Investment firm Q Securities has launched operations in Malta to bring more accessible depositary services to local alternative fund managers. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) licence issued with effective date as of February 20, 2023, authorises the Warsaw-headquartered company to offer depositary services to alternative funds (AIFs).
“In Malta, there are just six banks and five investment firms providing depositary services,” said Agnieszka Sawa, Q Securities CEO.
“This creates opportunities to influence the dynamics and quality of the service while growing our client portfolio.”
The launch of Malta operations comes after an increasing demand for depositary services from local companies managing medium and small-size funds. “The limited number of entities currently authorised to provide depositary services means there is a potential to acquire new customers and generate additional income, thanks to the competitive pricing of our high-quality services,” she said.
Malta boasts over 60 companies managing close to 500 funds with total assets above €21 billion. The share of alternative (AIFs) and professional investor funds (PIFs) stands at 70.5 per cent and 15.6 per cent, respectively, MSFA data published in June show. Last year’s annual increase in assets managed from Malta by over 41 per cent is the highest growth rate in the EU, a positive signal in a market environment where many jurisdictions report growth challenges.
“Alternative fund management companies are often forced to set up their funds in other jurisdictions because they struggle to find a depositary in Malta due to the limited supply of depositary services there,” said the CEO. “We plan to respond to this growing market need by offering highly cost-effective solutions based on synergy effects.”The Maltese branch will mainly service alternative investment fund managers and self-managed fund managers with managed assets in the €20-€100 million range.
“Our many years of experience allow us to direct our offer to funds representing all asset classes,” said Filip Suchta, recently appointed Q Securities Malta branch manager. He’s been the company’s General Counsel since 2016 and is an experienced lawyer advising fund managers, asset management and investment companies.
“Our market observations indicate that current providers of such services are increasingly shifting away from offering depositary services for alternative funds and instead focusing on UCITS funds, which bare lower risks and workload,” Filip Suchta said. “At the same time we see enormous potential in Malta and hope to do our part in helping Malta become a competitive alternative to other major fund jurisdictions such as Luxembourg or Ireland.”
On top of the depositary services, the company also will be authorised to offer essential brokerage services, including accepting and transmitting orders to buy or sell financial instruments, executing orders, and keeping or registering financial instruments. In the mid-term, the Malta office plans to grow its headcount to five.
Q Securities is a leading non-banking provider of depositary services in Poland and successfully launched operations in Luxembourg in 2021, where it now services over 30 alternative funds. As it operates under an investment firm license, the scope of services it is authorised to offer is much broader than what so-called depo-lite companies can provide. In Luxembourg, the company is the only investment firm depositary in the market.