Aqua Awarded 'Leading Advisor in Malta' by Acquisition International
Published in Acquisition International Magazine- December 2015
By Joanne Luce
LBB (Hons), FCIS, ATT, TEP
Aqua Trust Services Malta Limited offers a unique approach wealth management and corporate guidance. Joanne Luce talks us through the firm’s approach and provides us with a unique insight into Malta’s investment market.
Leading Adviser in Malta
Established in 2012, Aqua Group is a Trust and Corporate Service provider which focuses on family businesses, looking to drive in value and seeking to mitigate risks. Aqua Group operates in multiple jurisdictions supporting and working closely with UHNW families providing support, corporate governance as well as strategic commercial advantage. Although our firm operates across a number of regions, Malta offers perhaps the most interesting and dynamic of markets. The country has a competitive market despite its relatively small size.
Most of the local investment driving growth at the moment is tourism related investment, however the foreign investment sector has been focused more on niche markets with quality products or services, such as the gaming and aviation industry, which have a lot of scope for continued growth. These investments have generated employment and significant economic value for Malta.
Malta is also rapidly growing in the financial services sector, which has fanned out into fund management, insurance, trustee services and general trading activity, all areas where Malta has established a significant international presence. The region has nurtured an open business environment with high standards that supports development and growth and makes it attractive to investors.
As such Malta as a jurisdiction has many advantages to offer investors. Besides being having a wonderful quality of life, large number of qualified people in the work force and English as its official language for business, Malta also has a stable economy and political environment.
It is internationally recognised as a jurisdiction providing excellence in financial services. Malta has one of the most competitive fiscal regimes in the EU and a strong regulatory track record, making it reliable in the services its financial institutions can provide. It has significant double taxation treaties.
This opens possibilities for investors to set up private investment structures that can, if appropriate, structure their business in such a way that there are a number of commercial benefits. Despite the highly competitive market we operate in Aqua Group is determined to offer the highest quality services possible. Aqua adopts a strong risk based approach to doing business and the Aqua team brings along expertise that will mitigate risk to improve the longevity and security of the client’s objectives and their businesses.
The Aqua Management is very forward thinking in its approach, and the firm uses new products valued by our clients in order to ensure structures that all of our strategies remain fit for purpose. Family offices are arguably the fastest-growing investment vehicles in the world today, as families with substantial wealth are increasingly seeing advantages in the creation of a customised platform focused on their interests to make certain that the right outcome is achieved and that the family’s needs and interests are properly addressed.
Aqua helps Family Business keep up to date with regulatory and tax issues as well as helping to develop the correct relationships between the family and external professionals through practical value added corporate governance to help run a family office, all of which are crucial in operating a successful family business structure that adds tangible value.
Aqua has a proven track record of flexibility, stability and expertise that family business are looking for and need in order to expand their business. Aqua believes that the emphasis is now on solutions with greater transparency in pricing.
Additionally we provide services which fit with the needs of our region. Where limited services are being provided to support inward investment or real estate structuring, the work undertaken by the Aqua Group is to arrange to incorporate and utilise relevant structures which will assist with dual residency requiring commercial mitigation and capital employed on shareholder funds. This is achieved by ensuring tax neutrality or assisting clients on commercial and residency issues; which can produce better returns.
Aqua assists in designing effective planning with leading accountancy practices and legal providers to achieve a value added service and streamlined approach, often using a blend of off and onshore structuring. What makes our approach unique are our clear values and work ethic as well as our strong team with expertise in all areas of our service offerings, equipping us to provide flexible and sound structures to add value to our clients’ business. This depth of expertise provides Aqua with a significant competitive advantage that will be enhanced by being able to provide personal bespoke services to clients either resident in the GCC, the US or UK who receive value from doing business in Malta.
Most of our clients come to us through referrals and recommendations from our families, highlighting our focus on providing quality services and strong reputation. We are passionate about our work and treat our clients with a great deal of individuality and respect, which has allowed us to build strong, long lasting relationships.
Looking to the future we are keen to continue with our sustainable growth plan for our business, which involves expanding our team in order to provide better quality services for our clients.