Efficiency and Innovation – The Way Forward for Malta’s Financial Services Industry – is the theme of this year’s annual conference of the Institute of Financial Services Providers. The conference, which is sponsored by Finance Malta, will be held on February 15 at the Xara Lodge, Rabat.

Commenting on this year’s theme, FinanceMalta chairman Kenneth Farrugia said: “We are proud to be sponsoring this event as this forms part of our commitment to promote innovation and technology in financial services. Malta has always been at the forefront of embracing technology, and in fact later this year Malta will be introducing one of the first legal and regulatory frameworks in the world applicable to cyptocurrencies, ICO and blockchain technology-related service providers.”

The conference will cover areas of immediate interest to most practitioners, including a session dedicated to the upcoming Moneyval evaluation and what can be expected from it. This session, which will be moderated by IFSP president Juanita Bencini, will feature Anton Bartolo from the MFSA, Alfred Zammit from the FIAU and Michael Stellini from the Council of Europe, among other speakers.

The conference will not ignore what has become one of the more pressing concerns for many financial services firms in Malta: how to recruit, manage and retain the staff members each firm requires. This year, the IFSP conference will include a session dealing with just this issue, with a panel including Paulianne Nwoko (Apex), and others who are running particularly effective HR programmes in financial services and related spheres.

Financial services today are changing fast, through the development of new technological services and delivery channels as well as the ever-evolving regulatory and compliance environment. This will be the focus of yet another panel session, with a two-fold brief: the regulatory landscape and the impact of IT on financial services with the development of, among other things, blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. This panel will be moderated by Wayne Pisani, with Abdalla Kablan, Ian Gauci, Christopher Buttigieg and Kenneth Farrugia among the speakers contributing to this discussion.

Other topics to be discussed include a look at the changing tax landscape and the way capital markets are evolving. These are all issues that have the potential to impact the business of every practitioner working out of Malta.

The Malta Stock Exchange will be hosting a reception for conference participants, also at the Xara Lodge, immediately after the conference draws to a close at about 5pm, providing an opportunity for further networking in a less formal environment.


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