Professional Investor Funds – PIFs
Professional Investor Funds, commonly referred to as PIFs, are one of the most successful and widespread collective investment schemes in the Maltese jurisdiction thanks to their streamlined authorization procedure and the different levels of investors to which it can be addressed.
PIFs are “non-retail” funds aimed at specific categories of investors, divided by legislation into Experts, Qualified or Extraordinary. A single sub-fund must identify which of these investors it is targeting (there are criteria established by law for their identification) and this choice entails certain operational limits.
In practice the operation of Professional Investor Funds can be quite broad and encompass various investment instruments and fields: financial markets, private equity, real estate. There is no concrete limit to the instruments that can be used.
PIFs do not qualify for “passporting” rights and are usually arranged through private offer, since marketing to the General Public (which is reserved for UCITS funds) is prohibited.
In order to operate and be licensed as a PIF, there are certain requirements and minimum functions which need to be met. These vary between the different types of PIFS described above.
PIFs must either have an investment manager authorized by MFSA or it can be classed as self-managed, in which case, the individuals taking on the management role must still meet the requirements of the supervisory authority.
For more information regarding PIFs, the requirements and procedures for obtaining a license, we recommend consulting this MFSA brochure.