Photo: bazylek via Flickr
Money manager Simone Chelini gave Bloomberg a few very solid reasons why he really likes working in Malta recently and after reading up about the place, we cannot see why Switzerland, Luxembourg, Guernsey, etc have been chosen as the final destinations of hedge funds fleeing higher taxes elsewhere.Malta blows them all out of the water. Somewhat literally, because it’s an island.
The number one reason to move your office to Malta: the weather.
The great weather on this island alone seems like it could easily make Malta the next hedge fund epicentre.
Weather might seem like a trivial reason, but that is so far from reality. Don’t underestimate how important weather to people. It improves moods, looks (tans, wardrobes), and health (people are usually fitter in the summer, there’s no ice to slip on, etc), all of which very well might improve a business’s bottom line.
Life in the competing lands of hedge fund retreat, like Luxembourg and Ireland, pales in comparison.
And not surprisingly, some, like Italian hedge fund managers, have apparently spotted the advantages already. According to Bloomberg, they are flocking to the island in droves.
Money manager Simone Chelini gave a few reasons why to Bloomberg:
In order of importance (to us):
#1. Good weather, obviously (incomparable with Luxembourg or -worse- Ireland)
#2 A seaview from the office
#3 Lower taxes
#4 Less bureaucracy
#5 Business friendly
Stunningly, there are further advantages. According to foreign investor adviser Alan Camilleri, they include:
#6 Cheaper labour costs (40% lower than in Italy)
#7 Cheap office rents (about $784 a month)
And for good measure, British hedge fund Liongate Capital Management, who recently opened its office in Malta adds an eighth and ninth reason:
#8 The use of English as a business language
#9 The personal attention given by the MFSA
The MFSA appear to be sucking up to hedge funds to try and get them to move there (not that we think that’s necessary, the awesomeness of the place speaks for itself).
The magazine Hedge Fund Reviews published a special report on Malta, “Malta: Hedge fund industry gains momentum”, that wouldn’t stop raving about the MFSA. They love the “flexibility” of Malta’s Financial Service Authority’s (MFSA), its “meticulous attention to detail”, its “start-up friendly atmosphere” and “the interest of the Maltese government in the financial services industry.”
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, Ernst&Young and KPMG also have offices out there.
Right now it’s the smallest economy within the European Union. Just a guess, that won’t last for long.
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