Sponsored Feature from Identity Malta
The importance of due diligence in the citizenship by investment industry has never been questioned. It is not something that should be discounted. And following Swiss Leaks, Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and all the noise created by worldwide media, it has now certainly been more accentuated.
Due diligence is one of the key pillars of the Malta Individual Investor Programme. We invested heavily; both in terms of human resources and in terms of technology. We have brought in seasoned professionals with the required skills to make best use of the tools we have in place. The integrity of our citizenship programme must never be compromised.
MIIP has been running for a little more than 3 years and for the third consecutive year, Malta’s Individual Investor Programme is considered as the top-ranking citizenship-by-investment programme in the world.
During this time, our team has had the opportunity to make some interesting observations and learn a few valuable lessons along the way.
In the era of the internet of things, it is imperative that due diligence teams are tech savvy as the tools used in the industry are largely technology-based. They are essential to help find the missing pieces of the puzzle.
Due diligence in the residency and citizenship-by-investment industry is not a tick-the-box exercise. It is a dynamic, yet structured risk assessment. Officers need information to be able to make a clear and a logical risk assessment – the absence of information does not mean that all is well, on the contrary, it means that there might be some risks lying ahead.
It is also imperative to diversify the information sources, diversify the analysis of data, diversify the way it is interpreted and diversify the people who do that work. Only through diversity will you be able to see the real picture.
It is why we invest in our people and train them to truly understand why individuals and companies may have a diversified portfolio of companies and trusts in different jurisdictions; and learn how to differentiate between legal structures and money laundering. Each application must be looked at rationally in order to make a well-informed decision.
This is why Malta’s citizenship-by-investment programme is the esteemed as gold standard, because the rigorous due diligence that it has in place is carried out by a team that understands that its responsibility is as global as those who apply for alternative citizenship.
These efforts are also being recognised by private industry players, mostly in the banking sector, which are outsourcing this kind of work.
In this light, we feel that there is a big opportunity for Malta to play a leading role in shaping and forming a more standardised approach to due diligence, and risk assessment in the future. We should also seek to exploit block chain technology, inviting stakeholders, authorities and regulators to come together and set industry standards in this field in order to provide the necessary peace of mind for the institutions and service providers.
To be successful we must engage in frank, genuine and transparent discussions, outlining requirements and defining criteria depending on the service of product being sought. All players must also commit themselves to share information that will be beneficial to all parties. This will eventually help to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, expand business, reduce risk and give peace of mind to both client and provider.
We reaffirm our intent to take a leading role in this venture and will be working with some partners to set the ball rolling. So stayed tuned and keep in touch.
CEO – Malta Individual Investor Programme
Jonathan Cardona is the Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP). The Programme is designed to attract global high net worth individuals to obtain Maltese Citizenship and who can share their talent, expertise and business connections. It is also the first citizenship programme in the European Union to be endorsed by the European Commission. The MIIP is highly regarded and considered to have the best due diligence procedures and in turn has become the most exclusive and sought-after programme in the world. Jonathan is also an advisor on EU Affairs to the Prime Minister of Malta.
Identity Malta Agency
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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.