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A fund needs to appoint an external manager and a custodian. The MFSA requires that the Manager and Custodian are independent of each other. In addition, the Manager would be expected to have a place of business in Malta. Having said that, an overseas fund manager of international repute and sufficient standing may be expected by the authority for some of the licensing requirements. All this is assessed on a case by case basis. The custodian of the Maltese fund must be incorporated in and have an established place of business in Malta.

The appointment and/or the replacement of any party who is to be a Custodian or Manager to the Scheme, the terms of that appointment, and the contents of the agreement to which the appointment is subject, shall be agreed in advance with the MFSA. The MFSA shall have the right to require the replacement of all or any of these parties.


Managers are not allowed to delegate functions to the extent that they become a brass-plate entity. Through adoption of the EU passporting provisions, Malta allows EU/EEA licensed Managers to offer services in Malta. The Manager should have sufficient financial resources at its disposal to enable it to conduct its business effectively and to meet its liabilities.

The licensed Manager of a SICAV may also be one of its directors or its sole director. As regards the limited partnership structure, each of the general partners has to satisfy the competent authority within the meaning of the ISA that he is a fit and proper person to carry out such activities or functions.


The custodian of a collective investment scheme is required to be incorporated and to have an established place of business in Malta and be approved by the MFSA. It may in particular be a bank licensed to perform this function under the laws of Malta. Alternative custodianship arrangements, such as an overseas-based custodian, may be considered by the MFSA provided they secure adequate protection of the schemes assets. The MFSA recommends and would normally expect an external fund manager and custodian or prime broker to be appointed by PIFs, although this is not mandatory. A fund Administrator (if separate from the Manager) providing services in or from Malta to licence holders and/or Schemes, does not require a licence. However, it must still apply to the MFSA for appropriate recognition. Under Maltese law it is possible for a UCITS scheme to be self-managed. Such Scheme, which has not appointed a third party Manager, has to have a minimum initial capital of EUR300,000 and has to comply with financial resources, Conduct of Business requirements, and record-keeping requirements as may be laid out by MFSA.

See also:

Favourable tax system for Investment Services Expatriates in Malta



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