Following the Malta Financial Services Authority’s (the “MFSA”) announcement earlier this year, we are pleased to announce the registration of the first Notified Alternative Investment Fund (“NAIF”) in Malta by Abalone Asset Management Limited, assisted by GANADO Advocates. The NAIF is also the first AIF to be established in Malta in terms of the European Venture Capital Fund (“EuVECA”) EU Regulation No 345/2013.

GANADO Advocates is pleased to announce the registration by the MFSA on the 21st July 2016 of Ventura SICAV p.l.c; the first NAIF, and first EuVECA, to be registered in Malta. The AIFM, Abalone Asset Management Limited, submitted the NAIF registration request to the MFSA on the 11th July 2016 and was granted registration within 10 working days from the date of filing, as stipulated by the Investment Services Act (List of Notified AIFs) Regulations.

EU AIFMs now have the possibility of setting up and launching AIFs targeting Professional Clients within 10 working days, thus allowing investment managers to meet time to market requests. The fast track registration of a NAIF relies on the regulated status of the AIFM, in terms of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, and its obligation to ensure compliance with the applicable law and to monitor the fitness and properness of the NAIF’s service providers.

GANADO Advocates also advised Abalone Asset Management Limited in the structuring of Ventura SICAV p.l.c. as the first EuVECA to be set up in Malta. This brings the total number of EuVECAs registered in Europe to 20.

The EuVECA Regulation became directly applicable in all EU Member States in 2013. Its objective is the stimulation of economic growth through the financing of small and medium sized enterprises. Capital may be raised from investors throughout Europe, provided a commitment of at least EUR100,000 is made. In addition, an EuVECA benefits from a European marketing passport and is also registered in ESMA’s central database.

We believe that the registration of the first NAIF and the first EuVECA will be followed by many more. Firstly, AIFMs, including below threshold AIFMs, may raise funds for private equity and venture capital funding through the EuVECA brand. Secondly, the NAIF regime is the local regulator’s innovative response to time to market pressures faced by AIFMs. There is no doubt that a great number of EU AIFMs will exploit the advantages of the NAIF regime.