In a circular dated the 18th of March 2022, the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) issued a circular titled: Publication of a Revised Application Form for Professional Investor Funds (“PIFs”).
In its circular issued earlier in 2021, the MFSA outlined that the new application form is part of a wider update to consolidate the licensing processes of various Collective Investment Schemes authorised by the MFSA.
Although PIFs do not have passporting rights, this type of fund remains the most efficient investment vehicle for hedge fund managers who are targeting professional investors with a higher risk tolerance through a more dynamic regulatory approach.The lighter regulation for PIFs gives the Investment Manager more flexibility in the applied investment strategy to correspond with the professional investor’s risk appetite.
Therefore, the new application form for PIFs omits the parts which did not reflect the lighter regulatory approach for this type of licensed product. The nomenclature of the previous form is Form AA07: Form for Fund whereas the new form as mentioned in the circular dated 18th March 2022 is titled: Form AA36: Professional Investor Fund Application Form (“Form AA36”).
From the 18th of April 2022 onwards, the MFSA will only accept Form AA36. Nonetheless, the MFSA’s circular provides for a transitory period whereby the previous application form will be accepted until the 15th of April 2022.
Whilst PIFs already entail less reporting obligations than retail funds or EU regulated funds (such as Alternative Investment Funds), the revised application form will simplify the process to set up a PIF.
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