ifs Malta main seminars & public training programs
The programme focuses on the contents and relevance of key economic statistics published by the National Statistics Office, Eurostat and the European Central Bank. The purpose of the course is to familiarise participants with key economic data whilst offering practical training on how to extract meaningful information. Explanations are supplemented by theoretical underpinnings where necessary.
Who Should attend?
- Employees within the financial services dealing with economic data
- Teachers / students of business related subjects
- Financial Journalists
- Professionals and Individuals who want to better their understanding of the Financial Press
*ifs Malta is an active member of the MFSA ECC (Education Consultative Council) which is a forum composed of 8 other training institutions. This group meets to debate, coordinate and share information on matters relating to training and development for employees within the local financial industry. This programme forms part of the proposed training addressed to the local financial industry practitioners.
Integirty at Work is an innovative, interactive workshop focusing on the challenges posed by real business dilemmas. You will be asked to decide your response from a range of options in different business dilemmas. Using interactive technology, your choice is private but the collected results are public and provide fuel for lively debate. This 75 minute workshop has been presented to over 5,000 professionals worldwide, ranging from students to Board rooms.
The talk opens with a 30 minute video interview with thee University Professors expressing views on the current European economic scenario. Their comments will fuel the debate and give room for further analysis by the local panel who will critically discuss the current EU turmoil from the view point of their respective fields of expertise.
Course Outline - this course offers an overview of the financial services laws which are applicable in Malta. It starts by giving a general introduction of what law is, its functions and how it can be classified before examining certain topics in detail. As the financial sector is a highly regulated one, regulatory laws and underlying principles will also be considered.
Who Should Attend? - this course is of great benefit to all persons who work in the banking, insurance and investment services sectors within the financial services industry. In particular, it is addressed at those practitioners who have not received extensive training in law but who inevitably must deal with a substantial number of laws on a daily basis.
Certification - a certificate of attendance jointly awarded by the Institute of Legal Studies and the Institute of Financial Services - Malta will be issued to participants (indicating the attended lectures)
Other - the venue for all training sessions will be held at MFSA, Notabile Road, Attard BKR 3000. The applicable registration fees are: Regular Fee: € 450 and Special Student rate: € 240. Cheques are to be made payable to the Institute of Financial Services - Malta.
The ifs Malta held its Annual Seminar with the theme "The Changing Regulatory Landscape of Financial Services: A Global Perspective". The event was well attended, primarily by representatives from across the financial services sector, the regulators and constituted bodies. First Presentation was delivered by invited guest speaker Profs John Thornton, Head of Bangor Business School and Professor of Global Finance, were he focused on the problem of bank capital giving suitable insight into the financial crisis. Second presentation delivered by Dr. Andre Zerafa, Partner of Ganado & Associates were he delivered an interestig presentation about the root causes of the ongoing financial turmoil. To complement, a panel discussion was held to assess the issues in a Maltese context. Panel was chaired by Mr. herbert Zammit Laferla, former Director of Financial Stability of the CBM, Karol Gabaretta, Head of Banking, MFSA; Oliver Bonello, Director of Financial Stability, CBM, Fabio Axisa, Head of Financial Markets, PriveWaterHouse Coopers and Michael Davis, Group Head of Compliance, FimBank. Seminar was organised with support of Bangor University, UK.
The process of credit risk assessment is a daily routine for a banks credit department since the focus of every Credit Institution is the quality of its loan portfolio. The current financial environment provides an on-going challenge to all lending bankers in their efforts in minimising the provisions of their loan portfolio.
These series of workshops are aimed at staff who provide the supporting function in a banks credit department and are assisting their managers in the decision making process of sanctioning credit facilities. The workshop will involve a number of practical exercises, focusing on: (1) determination of working capital funding requirements; (2) use of cash flow forecasting in a credit application; (3) making best use of regular management information and (4) use of the sources and applications of funds as an effective tool in the risk assessment process.
CISI and ifs Malta have teamed up to bring you a stimulating three-way panel event on financial crime. The Speakers will share experiences of financial crime regulation and control in the UK, together with the lessons and developments that can be brought to Malta. Financial Crime is a threat for the industry, law enforcement agencies and regulators costing the industry huge sums of money every year. It is a subject which spreads beyond individuals and firms, representing an issues of international significance in today’s globalised marketplace. Fraud, corruption, insider dealing and money laundering risks must all be managed and mitigated, as the impacts of getting it wrong can be catastrophic. In response to the worldwide growing threats a diverse range of strategies and initiatives have been developed. With criminals becoming increasingly sophisticated in their fraudulent dealings, it is essential for organisations to have knowledgeable, well-trained staff who can understand from where the risks are coming and how they can be mitigated, in order to attempt to stay all the time one step ahead of the fraudsters. Dr. Dionysios Demetis, has been writing on the subject matter of AML for nearly a decade. He will provide an overview of the global AML/CFT and technological challenges. Mr. John Horan, an ex-law enforcement will give a practical view to financial crime enforcement, whilst Mr. Alex Bustos would draw the wider discussion specifically to Malta.
This public training programme is tailored to take the market knowledge and practical abilities of financial advisers to the next level. It is a challenging and relevant course that builds on existing adviser expertise. The material presented will include an in-depth analysis of how capital market works. It will cover material pertaining to the international fixed income and equity markets dynamics and what really drives their direction - economics/politiics/valutaions/investor behaviour. An innovative feature of this programme will see the speaker discuss prevailing capital market scenarios using the latest Bloomberg Terminal closing and intra day data, graphs and tables in an attempt to tie the prevailing developments with all the investment rational being covered throughout.
Overall the 32 hours training are mainly intended to lead financial advisers to take the quantum leap needed to understand better market dynamics and thus provide more suitable investment solutions and protection to their clients in respect of the prevailing market scenario, tax status and short/long term needs. Relevant elements pertaining to Taxation and Insurance will also be considered and delved into.
For the Ethical Conduct module the trainer will introduce a series of case-studies to further stimulate discussion and interaction/ Audience will vote via the use of an "Audience Polling System" by selecting the answer which individually is deemed fit as the correct approach for each scenario. Individual voting is private whilst the total results are cumulative.
The objective of this course is to help participants develop those skills in order to be able to evaluate the risks involved in the granting of credt lines to the SME sector. At the end of the course participants will be able to: (1) have a clear understanding of the limitations of financial statements, (2) perform an in-depth analysis of financial statements, (3) adopt a structured approach on how to make an assessment of a credit application, (4) monitor more systemtically the underlying risks of the banks portfolio, (5) have a clearer picture on the legal impact of the various collateral items which are normally included as part of the loan agreement, (6) understand the recovery options that may be available in the case of a non-perfoming advance.
The course will include a number of practical excercises and case studies focusing: (1) Determination of working capital funding requirements; (2) use of cash flow forecasting in a credit application, (3) making best use of regular management information, (4) use of the sources and applications of funds as an effective tool in the risk assessment process and (5) minotring customers performance.
The main areas of focus will include: limitations of financial statements, discussion of the soft facts involved in a credit analysis process, the concept of working capital funding requirement, a structured approach on how financial statements are to be analysed, the use of quarterly management information as a monitoring tool, the importance of funds flow statement as a source of payment, forecasting future performance, the process of perfecting security and the process of realisation of security.
Well-designed graphical display converts raw data into meaningful information which can be quickly summarised and analysed. Effective presentation of data, supplemented by good delivery, can generate useful insight through simplification, abstraction from noise and by gaining the attention of the audience. This can enable the discovery of new relationships, patterns, trends, structural changes and outliers. In this manner, the information content of data can be enhanced, in turn, this facilitates decision making particularly as institutions become increasingly analytically-driven.
Who Should Attend?
Employees involved in the production of charts such as those found in annual reports, magazines, brochures, marketing fliers, media articles and other similar material; professionals who wish to enhance the effectiveness of their presentations; research analysts and graduates; students, particularly those whose dissertation include data content, anyone with an interest in effective information display.
As an individual or organisation accumulates wealth they are presented the opportunity to invest that wealth, preserve it and increment it. While capital preservation and even incremental returns may happen by chance over the long haul, it is unlikely that anyone will strive without mastering a deeper knowledge of the financial markets.
This course benefits investments management professionals and others wishing to add to their understanding of this field alike. Areas of interest which will be tackled include (i) Fixed Income, (ii) Equity, (iii) Alternatives, (iv) Fundamental and Technical Analysis, (v) Quantitative Techniques.
Furthermore participants will gain an insight into the different approaches to portfolo management to encompass strategies for asset allocation, risk management and fund performance evaluation. Additionally the course seeks to create an awareness of derivatives namely through an overview of the derivatives used in the different markets and those utilised for hedging purposes in the context of efficient portfolio management.
The training programme starts with a discussion on the risk management of convexities and jumps. A comparison between the insurance and the derivatives business illustrate the main points.
The second part focuses on the non-normality of the asset returns and how the industry (both buy and sales side) is handling this problem: Models in production (local volatility, stochastic volatility and models with jumps) and their drawbacks (model risk).
The third part deals with correlation (portfolio of assets): how to hedge and invest in dependencies (dispersion and correlation swaps). The stress of the variance-covariance matrix. Modelling correlation. The Last part is dedicated to the real life of a risk manager and the non standard market risks: feedback loops, liquidity ...
The course offers a comprehensive and practical overview of hedge fund due diligence and selection issues. It is targeted towards intermediate audiences who have a general understanding of capital markets and investment matter and wish to gain the necessary knowledge of academic studies and hedge fund selection best practices in order for them to construct, manage or control hedge fund investing activities.
The course is composed of two distinct sections: a first day covering al theoretical and technical matters followed by a second day covering practical issues in the due diligence process. Practical application of the knowledge and skills acquired will be emphasized through both excercises and discussions (first day) and case studies (second day).
The following topics are covered in particular depth:
- new investment and regulatory paradigms
- hedge fund performance analysis
- style factors
- risk measurement, analysis and management
- analysis of investment strategy and sub style
- sources of return and investment process
- capacity constraints
- organisation of the research function
- initial data gathering and filtering
- performance analysis and interpretation
- testing facts, stories and character
- fund governance
- fund stakeholders and operational risk
- defining objectives and designing the appropriate process
- construction of the target portfolio
- negotiating conditions and implementation
This course will provide an overview of the financial services laws which are applicable in Malta. It starts by giving a general introduction of what law is, its functions and how it can be classified before examining certain topics in detail. As the financial services sector is a highly regulated one, regulatory laws and underlying principles will also be considered.
Who Should Attend?
The applicable registration fees are as follows:
Cheques are to be made payable to the Institute of Financial Services - Malta. Completed enrolment form together with payment shall be directed to the attention of the:
One of the key challenges that are faced by Fund Administrators on an ongoing basis is the valuation and accounting of certain types of assets. Suffice to mention that in a study conucted by the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) it was found that 23% of assets under management in the hedge funds space were in the "hard to value" category.
Valuation and Accounting issues are not only a challenge for Fund Administrators but also for Credit and Financial Institutions, Insurance Companies, Custodians and other entities that hold assets.
This programme is aimed to improve and strenghten the participants knowledge of valuation and accounting standards and it will be delivered by industry practitioners who have direct hands on experience in this field.
Properly structuring a Professional Investor Fund involves piecing together the various interests and requirements of the players involved into a coherent structure that fits within the existing legal and regulatory framework. The various aspects to be considered would typically include the requirements of the promoters, the charcateristics oif the proposed investment product and the multi-faceted expectations and appetities of the targeted investors, as well as general interest considerations such as the need to protect investors and Malta's international reputation. This requires a solid basic knowledge of the various structuring tools and methodologies available, the rpos and cons of each, and the legal and other risks and pitfalls underlying the same. A proper understanding of the legal and regulatory framework and its practical implementation is also required in order to identify room for improvement and to participate in consultations launched by the MFSA and discussions within the industry, with the objective to further enhance Malta's PIF regime.
This programme is aimed to serve as a high-level introductory presentation of the PIF as a collective investment vehicle available under Maltese Law. A general overview will be given of the basic legal concepts and principles underlying the PIF, its purposes and forms, and the documents and services infrastructure which need to be in place at set-up stage and on an on-gooing basis. It is also the intention to briefly assess the impact of recently enacted or currently debated legislative measures at EU level on the local PIF regime, with particular reference to the UCITS IV Directive and the proposed Alternative Investment Fund Management (AIFM) Directive. A brief session on the basic taxation rules and benefits applicable or relevant to collective investment schemes (including PIFs) in Malta will complement this introductory presentation of the subject-matter.
This seminar deals with both market and counterparty risks. A brief interactive introduction starts with reviewing the concept of risk in finacial institutions and is meant to highlight the main issues risk managers and regulators have to deal with, when coping with market and counterparty risks.
After reviewing the concepts of market price (mark to market) and P&L rationale, the course unfolds into an analysis of the main ex-post and ex-ante market risk indicators used by risk managers. Defining, explaining and calculating sensitivities on firm and conditional products and further explaining the usage for risk management purpose, are at the heart of the presentation.
The course develops to study specificities of the three Value at Risk (VaR) methods and reviews the basics of statistics. The Trainer makes use of a series of pre-formatted pricing spreadsheets to illustrate and assess the VaR for different products and market situations. A further study will entail all the complementary analysis that is to be done in order to get the best practical interpretation from these indicators.
The different counterparty risks are defined and the assessment methods and models are progressively studies (standard, centile and averag exposure, Monte Carlo simulation ...). further time is spent with the analysis of credit VaR, measuring risk for various financial instruments and for a critical analysis and definition of alternative solutions.
the regulatory aspects, in connection with the Basel reforms, of market and credit risks and its implications are systematically introudced throughout the whole course.
UCITS 3 Fund structures are highly regulated products suitable for both the retail and institutional investors. These European based fund structures have become increasingly popular as they are backed by a solid regulatory framework as well as a high degree of investor protection.
Undoubtedly, they present fund promoters with the opportunity to gain access to a broader investor base given that this structure is also rapidly gaining popularity in other continents such as Asia, South Africa and Latin America. recent trends have also show that a number of hedge funds with significant Assets Under Management are adopting the UCITS structure.
This series of presentations will enable participants to gain a good insight about UCITS 3, generally and in particular, the legal and regulatory framework, eligible assets, passporting in and out of Malta, as well as a comparison with hedge fund structure which are undoubtedly more loosely regulated.
Recent developments being brought about by UCITS 4 will also be addresses together with the practical implications of these developments.
The objective if this programme is to provide broad coverage on a number of areas relevant for the financial services industry as analysed from an economists perspective. The course aims to translate economic jargon into simple intuitive ideas. This can facilitate a better understanding of relevant economic issues and of recent developments facing the financial services industry.
The following broad themes to be discussed:
The economic role and problems related to financial intermediation from a microeconomic perspective, the law of diminishing marginal utility makes households wish to smooth their consumption patterns and avoid risk. From a macroeconomic perspective economic growth requires an optimal allocation of resources. In turn, a transaction cost approach can be used to explain why certain institutions may enjoy a comparative advantage in the provision of financial services.
Microeconomic and Macroeconomic concepts knowledge of the determinante sof demand and supply can facilitate a deeper understanding of how market prices are determined. This framework can be applied to analyse likely prospects such as for international oil prices and house prices. On the other hand, knowledge of macroeconomic variables such as gross domestic product, inflation and unemployment, and their respective determinants, can lead to an informed assessment of domestic and international economic developments.
Interest rates and the donduct of monetary policy this topic focuses on the theoretical relationship between the myriad of interest rates that exist in an economy, ranging from the very short term to long term interest rates. The objectives of monetary policy and how major central banks conduct their monetary policy are also explained.
Over the last five years Malta's fund industry has gained significant traction as reflected in over 290 funds which have domiciled in Malta, representing a collective net asset value registered at just under € 9 billion. This fast growing development has consequently led to the setting up of a number of asset management companies and fund administrators who are servicing these funds from Malta.
Within this context, the MFSA, the Institute of Financial Services - Malta and the Association of Fund Managers and Administrators, have teamed up to organise this training programme which will provide its participants with in-depth information on the various dimensions of the fund administration sector. Delivered by seasoned professionals who are themselves industry practitioners, this course will provide participants with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and actively participate in this highly interesting programme.
The course aims to provide participants with an in-depth coverage of:
- types of funds, their legal structure and establishment proces
- the roles and responsbilities of various functionaries
- the processes and procedures involved in fund administration including the fundamental aspects of pricing and valuation as well as registrar and transfer agency services
- the compliance and regulatory issues that arise in fund administration
By the end of the course, participants would have enhanced their skills in fund administration processes and procedures and be provided with a greater confidence in dealing with other counterparties within the industry.
Hedge Funds are one of the fastest growing sectors of the asset management industry. This course presents a detailed and comprehensive picture of the hedge fund industry. Participants will gain insight into how such funds are typically structured (and why), who are the various parties involved. The pitfalls to be avoided in hedge fund operations will also be described in detail. Another objective of the programme will be to eliminate misconceptions commonly linked with hedge fund operations.
Furthermore, the course will examine the legal and regulatory issues which hedge funds and private equiry funds pose both internationally and within the Maltese context and will provide an insight into Malta's position within this growing industry now and in the future. Delegates will have the opportunity both formally and informally through the day to discuss with speakers who are very well versed in the subject. As such, it is expected that the course be as interactive as possible.
The aim of this one day course is to provide delegates with a sound background to the laternative investments space, with particular emphasis on hedge funds and private equity funds - the most common forms of laternative vehicles. Delegates will learn how such funds are typically structured (and why), who are the various parties involved (such as the Custodian, prime broker, investment manager and investment advisor) and the role each plays, including specifically the role of a fund administrator.
In addition, the course will examine the regulatory issues which hedge funds and private equity funds pose both internationally and within the Maltese context and will provide an insight into Malta's position within this growing industry now and in the future. Delegates will have the opportunity both formally and informally through the day to raise questions to the speakers and it is hoped that the course will proceed in as interactive as possible.
The Single Euro Payments Area is the area in which citizens, companies and other economic actors will be able to make and receive payments in euros, within Europe, whether between or within national boundaries under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location. In other words making euro payments throughout Europe will become as easy, cheap and secure as making national payments. SEPA will harmonise the millions of everyday electronic payments made with credit transfers, direct debits and pyament cards (debit and credit cards). SEPA will allow customers to make and receive non-cash euro payments anywhere in the SEPA (i.e. EU 27 plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) using a single bank account and a single set of pyament instruments. SEPA is thus a natural progression to the introduction of the euro and another major step in realising the full potential of the single market for Europe.
The Single Euro Payments Area is an initiative of the European Banking Industry, represented by the European Payments Council, which is strongly supported by the Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB). The Commission and the ECB see SEPA as an integrated market for payment services which is subject to effective competition and where there is no distinction between cross-border and national payments within the euro area. This calls for the removal of all technical, legal and commercial barriers between the current national payment markets.
The Payment Services Directives ultimate goal is to improve competition in the EU by integrating national payments markets and creating an SPM where improved economies of scale and efficient resources allocation increase economic welfare and reduce the total cost of payment systems to the economy. The Directive seeks to harmonise the law for the bulk of non-cash payment instruments - in particular credit transfers, debit and credit cards, and direct debits. With a common set of rules applicable un the Union, it is intended to make cross-border payments as easy and efficient as national transactions.
Basel II is the second of the Basel Accords, which are recomendations on banking laws and regulations issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The purpose of Basel II is to create an international standard that banking regulators can use when creating regulations about how much capital banks need to put aside to guard against the types of financial and operational risks banks face. Advocates of Basel II believe that such an international standard can help protect the international financial system from the types of problems that might arise should a major bank or a series of banks collapse.
In practice, Basel II attemtpts to accomplish this by setting up rigorous risk and capital management requirements designed t ensure that a bank holds capital reserves appropriate to the risk the bank exposes itself to through its lending and investment practices. Generally speaking, these rules means that the greater risk to which the bank is exposed, the greater the amount of capital the bank needs to hold a safeguard its solvency and overall economic stability.
Basel II has largely left unchanged the question of how to actually define bank capital, which diverges from accounting equity in important respects. The Basel I definition, as modified up to the present, remains in place. The final version aims at: (i) ensuring that capital allocation is more risk sensitive; (ii) seperating operational risk from credit risk and quantifying both; (iii) attemtping to align economic and regulatory capital more closely to reduce the scope for regulatory arbitrage.
SEPA Vision: The Single Euro Payments Area will be the area where citizens, companies and other economic actors will be able to make and receive payments in euro, within Europe, whether between or within national boundaries under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location.
What is SEPA? SEPA will work as a single domectis payments market in which citizens and economic actors will be able to make payments as easily and inexpensively as in their hometown. Who is involved? The SEPA programme has been championed by the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) working with the Eurosystem, and with the support of the European Payments Council (EPC) which rbings together the European payments industry. It is a major public policy initaitive to create a single integrated payments environment for the euro consistent with economic and monetary union and the Lisbon agenda.
The Objectives of this Training Programme are (i) to get a better understanding of the Single European Payments Area Vision; (ii) to share the experiences of Maltese companies vis-a-vis their preparations for the launching of SEPA related products; (iii) to understand the fundamentals of the single market and the adoption of the Payment Services Directive; (iv) to have an overview of recent developments in the role of the European Payments Council; (v) to understand the relative challenges and opportunities offered by the Single European Payments Area project in the areas of Credit Transfers, Direct Debits and the Cards and Cash frameworks.