Jonathan Cardona, CEO of the Malta Individual Investor Programme, told Investment Migration Insider during an interview that he believes Malta’s due diligence was “a cut above the rest”, that high due diligence standards would “save the industry”, and that other CIP-countries would have “no option” but to implement similar standards to remain sustainable.
Commenting on the stringent due diligence practices imposed in Malta, Cardona said he believed such high standards were what would “save the industry” and conceded that he believed Malta’s due diligence was “a cut above the rest”.
He also said he was flattered by recent statements from Thomson Reuters’ Head Legal Counsel, Peter S. Vincent, and Henley & Partners’ CEO, Christian Kälin, both of whom called Malta’s IIP the “gold standard” of due diligence in the CIP-world.
Asked whether it was realistic to expect much smaller CIP-countries with lower GDPs to operate their programs along the same lines as the Maltese – not only in terms of due diligence as such, but also with regards to Malta’s institution of an independent regulator that audits the MIIP – Cardona indicated that even though the costs may be high, the risks associated with not allocating funds to the purpose were simply too great.
“I think there is no option, if you ask me, if they want to be sustainable, because the risks are the same. So, you have to invest in very solid structures. The trick is ensuring that you implement and design a program that is self-sufficient. This is how we operate; from the funds we receive, we allocate a percentage to the running of the program, and in that way it is self-sufficient. If you ask me, there is no option,” said the CEO.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.