The Institute of Financial Services (ifs Malta), in collaboration with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the UK’s International Compliance Association (ICA), hosted a seminar on regulation and financial crime compliance in the investment fund industry.

Speakers shared practical examples on how regulatory compliance can be improved in the light of an increasingly complex and challenging business scenario.

MFSA's chief officer, strategy, policy and innovation, Christopher P. Buttigieg, highlighted a number of initiatives being taken by the MFSA as part of its transformation programme aimed at improving efficiency, optimising resources and investing in technology.

Dr Buttigieg stated that from a policy perspective, the authority was working on a number of fronts such as making a case for the depositary passport which was particularly relevant to the funds industry.

Keynote speaker Jonathan Bowdler, head of governance, risk and compliance, ICA, tackled the key role that company directors had in managing regulatory compliance and the setting of a right compliance culture.

Clare Farrugia, senior manager, securities and markets supervision, MFSA, gave insights to participants as to what the regulator in Malta expected to see when it conducted on-site inspections. Ms Farrugia elaborated on how compliance standards could be improved to the right level.

Joseph J. Agius, deputy head, securities and markets supervision, MFSA, moderated the panel discussion session which dwelt upon and discussed best practice in the valuation process, regulatory expectations in this area and challenges met by small fund management houses.

Ifs Malta president Kenneth B. Micallef said Ifs was committed to continue working with stakeholders to ensure that education continued to be strengthened within the local financial services industry. This would ensure the sustainability of the sector over the long term.