of segregating and protecting the cellular assets from each other and from the assets of the company. This enables promoters to come together within the PCC framework and to share overhead costs whilst being protected from each other’s liabilities. Alternatively, a single promoter can write separate lines of business from separate cells, thus segregating each line of business.
How we can assist
GANADO Advocates are able to offer a range of services, from ongoing legal and regulatory assistance and advice on an “as needed” basis throughout the course of the insurance application process and thereafter. We are well positioned to assist with re-domiciliation or start-up of a new company, and offer services ranging from drafting of the various documentation required (Malta law compliant M&A, resolutions, declarations, etc) to liasing with foreign legal counsel and with the MFSA and registry of companies in Malta. We are also able to offer company secretarial services, to recommend suitable persons as non-executive directors on the Board of the insurer as well as corporate services including registered office services through our affiliate corporate service provider.
Should further information on the subject be required, please contact Dr. Matthew Bianchi.