MBR Issue 45

martin.vella

COVER STORY

A Growth Mindset

Interview with Diane Izzo, CEO,

Dizz Group discuss the company’s

past and present growth p.06

ONE-ON-ONE

Channelling Napoleon’s Spirit

Interview with Malta's Foreign Minister

Dr. Carmelo Abela p.18

SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA18

A Reputation for Excellence

Exclusive Interview with Dr. Edwin Mintoff,

MD of EM Architects and Civil Engineers

p.24

BRANDING

The Brand Manager is dead…long

live the Brand Activist

Hanneke Faber - President Europe &

Member of the Unilever Executive p.42

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Malta Business Review

CONTENTS

Issue 45

SPECIAL FEATURE INTERVIEWS: MALTA’S

BEST ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

AWARDS 2018

24 A REPUTATION FOR EXCELLENCE

Exclusive Interview with Dr Edwin Mintoff, Managing

Director of EM Architects and Civil Engineers

6

28 A SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT

Interview with Jonas Eneroth, CEO, Karmafy Holdings Ltd

COVER STORY

06 A GROWTH MINDSET

Interview with Diane Izzo, CEO, Dizz Group discuss the

company’s past and present growth

32 PERFORMANCE & SUCCESS

Oliver Scicluna, Director, CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics is

interviewed by MBR following his unprecedented success

at this year’s awards

TALKING POINT

08 REAFFIRMING EUROPE’S INNOVATION

LEADERSHIP

Peter Stracar, President and CEO, GE Europe at GE,

analyses the GE Innovation Barometer 2018 report

18

16

DEBATE & ANALYSIS

12 CRYPTO AND CANNABIS ARE THE PERFECT

POST-CRISIS BUBBLES

Robo-traders and index funds may have taken over most

of the stock market, but the psychology of bubbles is still

strong tells us Joe Weisenthal

14 THE DEBATE WITH BRUSSELS THAT ITALY

CAN’T LOSE

ONE-ON-ONE

18 BRUSSELS PLAYBOOK THROUGH THE EYES

OF FLORIAN EDER AND ZOYA SHEFTALOVIC,

PRESENTED BY EPP

Interview with Malta's Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela

22 Q & A: CANCER AHEAD OF THE CURVE

Sarah Wheaton interviews Hans-Georg Eichler, the

European Medicines Agency’s senior medical officer

OUR GOLDEN PARTNERS

SIMON

ESTATES

24

33 THE POWER OF PURPOSE

Interview with Dr. Paul Magro, Founder & Managing

Director - Risk Cap International Ltd

34 INTEGRITY AND LOYALTY

Damian Galea and Jeffrey Sciberras, avante-garde

Directors of Northern Properties in a double-take

interview

35 ELENA ROSLAVITSKIY: "I DON'T THINK GENDER IS

RELEVANT IN THE TECH INDUSTRY

MBR interviewed Elena following her joint success

with her partner Oleg Roslavitskiy, both Directors at

Multimaxx Ltd, during MBEOTYA18

MALTA BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT

36 MALTA BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT

Malta Enterprise to support Malta Blockchain Summit

offering 40 free booths to innovative start-ups

42

BRANDING

42 THE BRAND MANAGER IS DEAD…LONG LIVE THE

BRAND ACTIVIST

Hanneke Faber - President Europe & Member of the

Unilever Executive team at Unilever, tackles branding

4


MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

EDITORIAL

Malta Business Review

PUBLISHER

MBR Publications Limited

OFFICES

Highland Apartment - Level 1,

Naxxar Road,

Birkirkara, BKR 9042

+356 2149 7814

EDITOR

Martin Vella

TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Marcelle D’Argy Smith

SALES DIRECTOR

Margaret Brincat

DESIGN

MBR Design

ADVERTISING

Call: 9940 6743 or 9926 0163/4/6;

Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net

or admin@mbrpublications.net

CONTRIBUTORS

Greg Adomatis; Antoine Bonello; George Carol;

Baptiste Chatain; Jean Paul Demajo; Florian

Eder; Hannke Faber; Estefania Narrillo; Zoya

Sheftalovich; Peter Stracor; Joe Weisenthal;

Sarah Wheaton; Minda Zetlin

SPECIAL THANKS

Bloomberg; Dizz Group; DOI; European

Parliament Information Office in Malta; European

Parliament, Directorate- General for

Communication/Press Office; European Research

Council; FIMBank; HSBC; LinkedIn; Edwards

Lowell & Co.; MORGEN EUROPA; OPR; POLITICO

SPRL; Politico Global Policy Lab; PTV Group;

Taylor & Francis Group.

PRINT PRODUCTION

Gutenberg Press Ltd

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s

always another one coming.

Richard Branson

Disclaimer

All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by copyright may

be reproduced or copied and reproduction in whole or part is strictly

prohibited without written permission of the publisher. All content

material available on this publication is duly protected by Maltese

and International Law. No person, organisation, other publisher or

online web content manager should rely, or on any way act upon

any part of the contents of this publication, whether that information

is sourced from the website, magazine or related product without

first obtaining the publisher’s consent. The opinions expressed in the

Malta Business Review are those of the authors or contributors, and

are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.

Leadership in Animal Farm is presented as a power over those

not possessing qualities of a leader, that when abused can be

catastrophic for the corrupt leader’s community. A leader can

help their followers reach goals and accomplish tasks that could

never be achieved without his guidance. However, many leaders

do not want to help their followers, merely use them to further

their own goals and desires. These corrupt leaders are the focus of

George Orwell’s novel, which demonstrates the effect a corrupt

leader has on the people they control, and the situation in which

they are placed. The novel displays leadership in its worst form,

highlighting the corruption of those with power, the deception

of followers without power, and how powerful individuals can

impose their decisions and preferences on weaker ones.

Some leaders shown manipulate the animal’s minds to thoughts more favourable, keeping them

distracted from the problems they face, and less likely to rebel against their leaders. A large portion

of this manipulation comes from Squealer, who with phrases such as, “Surely none of you want

to see Jones back?”, associates any thoughts of defiance with horrible consequences that can be

prevented if the leaders are allowed free reign. This manipulation of thought eventually stifles

the animal’s ability to think for themselves, allowing the leaders to take complete control of every

aspect of the farm with little or no resistance. Some forms of leadership however, do not stand out

as much, and are not even associated with power.

In the novel, different types of leaders use their power in different ways, and to achieve different

goals, and it is shown that if a good leader uses his power for the benefit of others, life can be

vastly improved. A good leader can be determined as one who would inspire others to act in order

to improve their lives. Snowball is an example of this, motivating the animals through heartfelt

speeches and hard work to improve life on their farm. During the debate over the construction

of the windmill, the statement, “Until now the animals had been about equally divided in their

sympathies, but in a moment Snowball’s eloquence had carried them away.” Using their power

and influence, corrupt individuals exhibit moral deterioration by using such power to benefit

themselves and, by doing so, cause harm to the greater good.

Corrupting power has been showcased through many stories like Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Throughout Macbeth, the desire for absolute power is the main drive for the two main characters,

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They are consumed with a great craving for ultimate rule, and are

willing to achieve it by whatever means necessary. Power had corrupted the thoughts, actions and

behaviours of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. As a result of their greed, selfishness and longing for

supremacy, they were unable to escape the tragic fate at the end of the play that was a result of

their own doing.

In a way, power is to leaders what the taste of blood is to vampires. Once they get a taste of it,

they cannot let go. The more followers they have, the more corrupt they become. What we may

observe today is that society has become infected by real corruption using real stakes. We think

strong governance mechanisms and strong institutions are the key to keeping leaders in check.

Organisations should limit how much leaders can drink from the seductive chalice of power.

That power corrupts is an inevitable conclusion of Animal Farm. When the pigs take over they

claim that their goal is to preside over a farm of equal animals, all working together to support

one another. Yet power quickly proves to be too much for a pig. Small privileges quickly bloom into

full-scale corruption, and the pigs begin more and more to resemble those whom they claim to

replace.

Enjoy the read!

Talk to us:

E-mail: martin@mbrpublications.net

Twitter: @MBRPublications

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaltaBusinessReview

Martin Vella

Editor-in-Chief

Malta Business Review’s editorial opinions are decided by its Editor, and besides reflecting the Editor’s

opinion, are written to represent a fair and impartial representation of facts, events and provide a correct

analysis of local and international news.

Agents for:

www.maltabusinessreview.net

5


Malta Business Review

COVER STORY INTERVIEW

A Growth Mindset

By Martin Vella

As fast fashion continues being fuelled by the latest celebrity looks that mirror seasonal trends dictated by high-end designers, agile retail is

an emerging industry driven by smart data as the primary tool for predicting current and future style trends, turning ecommerce retailers into

on-demand platforms that identify, stock and deliver desired looks direct-to-consumer, Diane Izzo stepped up to the podium of Maltese fashion

retail, where her brand retail expansion took off, and she was about to drive bonds through public shares. In a rare interview, Diane discusses

the company’s past and present growth, what it takes to hire good people, and how she fosters dialogue with customers and employees.

MBR: You started your career with Dizz

Group in an entry-level position 18 years

ago. How did you work your way to the

top spot in Maltese fashion and blend

in with Malta’s leading and innovative

entrepreneurs?

DI: Well, when I actually started my career

the DIZZ Group concept was not even

contemplated. I started the business after

a holiday overseas during which I saw a

Terranova store and decided to take on

the great challenge of leaving my job and

trying my best at running my own business.

The way to the top was a tough, long, yet

satisfying challenge. It may sound rhetoric,

but I really gave everything I had during

these years. Looking back now I certainly

have no regrets.

MBR: What is an event in your past that

helped define your professional values?

DI: More than an event, I feel it was the

teachings I received from my father

and grandfather which have helped me

professionally. They were my inspiration.

My husband Karl and my sisters Denise and

Daniela have been my closest collaborators

throughout my career. So, I would say that

family has shown me the values I live by.

MBR: How are you strengthening

relationships with customers and

distributors?

DI: I have always run my business in a very

much hands on way and have constantly

made it a point to be the person of reference

to our suppliers. Over the years, some have

become close family friends. Ties have

grown stronger. The friendship has also left

its mark on the way we do business and we

have created an understanding in the way

we approach our business with together.

With regards to our customers, we ensure

"I have always run my

business in a very much

hands on way and have

constantly made it a

point to be the person

of reference to our

suppliers.

we offer a great selection, fair prices and a

perfect in-store service in order to create a

bond which leads to loyalty on both sides.

Diane Izzo

6


COVER STORY INTERVIEW

Malta Business Review

DI: With the rapid expansion of the group,

I have had to dedicate more time to the

overall strategy and the large projects

which we plan launching in the years

ahead. It has therefore been necessary

to strengthen our management structure

in order for me to have persons directly

responsible for various areas of the

business who still report directly to me. This

now allows me to manage my time better

and, consequently, be more available to

whoever requires my contribution.

MBR: What is something that guided you

throughout your first six months as CEO?

DI: What struck me first was the need to

recognise that unless we would work as

a team in it would be definitely harder

to achieve the desired success. This still

applies today and is a defining principle

within the DIZZ Group.

MBR: What excited you about the

opportunities to have various prestigious

brands under your umbrella and made

you feel it was the right fit?

DI: Having established Terranova and

Calliope on the market and having acquired

the franchise for Liu Jo we realised that the

fashion retail business was really where

we belonged. This was further confirmed

when a number of companies started

contacting us in order to discuss the

possibility of representing their interests

in Malta. This trend continues till this very

day and is of great satisfaction as it proves

that we are seen as the ideal partner.

MBR: How important is it to use

technology to speed data collection and

support rapid decision making?

DI: Considering we run 33 outlets which sell

hundreds of items every day information

technology is crucial in order for us to keep

the correct stock levels 365 days of the

year. We invest in hardware and software

but our main focus is to have the machines

supported by fully trained and prepared

staff who ensure we never experience any

down time.

MBR: Has change occurred when it

comes to women leading in the fashion

industry?

DI: I don’t believe it is a question of

change which has led to women leading

in the fashion industry. I believe it is that

more women have proved themselves as

important and competent participants in

Diane Izzo

many sectors of the economy, in the arts,

sciences and also politics. The natural

consequence was that some would

become leaders in their respective fields.

MBR: How ingrained is corporate

responsibility within the culture of Dizz

Group?

DI: We are heavily involved in promoting

directly and indirectly CSR in Malta and we

have an ever-growing number of initiatives

which have become annual events.

"Information technology

is crucial in order

for us to keep the

correct stock levels

365 days of the year.

Through these we raise money which is

then distributed amongst a number of very

honourable organisations which require

continuous support.

On the other hand, we also feel that fashion

is beauty, a healthy bodies and we feel that

sport is another way through which we can

help in creating a stronger and healthier

society. Hence, our investment in this

sector also.

MBR: How do you define your specific

role and how critical is it that your role is

involved in business strategy?

Background

Diane Izzo was the mastermind behind the

set-up of the group in the year 2000 and its

eventual continuous bursts of growth. The

group is owned by the parent company

Dizz Group of Companies. The company

is owned equally by Diane Izzo and her

husband Karl Izzo. Still in her thirties

she is in by far one of Malta’s leading

and innovative entrepreneurs who has

successfully made a strong name for the

group in the fashion, beauty and catering

industries and believes that the group

has more growth prospects ahead. Diane

occupies to the role of Chief Executive

Officer within the group and drives the

strategy and expansionary plans of the

group.

The group is backed by strong levels of

equity and profitability and therefore

enjoys very positive backing by its bankers,

suppliers and other stakeholders. Karl is

a reference point for the group as the

Public Relations Officer and attends all

important company meetings both locally

and overseas, assisting Diane in all major

decisions that are taken. The group’s core

activity is that of importing and retailing

of fashion wear by means of its franchise

agreements, warehouse stores and retail

outlets. In fact, the group is the franchisee

of the prestigious fashion brands:

Terranova, Calliope, LIU.JO, Harmont &

Blaine, Trussardi, Goldenpoint, Elisabetta

Franchi, PINKO, Caffe Pascucci, Max&co,

Brooks Brothers, Guess, Alberta Ferretti,

Philosophy, Philip Plein, Moschino, Micheal

Kors, Pollini, Versace & Billionaire .

The group has more recently also invested

in a number of cafeterias under the

exclusive franchise Pascucci. The group

engages over two hundred and fifty

personnel and is an equal opportunities

employer. The sectional heads of the

departments include the Chief Operations

Manager, the Chief Financial Officer, the

Head of Human Resources and the Head

of Sales and Marketing. Diane also believes

in innovative management practices which

see empowerment of staff and few tiers of

management levels. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

7


Malta Business Review

INNOVATION LEADERSHIP

Reaffirming Europe’s Innovation Leadership

by Peter Stracar

Europe has an intrinsic relationship with innovation, and whilst we

might perceive ourselves as being innovative, the GE Innovation

Barometer 2018 report, suggests that global business leaders feel

that in terms of innovation leadership in Europe has now been

overtaken by Asia.

Peter Stracar, President and CEO, GE Europe at GE

The latest statistics from Eurostat don’t

make for good reading either. They show

that while gross domestic expenditure on

R&D relative to GDP across the EU-28 has

risen by 40% over the past ten years to

around 2.04%, it remains comparatively

well below corresponding ratios recorded in

Japan (3.29% in 2015) and the United States

(2.79 % in 2015). Three years ago, China’s

R&D expenditure rose to 2.07% of GDP and

surpassed that of the EU-28. If Europe is

becoming less innovative and no longer a hot

bed of invention, then we have a problem in

terms of economic growth and productivity.

Commit more EU funding to

R&D and Innovation

Europe, like all regions is operating in a more

challenging environment and grappling with

the impact of automation and future work.

If we in Europe seriously want to compete

globally, then we will need to match and

exceed spending in other regions.

I would welcome a consistent scaling up of

the EU’s budget for research, development

and innovation and applaud the call from

last year’s Lamy report to double the

overall budget of the post-2020 EU R&D&I

programme. I would also encourage a

"If Europe is becoming

less innovative and

no longer a hot bed of

invention, then we have

a problem in terms of

economic growth and

productivity.

further simplification of instruments and a

minimization of the administrative burden.

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)

should at a bare minimum deliver concrete

benefits and stimulate competitiveness and

global trade. Integral to all of that is the

access to increased funding for research,

development and innovation and creating a

dynamic, mutually-beneficial environment

for businesses of all sizes in Europe to flourish

and grow.

The current MFF — the EU’s 7 year budget

— runs until the end of 2020. We expect the

Commission to put forward comprehensive

proposals for the post-2020 framework

and for the next generation of financial

programmes that will receive funding

sometime in May. While the MFF should of

course always match the EU’s priorities and

provide financial support to the regions,

towns and a multitude of sectors, if it is to

drive long-term growth, the next budget

should be focused on addressing key concerns

around productivity and job creation, as well

as have a renewed funding focus on the

digital economy, R&D and innovation.

Encouraging Closer Cohesion

and Collaboration

We shouldn’t expect policymakers to

carry the whole burden of addressing this

situation. Yes, we should encourage them to

reapply their foot to the pedal when it comes

to spending on innovation, but industry and

large multinationals also have an integral role

to play.

Firstly, by remaining committed to investing

in their R&D strategies, and by creating and

fostering diverse ecosystems with academia,

start-ups and SMEs. However, for ecosystems

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Malta Business Review

INNOVATION LEADERSHIP

"Both governments

and big business now

need to do a better

job of developing fluid

mechanisms

to be productive and fruitful they need to

be long-standing, almost symbiotic and

always mutually beneficial.

As a key investor in innovation with 30

industry R&D centers across the region,

GE is committed to success across Europe

through local and regional growth. Part

of driving that success is through our

work with entrepreneurs and early stage

companies:

In the spirit of co-operation and co-creation,

we regularly open our doors to SMEs and

start-ups at our Digital Europe Foundry

in Paris and the GE Additive customer

experience centre in Munich. One great

example of how collaboration can work is

demonstrated in our investment in Sonnen

Batterie – a developer of residential power

storage systems in Germany. Sonnen has

transitioned from a start-up to SME and

we are now helping this energy industry

innovator to globalize its business.

Empowering students to push the

boundaries of innovation was at the

forefront this February when a collaborative

agreement with the Technical University in

Prague was signed to investigate future

aerospace manufacturing technologies. It

is the first university in Europe to receive

GE’s Predix software platform. While there

are many established EU-led and national

initiatives for collaboration between startups,

spin-offs and scale-ups with MNCs,

all too often investment for start-ups

companies still becomes bottlenecked.

Both governments and big business now

need to do a better job of developing fluid

mechanisms – perhaps jointly - for capital

to be freed-up to allow companies of all

sizes across Europe to bring innovation to

market quickly and in a scalable way.

Reaffirming Europe’s position as

global innovation leader can only be

advantageous , It will boost productivity

and economic growth, drive inward

investment, and create more jobs. Only

then, can we expect the entire region to

begin to benefit again. MBR

Credit: GE Voices Europe

A group of employees work on a massive gas turbine at one of GE plants in Belfort, France. Image credit: GE Reports

Credit: GE Voices Europe

10


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9/10 Melfar Buildings, C. de Brockdorff Street, Msida MSD1421

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Malta Business Review

CRYPTO & CANNABIS

Crypto and Cannabis

Are the Perfect Post-Crisis Bubbles

Robo-traders and index funds may have taken over most of the stock market, but the psychology of

bubbles is still strong.

By Joe Weisenthal

The economist John Maynard Keynes wrote:

“The game of professional investment is

intolerably boring and over-exacting to anyone

who is entirely exempt from the gambling

instinct; whilst he who has it must pay to this

propensity the appropriate toll.”

Ever since the crisis, the message to investors

has been to embrace the “intolerably boring”

style: Index. Rebalance. Diversify. Rebalance

again. Reduce your fees. And don’t be so foolish

as to think that you, sitting at home, could

ever hope to win by picking individual stocks.

Investors who have internalized this message

have done phenomenally well in the post-crisis

years, amid a long and steady—even dull—bull

market.

But the gambling instinct can be repressed

for only so long. And lately we have seen the

emergence of strange new bubbles. And, yes,

I’m talking about crypto and cannabis. The

wild trading in shares of Canadian marijuana

company Tilray Inc. in September—in which its

market value briefly exceeded that of American

Airlines Group Inc.—felt a lot like last year’s

Bitcoin frenzy. Despite their different paths, the

crypto and cannabis bubbles are unmistakable

siblings. Spend a few minutes on Reddit pages

devoted to Bitcoin, cannabis, or trading, and

you can see the overlap and similarities of the

communities. According to TD Ameritrade Inc.,

trading in pot stocks is overwhelmingly done by

millennial-aged males. The stats for crypto look

the same.

To understand these bubbles, it helps to

compare and contrast them to what we saw in

the late 1990s. People call it the dot-com bubble,

but it was so much more than that. It was really

an optimism bubble. Everything seemed to

be going right in those days. People believed

peace was about to break out in the Middle

East and that China’s entry into the World

Trade Organization would begin an inevitable

transition toward freedom and democracy.

The Segway was going to revolutionize how

people got around cities. People didn’t just pile

into tech stocks. They piled into everything.

Another hot area was fuel cell companies, with

speculators betting on an imminent era of zeropollution

vehicles. (I know this because I was

one of them.)

"Now contrast this

with crypto. This is a

market not born of

optimism and dreams

of a Lamborghini in

every driveway, but of

pessimism and mistrust

The ultimate emblem of the dot-com bubble

was not the Pets.com puppet, or Henry

Blodget’s Amazon call, or the disastrous AOL-

Time Warner merger. No, the ultimate emblem

of the bubble was a small penny stock called

Uniprime Capital Acceptance, which owned a

car dealership in Las Vegas. One summer day in

1999, Uniprime put out a press release claiming

that it had discovered—I kid you not—a cure

for AIDS. Of course, people were skeptical,

but hey, it was the ’90s and anything seemed

possible ... so maybe one of its employees really

had discovered an AIDS cure? The stock soared.

Spoiler alert: It had not found an AIDS cure, and

the president of the company got arrested for

fraud.

Now contrast this with crypto. This is a market not

born of optimism and dreams of a Lamborghini

in every driveway, but of pessimism and

mistrust. It first sprang to life a decade ago while

the world was collapsing. In the code that got

Bitcoin started—known as the genesis block—

its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto

inscribed: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor

on brink of second bailout for banks.” Since

then, Bitcoin has taken a strange route toward

respectability, from cypherpunks to online drug

dealers to angry anti-Fed neo-goldbug types to

Wall Street. When Wall Street finally arrived

at the party, it was one of the last to show up.

Bitcoin peaked the very week futures on it were

launched last December. Of course, along the

way, a few thousand other cryptocurrencies

also showed up, hoping to cash in.

The Bitcoin frenzy moved in the opposite

direction from the housing bubble. In The Big

Short, the ultimate tell that housing was going

to crash was the scene where a stripper was

talking about her real estate speculation. There

were stories about strippers accepting Bitcoin all

the way back in 2012. When they make a movie

12


CRYPTO & CANNABIS

Malta Business Review

about Bitcoin, the stripper will realize Bitcoin is

peaking when a Wall Street client starts talking

about launching a crypto hedge fund.

The crypto bubble burst, but there are still many

believers, and many players in the industry

are hoping these currencies can get a haircut,

put on a suit, and collect billions of dollars in

Wall Street money. And maybe they will. But

at its core, there’s an inherent contradiction,

because crypto started as a rejection of all

that. Cryptography allows Person A to send

Person B a message without Person C having

any knowledge of what’s going on. Thanks to

Satoshi, now the same can be done for money.

The entire premise was that banks would no

longer be needed to mediate transactions, and

no one would be in a position to say what types

of transactions are allowed. That’s inherently

subversive, and no amount of futures, ETFs, or

“institutional custodial solutions” can alter that

fact.

So now to marijuana, which has always been

associated with counterculture and degeneracy.

There’s no need for a full history lesson here,

but the path to mainstream respectability was

a little bit different. Although activists worked

for years on marijuana legalization, it feels like

a switch was suddenly flipped. One day pot

dealers were being arrested on the street. The

next day a totally different set of dealers got to

list on the Nasdaq. The Tilray board of directors

looks about as counterculture as a branch of Re/

Max agents.

The dark social mood of the post-crisis years

may have helped catalyze the rise of cannabis.

Peter Atwater, president of Financial Insyghts,

which looks at markets through the lens of

bigger societal trends, wrote in an email that

both crypto and cannabis contain simultaneous

elements of “fear and greed” and they’re both

inherently anti-Establishment. Atwater also sent

me a 2013 research report on attitudes about

marijuana from the Socionomics Institute,

a group associated with the controversial

investment theorist Robert Prechter. The report

argues that support for marijuana legalization

has historically risen in America during periods

of social tension. The percentage of people who

say marijuana should be legal has absolutely

soared since the financial crisis.

Just like with crypto, there’s been a party

going on, and the traditional Wall Street and

media gatekeepers are getting in late. David

Greenwald is a former music journalist who’s

now a web developer and cannabis stock

trader in Oregon. He told me via email that he

started learning about marijuana stocks after a

Google search took him to the Reddit pages r/

Weedstocks and r/thecannalysts. On the latter,

people post breakdowns of the business models

and finances of the various publicly traded pot

companies that are as in-depth as many Wall

Street research reports. “There are folks who

have spreadsheets on which producers will have

how many kilograms ready for sale, what their

supply deals are,” writes Greenwald.

Reddit plays an outsize part in both the crypto

and cannabis stories. Part of the reason Bitcoin

split into two currencies last year—Bitcoin and

Bitcoin Cash—was the claim that moderators

on the popular r/Bitcoin page were censoring

certain viewpoints on how Bitcoin should scale.

To people outside the community, that would

seem like the pettiest drama in the world, but

one Bitcoin sect went ahead and made a whole

new currency because of it.

Aaron Lammer happens to host both a podcast

on crypto called Coin Talk and one on marijuana

called Stoner, so I asked him about the overlap

between the two worlds. First, he wanted to

clarify that his podcast is about enjoying weed,

not speculation. That said, he told me in an

online chat he does follow cannabis penny

stocks. It’s a murky world. “I have never seen

a stock that matched a product I have seen for

sale,” he says. “I don’t really understand what

any of the companies do, which makes them

a lot like shitcoins.” “Shitcoins” is the crypto

pejorative for tiny coins nobody will ever use,

but which people like to gamble on.

"Cryptography allows

Person A to send Person

B a message without

Person C having any

knowledge of what’s

going on. Thanks to

Satoshi, now the same

can be done for money

So here you have these two bubbles, with a

lot in common, coming back to back. But why

now? If there were an easy explanation for

why bubbles emerge, anyone could get rich.

But there are some general rules. You need a

fantastic story, which both crypto and cannabis

have. One’s disrupting finance and big tech; the

other’s a gigantic new market rapidly becoming

legal around the world. You also need the supply

of investable assets to be small, so there’s a

huge mismatch between the great story and

what investors can actually buy.

That mismatch between demand and supply for

internet stocks created some pretty hilarious

situations in the late ’90s. So thirsty were people

to buy into anything dot-com adjacent that

shares of K-Tel International Inc. (the maker of

corny retro compilation albums) rose tenfold in

1998 just because the company said it was going

to start selling its CDs online. Eventually there

was a tidal wave of IPOs in 1999. Supply caught

up with demand, and the bubble soon came to

an end. In 2017 the initial coin offeringexplosion

may have helped kill the crypto bubble, when

suddenly there were more coins to buy than

anyone could count. There were also tons of

forks of Bitcoin—basically, new versions—

including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin

Silver, Bitcoin Faith, Bitcoin World, Bitcoin

Private, United Bitcoin, Bitcoin God (seriously),

Lightning Bitcoin, Bitcoin Diamond, and dozens

more.

With cannabis, there are just a handful of

companies available to invest in, especially

if you live in the U.S. If the market stays hot,

though, there’s no doubt we’ll see a wave of

IPOs and secondary offerings and spinouts from

existing companies. Plus, we’ll see opportunistic

pivots—press releases from companies saying,

“Hey! We’re a cannabis company now.” You

almost have to feel sorry for (the former) Long

Island Iced Tea Corp., the beverage company

that bizarrely pivoted to blockchain at the

very peak of the crypto hype last December.

If it had waited only a few months, it could’ve

announced some CBD-infused drink, and that

might have made some business sense.

And then there’s that long dormant urge to

gamble. When I asked Greenwald why he both

invests in and trades cannabis stocks, he was

crystal clear: “The answer is volatility.” The

stocks can go up 10 percent or 20 percent in a

day. Of course, they can crash, too. If you are a

disciplined investor, volatility is a threat, because

it plays with your emotions and tempts you to

make bad decisions. But if you are a trader or

gambler, and you are looking for action, volatility

is an asset. And these days it’s a rather scarce

asset. The years 2017 and 2018 have been

among the least volatile for the market on

record.

Probably the most visible advocate for cannabis,

both as an investment opportunity and for its

medical benefits, has been Todd Harrison of CB1

Capital. Harrison first got interested in the space

after 9/11. He was working at a hedge fund in

the vicinity of the Twin Towers when the attack

happened, and the ensuing period left him with

PTSD. Mainstream therapies weren’t helping. So

he went down the rabbit hole, learning about

the history of the war on marijuana, and what

he says is the government’s long-term effort to

suppress the medical research on it. He points

out the heavy racial component in the war

on drugs. The government has “blood on its

hands,” he told me.

Ultimately, he sees this market going to $2 trillion

to $3 trillion, but says that the current uncertain

legal landscape makes it very hard for most

investment institutions to take advantage of

the opportunity. Cannabis is, he says, “the only

time I’ve ever seen in my 30 years on Wall Street

where individuals can front-run institutions.”

It was at that moment talking to Harrison that

I realized the story with the cannabis boom is

far more gripping than the banal observation

that a new, legal market is opening up. Both

crypto and cannabis have the same meta-story

about getting back at corrupt elites. Stick it to

big businessmen, with their war on hemp. Stick

it to ineffective mainstream medicine. Stick it

to central bankers degrading the value of your

dollars. Stick it to bankers and their bailouts at

taxpayer expense. Stick it to the censors. Stick it

to Richard Nixon. Stick it to Jeff Sessions. Stick it

to the racist prison-industrial complex.

And the cherry on top with both, the believers

will tell you, is that thanks to the current

regulatory black hole, there’s a beautiful

opportunity to get in now and make Wall Street

the last bag holder. Psychologically, at least,

crypto and cannabis are the perfect trades for

the post-crisis era. MBR

Creditline: Bloomberg

www.maltabusinessreview.net

13


Malta Business Review DEBATE

The Battle With Brussels that Italy Can’t Lose

Rome’s deficit decision could spark a fresh fight with the EU.

By Jacopo Barigazzi

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini | Florian Wieser/EP

Pierre Moscovici at the European Commission in Brussels |

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

By pushing for a big-spending, deficit-busting

budget, the Italian government can expect

repercussions from Brussels. It will laugh them

off.

After a Cabinet meeting late Thursday, Deputy

Prime Ministers Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di

Maio declared they have agreed on a budget

deficit of 2.4 percent of GDP for 2019. “It’s a

budget for the people that doesn’t favor the

powerful,” Di Maio said. That, according to the

daily La Stampa, is “a declaration of war” on

Brussels. It’s a war the Italians will win, even

if the European Commission hands down a

fine for breaking the bloc’s rules on deficits,

or rejects the budget altogether, because the

populist government will use it as an example

of Brussels’ interference in domestic affairs.

The previous, center-left Italian government

had settled on a 0.8 percent deficit for 2019.

The European Commission and Giovanni

Tria, the technocrat who serves as economy

minister in Salvini and Di Maio’s government,

agreed on a red line of 1.6 percent.

“The European Commission will decide what

to do next month, when Italy will officially send

its budget plans to Brussels.”

Those figures are now out the window — and

the populists couldn’t care less. Members of

Di Maio’s 5Star Movement took to Twitter

to declare the day “historic” as the deficit

increase will allow them to have €10 billion to

spend on one of their key pledges, a “citizens’

income” or basic salary for the poorest. The 2.4

percent figure is well below the 3 percent EUrequired

deficit ceiling. However, in a country

that has the eurozone’s second largest debt

mountain after Greece, and one of the slowest

economic growth rates, it will fuel European

Commission worries that Italy’s public debt,

already at around 131 percent, could increase

further.

Commission officials say it’s likely that Italy will

face an excessive deficit procedure in response

to Thursday’s budget decision, and it could face

a fine if it doesn’t comply. But analysts reckon

that for Di Maio and his coalition partner, the

far-right League, a conflict with Rome would

be a blessing and strengthen their “Italy first”

line.

"The difference in

borrowing costs

between Italy and

Germany on Friday

reached about 2.8

percentage points,

almost double what

it was before the

government came into

office and up about

17 percent since mid-

September

The Commission’s first reaction was to play

down a fight. “We have no interest in a crisis

between the Commission and Italy,” European

Commissioner for Economic and Financial

Affairs Pierre Moscovici told France’s BFMTV

on Friday. “Nobody has an interest because

Italy is an important eurozone country,”

“But we don’t have any interest either that

Italy does not respect the rules and does not

reduce its debt, which remains explosive,” he

said. “When you’re in debt, you’re cornered

and you can’t act. Staging a recovery with very

high debt eventually turns against you.” The

European Commission will decide what to do

next month, when Italy will officially send its

budget plans to Brussels.

Whatever it does, Rome will be able to play it

as a victory. No action from the EU, and the

Italian budget gets the green light; if Brussels

takes action, the government can play the

victim against an overbearing EU, which

has been a popular, and successful, tactic

to date (Salvini even blamed the EU for the

collapse of a bridge in Genoa in which more

than 40 people died). The best-case scenario

for the Italian government would be if the

Commission took action against Rome but

not against Paris.

In the eyes of the 5 Stars, since France

announced a higher-than-expected deficit

of 2.8 percent, then Italy can do the same —

never mind that France’s debt is below 100

percent and its economic growth is almost

double that of Italy. “We are a sovereign

country exactly like France. Money is there

and it can be finally spent in favor of citizens,

in Italy like in France,” Di Maio tweeted

recently.

The Commission taking on Rome but not Paris

would allow the Italian populists to push their

line that the EU is biased against “the people”

and widen the gap between Salvini and

Emmanuel Macron, who have become heads

of opposing camps ahead of the European

election. The real threat for Rome is not the

Commission but the financial markets. The

difference in borrowing costs between Italy

and Germany on Friday reached about 2.8

percentage points, almost double what it was

before the government came into office and

up about 17 percent since mid-September.

Italian banks faced heavy losses at the Milan

stock exchange.

Yet Salvini and Di Maio are pushing ahead.

“Now we start dialogue with the EU,” Di

Maio said Friday, stressing that “there’s no

intention to clash.” As for Salvini, he said the

“markets will understand” and “if Brussels

rejects, we go ahead.”

MBR

Creditline: POLITIO SRL

14


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Malta Business Review COMPANY ANNIVERSARY

Design, Construction and Art

By George Carol

Based in Birkirkara MJM│DA are celebrating

their 15th anniversary this year. In terms of

services, the firm has evolved since it first

started, now offering true integrated design

services combining Architecture, Structures,

Building services and interior design for

residential, commercial and hospitality

projects. But what really sets this firm

apart is their focus on culture. In fact, they

take culture so seriously, they even have a

dedicated direct culture approach. Another

point of pride, they were intentional about

creating an environment that welcomed

diversity of all types, and extending that

beyond employees, to clients and projects as

well. We recently chatted with founder, Senior

Architect & CEO Matthew J. Mercieca to talk

about the firm’s upcoming anniversary, what

it’s like to own a business and the significant

challenges faced.

how did you get past them?

MJM: The biggest challenge has been to

adapt to the reality that change is constant,

and that speed of such change can accelerate

MBR: How do you see the progress of

your company so far? Are you amazed,

overwhelmed, did you think you would get

this far?

MBR: How did it all begin and what was it

like when you first started?

MJM: The beginning was unplanned! I was

happy and settled working with several

local top firms for four years, after having

travelled substantially as a student and going

through an internship in Warsaw. Within a

challenging economic climate in 2003 and in

a planned transition of sorts, I had a start-up

of my own. I first started working on family

business projects designing and setting up

the BoConcept showroom and offices for

example. It was raw and chaotic, but very

engaging. I certainly had a better work life

balance and income before I started, but

since I always wanted to work with a team,

I very quickly started building my own team.

Collaboration builds capacity, reinforces skill,

and provides professional solutions.

MBR: Where did you get the drive for the

business and what made you not give up on

it?

MJM: Coming from a background of family

businesses on both sides of my family, I was

exposed to different business types and

functions. Surprisingly, whilst that may have

provided an entrepreneurial foundation, it

is the potential of architecture that keeps

me going. I had witnessed a separation of

architecture in the way it was created such

that the result did not feel wholesome,

or complete. Also designing and building

architecture holistically is something that I

am still driven to achieve consistently. In an

ever more connected world, all must work as

one. Architecture is the perfect vehicle for

this since it presents a significant challenge

because of its complexity even when things

are kept simple.

MBR: What were some significant

challenges you have had to overcome and

Matthew J. Mercieca, Senior Architect & CEO, MJM│DA

significantly at times. So establishing

appropriate systems and processes, and

how these are maintained, have been

instrumental to keep the necessary balance

in a world that degenerates into chaos when

left unattended.

"Every time I felt that we

have been wronged, or

that we were treated

unfairly as a team, it has

made the firm stronger

MBR: Is there any event that has drastically

affected you in your journey, something that

has had a big impact in your entrepreneur

life?

MJM: Every time I felt that we have been

wronged, or that we were treated unfairly

as a team, it has made the firm stronger.

Many lessons learnt and the continuity of

having persisted with playing this game for

fifteen years gives me a lot of insight that I

appreciate daily.

MJM: I am very self-critical. So much so, that

anybody who has worked with me over the

years will tell you that I will expect everybody

to deliver to the best of their capacity. Too

many people are not ready to find out how

awesome they are. They stop short of going

the extra mile and pushing themselves to

get there. I believe we can get further. So

although people tell us we have done rather

well, I often feel that we have not even

started or somehow scratched the surface!

1. How have you seen workplaces changing

in the 21st century?

Speed: it’s faster than ever and expectations

are high on all fronts. Everybody expects

more from everybody. Costs to operate

a legitimate business with the right work

force, tools, operations and facilities are ever

higher. So the capacity to develop skills and

deliver is crucial. Malta however remains

rife with the acceptance of amateur services.

We see people settle for services that appear

25% cheaper and deliver less than 50% of the

work. Although many have created an art

form of complaining, learning to pay for the

right level of service and long term vision is a

special capability.

2. How has MJMDA maintained its position

during the past 15 years?

We have never stopped working hard, as

difficult as it has been. We are not quitters.

3. What major projects are you

proud of when looking back at your

accomplishments?

16


COMPANY ANNIVERSARY

Malta Business Review

Solid Porosity

Limber Lattice

Our projects have always had a strong

conceptual basis and purpose. That is why

we give them names. And these names are

not merely for the sake of vanity. They bear

meaning and depth either in client character,

purpose, aims, context, age or other

parameters. ‘Limber Lattice’, is a purpose built

office complex that blends quality, rationality

and efficiency with a lively dynamism and

active outlook. ‘Still Kinetic’ still strikes a

chord in architectural design psyche - I think

it is the best all round villa we have designed

and built, but it remains shrouded in secrecy

because of confidentiality. I am proud of

these and many more, to name a few ‘Solid

Porosity’, and ‘Rapprochement’, stand out

in the residential typology. But the biggest

project of all is the MJMDA project, and

where that project is today fills me with great

pride and appreciation, especially as we see

new like-minded team players join our fold.

4. What are your future plans (What do you

hope to achieve and how fast do you hope

to achieve it)?

Good development takes time! That I do

know now. I have always had very ambitious

plans for MJMDA, pacing and patience is

one of the best lessons I have learnt and still

actively learning through my sport regime. I

have also learnt not to say too much about

what I am working on, as although imitation is

a form of flattery, MJMDA likes to leverage its

ideas to remain at the cutting edge.

MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Carcass

www.maltabusinessreview.net

17


Malta Business Review

ONE-ON-ONE

Interview with Malta's Foreign

Minister Carmelo Abela

by Florian Eder

with Zoya Sheftalovich

Presented by EPP Group

Minister Carmelo Abela

CHANNELING NAPOLEON’S SPIRIT… Carmelo

Abela has a spectacular office, loaded with

history. “This is the place where Napoleon

used to sleep,” Malta’s 46-year-old foreign

minister told me as he showed me around

his room via Skype. But he’s not completely

sure what to make of his surroundings — of

the painting behind him he says he doesn’t

like very much, of a bust of the Frenchman

who ruled over the island for two short years.

“I hope he’s not spying on me,” Abela joked.

I spoke to Abela to gauge the temperature on

the migration frontline ahead of Jean-Claude

Juncker’s Wednesday State of the Union

speech and next week’s Salzburg summit.

Stronger European border guard: As Juncker

prepares to set out a Commission proposal

for a strengthened European Border and

Coast Guard (EBCG) on Wednesday, Abela

issued a warning that a new mandate for the

EU’s agency shouldn’t mean more power for

Brussels. “Our position is that we believe that

there should be no further competence shift

to the European Border and Coast Guard,”

he said. “It’s member states, in accordance

with international rules and regulations, who

are responsible.”

When it comes to Malta’s assessment of the

Commission’s expected proposal, a thumbs

up or down will “depend of the amount of

funding that will be available for the EBCG”

and “on the assets that it will have — [and]

whether these will be provided by member

states,” Abela said. The EU’s naval mission

in the Mediterranean, known as Operation

Sophia, is important to Malta and should

not suffer as a result of shifting priorities, he

added. “We need to see how the EBCG will

operate in conjunction with Sophia.”

Still friends with Rome? Italy and Malta

have recently engaged in a war of words

over where the migrants rescued by Sophia

ought to be dropped off. But Abela says the

two countries have a lot in common. “The

argument that they make, we can agree on.

It’s maybe the way they express themselves,

or some of them express themselves,” he

said, trailing off. “I think we should engage

more, discuss more,” he added, insisting that

“on a bilateral level between Malta and Italy,

I have to say that relations are still strong.”

Any progress since June European Council?

More specifically, any sight of those

disembarkation centres? “I am not aware

that countries in Africa, more precisely in

North Africa have accepted, or that they

were even asked to host such centres,” Abela

said. “It’s still work in progress when we talk

about migration … we need to continue

working on how all member states can take

some form of responsibility and what form

this responsibility will take.”

**The big question on Vestager’s desk this

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Competitive Edge, available to Competition

Pro subscribers.

MAJORITY RULES: Juncker is expected to

propose allowing EU foreign ministers to

make decisions via majority votes rather

than the current unanimity rule. Abela said

faster decision-making isn’t necessarily

better, pointing to his time in the home

affairs portfolio as evidence. “We took

decisions not by unanimity but by majority

… Then you had member sates who took the

decision to court, and even today you have

member states who have not implemented

fully the pledges that they made,” Abela said.

“The question is not exactly the method but

whether we stick to the decisions we made.”

"The argument that they

make, we can agree on.

It’s maybe the way they

express themselves, or

some of them express

themselves

But that’s not a ‘No.’ “If we expect unanimity

under every circumstances, I don’t think

we’ll come to many decisions,” Abela

acknowledged, pointing to the fact that it’s

difficult for so many EU countries to agree on

a decision. “We need to see how we can be

more efficient in taking decisions … imagine

with more member states in the future

joining the EU — I think it is an issue that

needs to be addressed.”

MALTA’S RED LINES: “Well, there are

competences for member states. One that

comes to mind is taxation and I think that’s

pretty clear for us.” MBR

Creditline: Brussels Playbook - POLITICO SPRL

18


ICT

Malta Business Review

Why IT-business Alignment Still Fails

By Minda Zetlin

Contributing Writer, CIO

With the push for digital transformation, relations between business and IT seemed

to be improving, then they took a left turn. Here’s what’s worth addressing to

improve alignment in your organization.

Do your company’s

IT leaders and top

business executives

have the same

understanding of

IT’s role within the

organization?

Back in 2012, researchers at Capgemini

asked this question of more than 1,300

senior executives. Sixty-five percent of them

answered yes.

Perhaps a number closer to 100 percent

would have been ideal, but the fact that

nearly two thirds of companies surveyed

believed business and IT were on the same

page was very good news. It represented

enormous and hard-won progress from the

bad old days when business executives saw

technology professionals as pointy-headed

geeks, and technology professionals saw

business executives as soulless and moneyobsessed.

In the past six years, though, alignment

between business and IT has gotten much,

much worse. Asked that same question this

year, only 37 percent of executives thought

business and IT leaders agreed on IT’s

role, according to a newly released study

by Capgemini. And that’s not all. Only 35

percent of respondents think IT and business

executives agree on how technology can

increase productivity, down from 59 percent

in 2012. Just 36 percent think IT and business

leaders have the same view of IT investment

priorities, down from 53 percent six years

ago.

This decline in business-IT alignment

happened in an era when IT leaders finally

started getting the “seat at the table” they’d

always wanted. Whether or not business

leaders believe that “every company is a

software company,” they all recognize the

game-changing power of technology across

all industries — and they’re expressing

that recognition with cash. IDC forecasts

that total worldwide spending on digital

transformation technologies will exceed

$1.3 trillion in 2018. MBR

Creditline: CIO

Photo credit: Getty Images

www.maltabusinessreview.net

19


Malta Business Review

TRANSPORTS & LOGISTICS

Express Trailers Formally Enters Manufacturing Industry

EXPRESS TRAILERS ENGINEERING LTD SET UP

Express Trailers has just launched its latest

venture, Express Trailers Engineering Ltd.

The company was launched with an event at

its premises during which it also celebrated

its 15 years of professional collaboration

with the world leader in proprietary sideloaders

Hammar Maskin.

After 15 years, Express Trailers Engineering

Ltd is now Hammar’s authorized partner

in the Southern European region and the

only recognised and accredited Hammar

equipment re-builder in the world,

recognised for its highest engineering and

tradesmanship quality standards.

“We can safely say that with the setting up

of Express Trailers Engineering Ltd, we are

taking our company Express Trailers back to

its roots when its eight founding brothers,

started building the company with their

own hands through their ‘can do’ attitude,

Franco Azzopardi, Chairman and CEO of Express Trailers

Express Trailers Engeneering

20


TRANSPORTS & LOGISTICS

Malta Business Review

their talent and propensity for mechanics and

engineering and their sense of resourcefulness,”

said Franco Azzopardi, Chairman and CEO of

Express Trailers in his inauguration speech.

“In fact, Express Trailers Engineering Ltd will be

operating under the leadership of Noel Vella,

who is a family member and who succeeds his

father Sebastian Vella, a veteran mechanic and

tradesman, a tool-maker in the industry and

one of the founding brothers. Noel Vella will

be leading a dedicated team of 25 tradesmen

who will be focused on the work commissioned

to us by HAMMAR namely the rebuilding and

reconditioning of side-loaders as well as on the

servicing of Express Trailers’ heavy equipment,”

added Franco Azzopardi.

Hammar Maskin produces proprietary sideloading

equipment for trailers made of high

tensile and lightweight steel that gives a huge

advantage to all logistics operators handling

containers single-handedly, be it cargo, mobile

offices for construction and other sites as well as

military mobile barracks and hospitals.

MBR

Creditline: Express Trailers

Express Trailers Engeneering

Express Trailers Launge

www.maltabusinessreview.net

21


Malta Business Review

ONE-ON-ONE

Q & A: Cancer Ahead of the Curve

By Sarah Wheaton

As the European Medicines Agency’s senior medical officer, Hans-Georg Eichler has

a front row seat to how the regulatory system adapts to new discoveries. Cancer, he

told Sarah Wheaton, is “the thin end of the wedge” of how research is conducted and

regulated. Eichler talked me through how cancer research offers a preview of what’s

to come in medicine.

Hans-Georg Eichler

MBR: How would you characterize the

state of European cancer research?

HGE: I would say the state of funding in

cancer research is not bad. When it comes

to basic research, I think Europe is also

pretty good.

It is becoming absolutely clear that we will

only be able to answer a fraction of all the

relevant research questions [with] clinical

trials. Many other questions, like what is the

right combination, what is the right [timing

for] this or that treatment, will have to be

answered on the basis of real-world data.

We suffer in Europe still from large

fragmentation. There are data, but they

don’t talk to each other. We have not yet

cracked how to be able to combine this into

one machinery.”

MBR: We are speaking on the same day

the developers of immunotherapy won

the Nobel Prize. How have regulators

responded to revolutionary new

treatments like these?

HGE: What we’ve now seen in some of

these products is very dramatic [evidence

of effectiveness], in smaller studies. That

is the good news. The bad news is you

have a smaller evidence base, and that is

sometimes being held against us. People

will say, “Oh, this product was authorized

based on data from only 70 or 80 patients.”

We have to communicate that when we

have very substantial effect sizes, it is in

patients’ best interest to allow a product

onto the market based on smaller studies.”

MBR: A lot of what I hear about cancer

research could probably be said about

any other biomedical research. What’s

unique about oncology?

HGE: Cancer is definitely the fastest

advancing field in the life sciences.

The idea of the platform trials, [which

simultaneously investigate multiple

treatments], where have those emerged

from? Again, cancer. We have so many

drugs to treat the same condition in the

pipeline that it absolutely makes sense to

tell five or 10 companies, “Look, would

you please run a platform trial instead of

your usual one-off, each one of you. It is

more efficient, it is more informative, get

together.” It took a little while, but I think

in oncology, it is here to stay. In other fields

it is here to come.

Creditline: Pro Intelligence – POLITICO

Global Policy Lab

Pro Intelligence is POLITICO’s brand

new platform that fuses the power of

technology with the power of journalism,

delivering the insight you need every day.

MBR

Creditline: POLITICO

Cancer rate by country

Germany has the highest rate of new cancer cases per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU.

Source: World Health Organization International

Agency for Research on Cancer

22


MALTA’S BEST ENTREPRENEUR

OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2018 ®

Leading the way, going the way and showing the way

SPECIAL FEATURE

THE

WINNERS

Elena & Oleg Roslavitskiy - Multimaxx Ltd

- Best Entertainment Entrepreneur of the Year

Oliver Scicluna - Chic Med Aesthetic Clinic

- Best Healthcare Entrepreneur of the year

- Best Male Entrepreneur of the Year

Jonas Eneroth - Karmafy Holdings Ltd

- Best Tech/Web Developer

Entrepreneur of the Year

- Best Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year

- Best CSR Entrepreneur of the Year

Alison White - Alison White Dance Studio

- Lifetime Achievement Award

Ramona & Roberta Preca -

Tal- Familja Restaurant

- Best Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year

Damian Galea & Jeffrey Sciberras -

Northern Properties

- Best Real Estate & Property

Entrepreneur of the Year

Joseph Portelli - J Portelli Projects

- Best Land & Property Entrepreneur of the Year

Daniel Grech - Shoreditch Bar & restaurant

- Best Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year

Vasilije Lekovic - Trustly

- Best Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year

- Best Igaming Entrepreneur of the Year

Paul Magro - Risk Cap International Ltd

- Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year

- Best Consulting, Advisory, Audit &

Tax Entrepreneur of the Year

Philip Farrugia - Dpro Ltd & Domos

- Best International Trade Entrepreneur of the Year

- Best Interior Design &

Decor Entrepreneur of the Year

Kristina Hambardzumyan - Betconstruct

- Best Female Entrepreneur of the Year

John Zanni - Acronis

- Best Digital/IT Entrepreneur of the Year

Mark Farrugia - Lidl Malta ltd

- Award for Excellence

Edwin Mintoff - EM Architects & Civil Engineers

- Best Architecture & Interior Design

Carlos & Ismael Borg - Mannarino Caterers

Entrepreneur of the Year

- Best Food & Beverage Entrepreneur of

- Chairman Value Award

the Year

- Overall Best Entrepreneur of the Year

Christina & Stephan Ellul Vincenti - CS Projects Ltd

- Best Industry Entrepreneur of the Year


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

A Reputation for Excellence

By Martin Vella

Exclusive Interview with Dr. Edwin Mintoff, Managing Director of EM Architects

and Civil Engineers

2018

Architecture and the commercial property

market in Malta has changed drastically over

the past few decades to contain new areas

of growth and one of these has been the

demand for large-scale commercial office

buildings.

Five years back and we witnessed the launch

of a number of iconic buildings among which,

were Skyparks at Malta International Airport

and 14 East Tower, Fimbank’s group head

office in St Julian’s.

Valletta and additionally EM Architects feel

that this city can only survive if it adjusts

to contemporary conditions. This is why

for us urban architecture is of the utmost

importance, so as to create a new layer in

Valletta’s history which respects the old but is

conscious of the new,” told us Dr Mintoff.

In the case of Domus Zamittello, the entire

façade stonework had to be completely

restored, metal inserts removed and joints

raked out and re-pointed. “The elevation

which differ radically from residential

buildings. Therefore, the design had to

address the bank’s objectives to create an

iconic, yet functional, building sensitive to

both local culture as well as environmental

considerations, while also reflecting the bank’s

corporate identity and global presence.”

“Numerous other factors taken into

consideration in the design stage included

location, aesthetics, functionality, air quality,

energy efficiency and also the building’s

long-term sustainability and environmental

performance. To achieve this, modern design

techniques were utilised to meet the practical

necessities and specifications of the space,”

he added.

An architect who has been involved in the

design of these projects is Edwin Mintoff of

Edwin Mintoff Architects and Civil Engineers.

Dr Mintoff has been in practice for over 33

years and, in that time, has seen his firm

expand to a large, architectural, civil and

structural engineering firm, working on

various prestigious projects in Malta and

beyond.

His practice has also expanded overseas,

mainly to Europe, as well as North Africa, and

has included development of offices, hotels,

restaurants and banks, community centres,

residential developments and other projects

in Italy, Latvia, Tunisia, Libya, Turkey, Spain

and Sudan, apart from various regeneration

plans, such as in Cospicua and Marsaxlokk,

the Macina and the Domus Zamitello projects.

“It is of upmost important to safeguard the

architectural heritage that is our capital city

Projects by EM Architects

along South Street was in a perilous structural

condition due to war damage compounded

with subsequent civil works. Our design

incorporated arches, so as to reinstate

structural stability whilst simultaneously

emulating the original building façade,” he

rationalised.

With this philosophy, EM Architects embarked

on the design of this palazzo which dates

back to the eighteenth century located in a

prime location of Valletta. Its restoration has

contributed significantly towards the urban

renewal of Valletta and in particular to its

immediate surroundings. This project was

awarded the Planning Authority award for

Conservation Architecture 2018.

In 2009, Edwin Mintoff Architects was

charged with the task of designing Fimbank’s

headquarters in Pendergardens. Dr Mintoff

explains, “projects of that size and nature

have their own particular requirements,

"It is of upmost

important to safeguard

the architectural

heritage that is our

capital city Valletta

and additionally EM

Architects feel that this

city can only survive if it

adjusts to contemporary

conditions.

“A number of distinct architectural and

interior design concepts were presented

to the bank prior to the choice of the final

design – a building that incorporates clean,

visual design lines that best communicate

Fimbank’s strategic, global corporate vision in

an architectural form,” Dr Mintoff explained.

I asked Dr Mintoff about the Macina and he

rapidly elucidated, “This early 17th century

building, originally housing the mechanism

for ship mast fitting known as a ’macchina’,

was rehabilitated and given new life as a guest

house with ancillary facilities, including a pool,

bar, restaurant and cafeteria. It was a complex

project, both technically and philosophically,

and particular care went into the quality

of the finishes and design choices. Despite

creating the necessary luxury, the overall

concept retained the military, functional feel

of the building’s previous use, especially in

the staircase and the courtyard. This Is an

example in the rehabilitation and re-use of

24


military buildings, and out firm was awarded

the Prix d’Honneur for the Rehabilitation and

Re-Use of Buildings,” stated Dr Mintoff.

“The structure today is known as Macina

and formed part of St Michael’s bastion, a

critical part of the city of Senglea’s landward

defence,” explained the prolific architect,

going on “It was utilised for ship mast fitting

from the early 17th century; the bastion

originally housed a machine made of

hardwood, which was later changed to steel

in 1864. By 1927, however, the machine was

dismantled in favour of a floating lift crane,

and the Macina has subsequently been

used for a variety of purposes including the

Admiralty’s Head Office, a Trade School and

a political party headquarters. More recently,

it has been used as an exhibition space for

special events.

“EM Architects’ design was based on the

desire to preserve and enhance this historical

building and restore it to its former glory,” Dr

Mintoff maintained, going on to explain that

this was primarily analysed with regards to

the site location and surrounding amenities,

so as to determine how the project could

contribute to the holistic urban regeneration

of the Three Cities. “It was also of primary

importance that the building was finally

protected and restored so that it could be

enjoyed for years to come. The new layout

was designed to maximise the traveller’s

engagement with the history of the building

and the culture of the surrounding area,” he

says.

After years of disuse and continuous exposure

to rain, wind and sea-spray, when it came to

the commencement of construction works,

the building was badly in need of repair,

the architect recalls. “The existing coralline

and franka limestone was found to be

deteriorated in certain locations, and had

to be replaced, and certain areas which had

been plastered over had to be cleaned,” he

explains. Apart from this, as is common with

many historic buildings in Malta, numerous

modern alterations and additions were

also discovered, which were constructed

using methods and/or materials which are

incompatible with the older fabric. “Many

of the post-war repairs were low-budget and

make-shift, like many of the first and second

floor ceilings. Certain areas of the existing

structure, in particular those which were

repaired following the damage caused in

World War II, were found to be structurally

unstable and impossible to repair. A portion

of the building had also been damaged by

an arson attack and also had to be replaced,

as the fire had severely decreased the area’s

structural integrity,” maintained Dr Mintoff.

Dr. Mintoff and his team were in fact the

recipients of both the ‘Din l-Art Helwa’ award

as well as the ‘Planning Authority Award’

for the rehabilitation of the Macina, to his

immense satisfaction.

"The new layout was

designed to maximise

the traveller’s

engagement with the

history of the building

and the culture of the

surrounding area.

SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

The architect maintains that having worked

on the project for ten years, every decision,

even related to structural interventions, was

planned so as to respect the existing building.

“We hope that the Macina building serves as

an example and perhaps a benchmark for the

restoration and re-design of other historic

buildings in Malta,” he concluded.

In receiving the Malta Entrepreneur Award,

I felt very proud not just for myself but

Malta Business Review

more importantly for all the hard work put

in by all my staff as we function as a closeknit

team. Being such a successful and well

attended event, it was an honour to be called

on stage. The quality of all the contenders’

achievements was very high and I felt very

privileged to have been bestowed with the

awards and particularly the ‘Overall Best

Entrepreneur of the Year Award’. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Editor’s Note

The firm of Edwin

Mintoff Associates

was set up some 33

years ago by Dr Edwin

Mintoff, an architect

and civil engineer, who

became one of the first

Maltese architects to

obtain a doctorate Ph.D.

in the field of architecture and urban design.

It has since expanded into one of the largest

civil architecture and engineering firms on the

Island and now offers a wide range of services

including land use and environmental planning,

urban design, architectural and interior design,

civil, road and structural engineering, land and

quantity surveying, as well as cost consultancy in

Malta and overseas. The firm today is known as

EM Architects and Civil Engineers. Dr Mintoff was

recently awarded as Malta’s Best Architecture &

Interior Design Entrepreneur of the Year, Malta’s

Overall Best Entrepreneur of the Year and also won

the Chairman Value Award during Malta’s Best

Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2018. Only this

month they were awarded the Planning Authority

Award for Conservation Architecture for their

project ‘Domus Zamittello’.

Projects by EM Architects

Projects by EM Architects

www.maltabusinessreview.net

25


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

It’s All About Integrity

By Martin Vella

MBR interviews Joseph Portelli, Managing Director at J Portelli Projects, and winner of Malta’s Best Land &

Property Entrepreneur of the Year 2018. Mr Portelli was interviewed on his general views, as well as insights

and we found out he is full of so many ideas, optimism, and mottos that describe his approach to what he calls

“smart growth”, as his reinvestments in used commercial buildings is catalytic and sets out to restore not only the

surrounding environment they inhabit, but their surrounding communities.

2018

Joseph Portelli, Managing Director, J Portelli Projects receiving Malta’s Best Land & Property Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 by

Paul Magro, Founder & Managing Director - Risk Cap International Ltd

MBR: What motivated you to start J Portelli

Projects? How did the idea come about?

JP: I began my first business at a very young

age. I was only 16 when I ventured into the

catering world by getting a concession for

a small catering establishment which I ran

successfully for several years. However,

even at this very young age, it was evident

that my passion was inclined elsewhere.

In the early 90s I started buying properties

for development and sale. A doer from day

one, my vision for an integrated group that

specialises in developing residential and

commercial real estate projects took off in

1996 – and JPortelli Projects was born.

MBR: How would you measure success in

what you do and also in the role you hold?

JP: I believe that success is not only measured

in financial terms. Client satisfaction and

attainment of time-frames and targets are

"They create

transformative cultural,

corporate, residential

and other spaces that

work in synchronicity

with their surroundings.

equally important. True success is measured

by the repeat business generated.

MBR: How much oversight/interaction do

you like to have from your manager when

working on a project and how important

are the relations you keep with your team?

JP: My people are the reason I managed

to build a successful business over the

years. Every single member of the team is

important in the attainment of our goals.

MBR: What is the most interesting

entrepreneurial project you’ve worked on?

What did you learn from this, and how did

you apply it?

JP: Every project has its interesting

aspects, however I must say that the most

interesting one so far is the Mercury Towers

project. This project is being designed by

Zaha Hadid Architects, in fact it was the

26


SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

Malta Business Review

last design signed off by Dame Zaha Hadid

herself before her untimely passing in 2015.

Mercury Towers stands to become the most

iconic building in Malta insofar as modern

architecture is concerned.

Many architects are called on to create new

projects that stand as symbols of social

progress – but none delivered as regularly,

as unexpectedly and as spectacularly as Zaha

Hadid. Her successes were so consistent,

she received the highest honours from

civic, academic and professional institutions

across the globe. Her practice remains one

of the world’s most inventive architectural

studios – and has been for almost 40 years.

Currently 950 projects in 44 countries, Zaha

Hadid Architects work at all scales and in

all sectors. They create transformative

cultural, corporate, residential and other

spaces that work in synchronicity with their

surroundings.

Zaha Hadid’s pioneering vision redefined

architecture for the 21st century and

captured imaginations across the globe.

Each of her projects transformed notions of

what can be achieved in concrete, steel, and

glass; combining her unwavering optimism

for the future and belief in the power of

invention with advanced designed, material

and construction innovations.

Their expertise and attention to detail is

second to none and working with them has

been an experience.

MBR: What kind of “tools” do today’s

entrepreneurs want/need, and how is

your company positioning itself to be of

value to this segment?

JP: It’s all about integrity.

MBR: Who has been your greatest

influencer along your entrepreneurial

journey? How did they shape J Portelli

Projects?

JP: My family. They are my motivation to

always be the best I can be.

"I always believed that

success is a consequence

of hard work.

MBR: How do you balance life and work to

remain connected and available for your

loved ones? Any advice for our readers?

JP: Setting realistic deadlines and always

keeping in mind what is truly important.

Building a strong team of people around me

was also pivotal and allowed me to plan my

time successfully. My family are my anchor

and help keep me grounded.

MBR: What is your overall approach to the

real estate market today?

JP: The real estate market is always growing

exponentially. However, there was a

change in the market as of the last ten

years. Customers are now more aware of

quality and value for money investments.

We have always provided excellent returns

to our clients, and that will always remain

the main reason why J Portelli Projects not

only retains its client base, but keeps on

increasing it year on year.

MBR: Hailing from Gozo, Can you tell

us about how you felt when your name

as Directors of J Portelli Projects was

announced as Malta’s Best Land &

Property Entrepreneur of the Year

JP: At times being Gozitan has its limitations

especially when it comes to networking with

the big players in the market, however I never

let this stop me or slow me down. I always

believed that success is a consequence

of hard work. It was a great honour to be

nominated and an even greater honour to

win.

MBR: How significant is it to be recognised

by such prestigious awards and would you

support sponsoring such causes in the

future?

JP: This award is extremely prestigious as

it validates the hard work, passion and

dedication we put into all our projects.

Yes I would support similar causes in the

future especially where it comes to inspiring

budding new architects and the contribution

they will make to our islands’ architectural

future. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Joseph Portelli, Managing Director , J Portelli Projects and his team at the Malta's Best Entrepreneur Awards of the Year 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

27


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

A Sense of Achievement

2018

Jonas Eneroth, CEO, Karmafy

receiving Best CSR Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Charles Sciavone

Interview with Jonas Eneroth, CEO,

Karmafy winner of Malta’s Best

Tech/Web Developer Entrepreneur

of the Year, Best Start-up

Entrepreneur of the Year and Best

CSR Entrepreneur of the Year 2018.

MBR: Can you tell us a little bit about your

company, Karmafy and define your role?

JE: Karmafy builds a platform for B2B

empowerment where we help drive

customer value through providing a means

for them to do good. This results in better

metrics, improving retention, social sharing

and engagement. For gamers, websites and

even internal business tools, this type of

gamification can greatly improve bottom line

value.

My role as CEO really focuses on strategy and

ensuring we execute on our vision and have

the tools and means at our disposal to fuel

ourselves as a team.

MBR: How did you find out what you

wanted to do in your life and why Karmafy?

JE: While my background and family are

on the Investment Banking side, my main

hobby from about 10 years old has been

programming. While at Georgetown

University I worked on a number of side

projects involving programming, design and

content creation. After graduation, I moved

back to London and started working for BNP

Paribas as part of their Fixed Income team.

At the same time, Bungie Software, of Halo

fame, offered me a role in Chicago. Luckily,

I could take the plunge and take a year to

fulfill my boyhood dream of working with

games. 25 years later, I am still at it.

Karmafy is the perfect way to combine a

startup with my personal goal of doing

good in the world around me. Our platform

approach is unique and our metrics are

strong, which in turn has enabled us to

prove that our approach works and really

helps our customers. Here in Malta, you can

play Dancing with the Stars on your mobile

and for free, turn some of the time spent

playing into real support for a number of

good causes.

MBR: What is your biggest failure and what

did you learn from it?

JE: It is easy to underestimate the time it

takes to get a startup off of the ground. As an

entrepreneur, we are used to challenges. But

a startup is doing something brand new and

while exciting, resilience is key.

MBR: What are your most important

leadership attributes?

JE: I have been lucky to be able to combine

education and experience and use them

to become quite multifaceted in my role.

This ability has been useful in being able to

contribute in many areas while also knowing

"As an entrepreneur, we

are used to challenges.

But a startup is doing

something brand new

and while exciting,

resilience is key.

when to step aside and let the experts get

on with it. Coupled with patience, this has

helped us build and maintain a very special

team.

MBR: How did your story with Karmafy

get started and where do you wish your

company stand in two/three years time?

JE: I was working on a video game concept in

Zimbabwe, a Farmville type game based on

Africa, both as a fun and an educational title.

Two of the other founders were working

on similar concepts but from different

perspectives. Dave Mariner was taking a

more technology based approach with a

strong brand element while John Klepper,

focused more on a platform approach.

The core shared vision, was using a game

to do good, as a driver for players and the

developer making the game. After a year

of working virtually and with assistance

from Malta Enterprise, we secured our

first investment round and the entire team

relocated to Malta to set up our office.

We are in the midst of onboarding several

new games and other B2B verticals, such

as banking and rewards. The size of those

projects will put us significantly ahead of

current projections and lets us grow the

platform significantly. Our mission is to

create a billion philanthropists and at this

rate in three years time, we stand ready to

achieve that.

MBR: What were the most important

lessons you learned growing and

developing the company?

JE: Patience, resilience and having an ability

28


SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

Malta Business Review

to take on many roles has been extremely

valuable. We have been fortunate to work

locally with key stakeholders, from Gaming

Malta, to Trade Malta, Malta Enterprise and

many others. It has grounded us and led to

many significant opportunities. While we

have a 99.9% export focus, we all live and

work in Malta and this has had a big impact

on us.

MBR: What is your favourite part about

what you do?

"Our mission is to create

a billion philanthropists

and at this rate in three

years time, we stand

ready to achieve that.

JE: Knowing that what we do as a company

has real impact on the world around us is

an incredible reward in and of itself. We are

bringing together really cool technology,

gamification and a brand new business model

and we can see it working at each step. That

is so rewarding and makes the long hours we

spend in the office worthwhile.

MBR: Can you tell us how you felt when

your name was announced as not once, not

twice, but three times winners in Malta’s

Best Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

2018?

JE: It was amazing not just to be nominated

but also to win three prizes in very

competitive categories. Best of all was to win

prizes in each of our core pillars - Startup,

CSR and Technology. This really translates

into underlining our business approach,

model and the strength of our team.

MBR: You have been adjudged as outright

winner in Best Tech/Web Developer

Entrepreneur of the Year, Best Start-up

Entrepreneur of the Year and Best CSR

Entrepreneur of the Year – how significant

are these prestigious awards bestowed on

you/Karmafy?

JE: The awards have really given the whole

team a significant boost and being in the

middle of a round of raising funding, it has

really had a positive impact on our investors.

To win them in each of our core pillars really

gives us a sense of being on the right track.

MBR: Can you describe your experience

about the organisation and also importance

of these high profile awards.

JE: From being told we have been nominated

to the event itself, the journey from there

to here has been fun and pleasurable. That

my mother could watch the livestream was

really a big and positive surprise.

These awards help the Karmafy team feel a

real sense of achievement, especially winning

in three high profile categories. The result

has been an even stronger commitment and

sense of achievement, and will be valuable

for a long time to come for the entire team.

MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Jonas Eneroth with the Karmafy team at Malta's Best Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

29


Malta Business Review

ANALYSIS & DEBATE

MALTA’S BEST ENTREPRENEUR

OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2018 ®

Leading the way, going the way and showing the way

The Marsa Sports Club

Thursday 20 th September, 2018

MALTA BUSINESS REVIEW

SIMON

ESTATES

George Curmi a.k.a il-Pusé

HE Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta

Yada Dance Co

Award on Display

Arrival of Guests

Guests with Backdrop

Performance by Yada Dance Company

Guest Table

Magician Brian Role’ together with his partner Lourdes C. Palmer

30

Guests During Dinner

Performance by Yada Dance Company

Singer Andreana Debattista with Event Organiser Martin Vella


BRANDING

Malta Business Review

Elena & Oleg Roslavitskiy - Multimaxx Ltd

Oliver Scicluna - Chic Med Aesthetic Clinic

Paul Magro - Risk Cap International Ltd

Alison White - Alison White Dance Studio

Damian Galea & Jeffrey Sciberras - Northern Properties

Vasilije Lekovic - Trustly

Jonas Eneroth - Karmafy Holdings Ltd

Joseph Portelli - J Portelli Projects

Kristina Hambardzumyan - Betconstruct

Mark Farrugia - Lidl Malta ltd

Edwin Mintoff - EM Architects & Civil Engineers

Christina & Stephan Ellul Vincenti - CS Projects

Philip Farrugia - Dpro Ltd & Domos

www.maltabusinessreview.net 31

Ramona & Roberta Preca - Tal- Familja Restaurant Daniel Grech - Shoreditch Bar & Restaurant


Malta Business Review

SSPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

Performance & Success

By George Carol

Interview with Oliver Scicluna, Director, CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics – Winner of Malta’s Best Healthcare

Entrepreneur of the Year and also Best Male Entrepreneur of the Year Award during Malta’s Best

Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2018

2018

Interview with Oliver Scicluna, Director, CHIC

Med-Aesthetic Clinics – Winner of Malta’s Best

Healthcare Entrepreneur of the Year and also

Best Male Entrepreneur of the Year Award

during Malta’s Best Entrepreneur of the Year

Awards 2018

MBR: What do you think you have contributed

to the Med-Aesthetic Services and Primary

Medical Care industry?

OS: CHIC has been able to offer med-aesthetic

treatments using the most innovative

equipment and techniques available on the

market worldwide, by internationally-trained

medical doctors, within a state-of-the-art

medical centre, and at great value for money.

Thus, not only were we able to innovate, but

we were also able to give access to the finest

treatments at very competitive rates.

Moreover, we worked hard to educate the

public further on the exceptional efficacy and

safety profiles of rejuvenation treatments, when

carried out by properly trained and experienced

professionals. Within primary care we offer

prompt medical care and assistance to patients

within the foreign and local community of the

MIA, SkyParks and surrounding villages.

MBR: What’s your three top success tips for

young entrepreneurs?

OS: 1. Learn: Be it a business degree, your past

work experiences, speaking to the elderly - try

to absorb as much information as possible. The

more data housed in your brain, the healthier

your decisions will be.

2. Have a clear strategy: Start by building

a detailed business plan. This will help you

communicate your strategy with any concerned

parties as well as stay focused on what is

required to achieve your goals.

3. Success is only measured in happiness:

Performance and success are not the same

thing. Whatever you do, see that it never leads

to a lesser amount of happiness. Most of the

time the journey to better performance will be

the most successful part of your life.

MBR: Can you tell us about your feelings when

your name was read out as the winner of

Malta’s Best Healthcare Entrepreneur of the

Year and also Best Male Entrepreneur of the

Year Award during Malta’s Best Entrepreneur

of the Year Awards 2018?

OS: Overwhelmed, proud and honoured. I felt

particularly proud of my team as both awards

are a certification of our collective efforts.

Healthcare has been my passion from the very

beginning of my career, and to top that, to be

recognized as Malta’s Best Male Entrepreneur

of the Year is surely overpowering.

MBR: How significant are such awards, what is

your feedback on the event and what’s next?

OS: Whilst the biggest certification normally

comes from our patients and clients who

consistently maintain their trust in our work,

receiving a tangible award further confirms

achievements and helps you celebrate a

milestone in your life.

The MBEOTYA event in itself presents an aura of

prestige and refinement, bringing together the

top entrepreneurs in the country, to celebrate

achievements made, in the presence of their

team members, loved ones, and distinguished

guests. It’s a wonderful experience.

MBR: As a die-hard entrepreneur at heart,

how do you help people define what true

entrepreneurship is and what it takes to be a

leader, and helps people dispel the myths of

businesses?

OS: Business is the activity of trading and

honest business is the process by which each

party benefits from such activity.

Customers, employees and all stakeholders

are very sensitive to honest business and

are automatically attracted to it. Keep your

intentions pure and never play with their trust.

It will take suspicion, not proof, to lose it. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Oliver Scicluna, Director, CHIC Med-Aesthetic Clinics, receiving Best Male Entrepreneur of the Year Award by

Jonas Eneroth, Karmafy

32


SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

The Power of Purpose

Malta Business Review

Interview with Dr. Paul Magro, Founder & Managing Director - Risk Cap International Ltd, who was recently voted by independent judges

as Malta’s Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year and also Malta’s Best Consulting, Advisory, Audit & Tax Entrepreneur of the Year 2018

during the MBEOTY awards.

Dr. Paul Magro, Founder & Managing Director - Risk Cap International Ltd, receiving Malta's Best Consulting, Advisory,

Audit & Tax Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Martin Vella MD MBR Publications Ltd

MBR: What do you think you have contributed

in the risk management and compliance

services to the financial services industry?

PM: RiskCap's has contributed to the financial

services industry with risk management and

compliance services on the pediments of

independence, commitment and expertise.

Our risk management services are based on

quality risk reporting and detailed risk analytics.

Whereas our compliance services are based on

a team of professionals with compliance and

legal backgrounds with expertise in the financial

services industry offering our clients the

compliance support required to ensuring that

their businesses operate in line with regulations.

MBR: What’s your three top success tips for

young entrepreneurs?

PM: These days, almost everyone has the dream

of starting their own company. Three success tips

that I would give young entrepreneurs would be:

(i) Prepare to make sacrifices - There’s no such

thing as an overnight success. You will need to

study your market, get your finances in order

and tune up your business knowledge. Becoming

a successful entrepreneur requires an intense

level of dedication and this means sacrificing

both time and money to make it happen. In

the startup phase there will be more bad days

than good. This will test your resilience to make

sacrifices;

(ii) Be an active part of the Entrepreneurial

Community - A great way to learn and establish

yourself is to be part of different entrepreneurial

groups. Attending panel discussions,

networking events and immersing yourself in

the entrepreneurial community is extremely

important. The more you raise your visibility, the

easier it will be for people to associate you with

what you are working on.

(iii) Build a Great Team - An essential part of

establishing yourself is having a team and a set

of advisors including a mentor who can work

with you to build a great startup.

MBR: Can you tell us about your feelings

when you learnt you won the Best Young

Entrepreneur of the Year and also the Best

Consulting, Advisory, Audit & Tax Entrepreneur

of the Year during Malta’s Best Entrepreneur of

the Year Awards 2018?

PM: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your

life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do

what you believe is great work. And the only way

to do great work is to love what you do.”

I love what I do and believe in what RiskCap can

achieve. What my team and I have achieved over

the past 5 years has been remarkable. It was an

amazing feeling to not only be nominated but to

win these 2 awards in the presence of family and

colleagues to celebrate our success.

"Becoming a successful

entrepreneur requires

an intense level of

dedication

and this means

sacrificing both time

and money to make it

happen.

MBR: How significant are such awards, what

is your feedback on the event and where does

this lead you now?

PM: These awards are significant. The process

can be tedious and time-consuming but in the

being nominated and especially winning an

award, generally outweigh the time and effort.

The benefits of the awards including building

the company’s brand, building credibility,

expanding networks, celebrating the staff and

attract talent. The feedback I received following

the event was overall very positive within the

business space clients (new and old), partners,

were in touch to congratulate us and strengthen

relations. Family and friends were also very

proud of the achievements. These awards have

given me an injection of energy to continue

building RiskCap’s brand.

MBR: As a die-hard entrepreneur at heart,

how do you help people define what true

entrepreneurship is and what it takes to be a

leader, and helps people dispel the myths of

businesses?

PM: These awards are significant. The process

can be tedious and time-consuming but in the

end being nominated and especially winning an

award, generally outweigh the time and effort.

The benefits of the awards including building

the company’s brand, building credibility,

expanding networks, celebrating the staff and

attract talent. The feedback I received following

the event was overall very positive within the

business space clients (new and old), partners,

were in touch to congratulate us and strengthen

relations. Family and friends were also very

proud of the achievements. These awards have

given me an injection of energy to continue

building RiskCap’s brand. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

www.maltabusinessreview.net

33


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

An Avant-Guard Approach

By George Carol

It was great to get to know Damian Galea and Jeffrey Sciberras, avante-garde Directors of Northern

Properties, trustworthy agents who understand their specific needs is paramount to making that

transaction go smoothly and successfully, and who recently have won Malta’s Best Real Estate &

Property Entrepreneur of the Year.

2018

MBR: What do you think Northern Properties

have contributed to the Real Estate and

Property industry that warrants merit?

RS: Northern Properties have been

established since 2011 with the main focus

to specialise in the Northern areas. The

agency has contributed expertise and market

intelligence along with a one stop shop service

to its existing and prospective customers. Our

success is seeing our customers satisfied and

our testimonials are a witness of this.

All merits are attributed to Northern Properties

not only because of its outstanding financial

performance, but also due to its excellent

relations and continuous developments

between the B2B and B2C segments.

MBR: Can you tell us about your feelings

when the names of Damian Galea &

Jeffrey Sciberras as Directors of Northern

Properties were announced as Best Real

Estate & Property Entrepreneur of the Year

during Malta’s Best Entrepreneur of the Year

Awards 2018?

RS: The feeling is one of paramount happiness

and satisfaction, with emotions running all

over the place. Both Damian and Jeffrey are

humble people and are not people who enjoy

making too much noise. They have always

focused their energy and synergies within

their core, investing a lot in their team and

giving their customers a feel good factor and

ensuring a healthy organic growth. Therefore,

hearing their names and seeing them

achieving such a prestigious award seals all

they have been working for along these years.

MBR: How significant are such awards, what

is your feedback on the event and what’s

next for Northern Properties?

RS: These awards have been significant since

the mission and vision of the company for

this year have been achieved and such work

has been recognised on a wider scale. This

has given the directors further motivation

to strengthen their ideals and values and

keep growing. This is not all, by end of year

Northern Properties will be making some new

adjustments and announcements which will

seal end year 2018 in style. Definitely, we have

a lot cooking up for 2019/2020 and we are all

very excited to conclude on our business and

marketing plans and looking forward to depart

full swing next year.

Our feedback regarding the event is a very

positive one from a holistic point of view.

As a matter of fact we would like to take

this opportunity to thank once again the

Jeffrey Sciberras & Damian Galea at the Malta's Best Entrepreneur Awards 2018

Jeffrey Sciberras & Damian Galea at the Malta's Best Entrepreneur Awards 2018

organisers for this event and for supporting us

with all our concerns.

MBR: Revolutionizing the way real estate

is transacted is a bold statement, how has

Northern Properties chosen to change

the real estate market and what is your

differentiating factor?

RS: Revolutionizing is a very strong word

indeed. Having said so anticipating and

analysing market trends, and gearing up for

them is key in this industry. The property

market on the Maltese Islands have been

enjoying a steady price increase fuelled by

the persisting demand both of locals and

foreigners including also developers and

investors.

Our differentiating factor will not be divulged

otherwise we will have competition feasting

and riding on our modus operandi. Jokes

apart, our differentiating factor is simply

working as a team, a team full of resources,

each and every individual has a lot to bring

on the table, therefore, combining all these

synergies, coupled with integrity and loyalty

is definitely what makes us different from

competition. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

34


SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 18

Malta Business Review

Elena Roslavitskiy:

"I Don't Think Gender is Relevant in the Tech Industry"

CEO Elena Roslavitskiy does not think the issue of gender in the workplace is very

relevant to the technology industry. MBR interviewed Elena following her joint success

with her partner Oleg Roslavitskiy, both Directors at Multimaxx Ltd, after winning

Malta’s Best Entertainment Entrepreneur of the Year 2018

Here is what she said to MBR’s Martin Vella

in reference to why the gender of a CEO in

entertainment did not matter: “The moment

you play into that, it's an issue... In technology

entertainment we live at a rare, fast-moving

pace. There are probably industries where

gender is more of an issue, but our industry is

not one where I think that's relevant.”

The controversy as to whether men and

women are treated equally in the tech

entertainment workspace is ongoing, which

is what makes Elena's take so interesting.

While Roslavitskiy says the sex of a CEO in

the tech industry is not "relevant," the media

has not been able to stop talking about how

sexist the tech industry can be.

The Guardian, for instance, polled tech

industry workers and learned that 73% of

male and female respondents believed

the industry to be sexist. Wired ran a story

in July that described the experiences of

female entrepreneurs that had been caught

in uncomfortable situations because of their

gender. There are dozens of stories like these.

"We need to kind of break down these myths

of a woman's approach is the wrong one, and

she should be acting more like a man," Elena

told us. "Success! How I Did It." "We should

think about how do we as business leaders

embrace the differences of all people and

advance the careers of all." That's not to say

all women in the tech industry feel this way,

but it has been a controversial topic.

At the same time, there is a noticeable

discrepancy in the number of male versus

female tech employees at major Silicon Valley

companies. Only 37% of Yahoo employees

are female, for example, and only 30% of

Google's workforce is composed of women.

“I guess I was always destined to be an

accountant. And I really loved that. But

through the years, watching their business

grow, and watching them succeed and how

they were so focused on their customer, on

their employees, and, it just taught me a lot

about business, although it wasn't like they

sat me down and said, "Here's how you do

this." It was just watching them because it

was such a part of our family practice. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

Elena & Oleg Roslavitskiy, Directors at Multimaxx Ltd receiving Malta’s Best Entertainment Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Philip

Farrugia, Dpro Ltd & Domos

www.maltabusinessreview.net

35


Malta Business Review

MALTA BLOACKCHAIN SUMMIT

MALTA BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT

– the natural home for blockchain and DLT

Date: 1-2 November 2018 | Venue: InterContinental | Address: St George’s Bay, St Julians

Buy tickets: https://maltablockchainsummit.com/buy-tickets

We’re only a short while away. No lesser figure

than Tim Draper has given his endorsement

to the efforts made, and the results achieved,

by Malta as a burgeoning Blockchain Island.

Indeed, the forward-thinking nature of the

new laws themselves constitutes something

of a competitive advantage for Malta as a

jurisdiction.

The importance of this development cannot

be understated. It means that blockchainoriented

enterprise can engage with legacy

banking organizations, and operate with

the peace of mind afforded by clarity. I must

give a huge tip of the hat to this Maltese

legislature, who passed the three specific

bills that provide this legal certainty with

exceptional agility.

The inaugural edition of the Malta Blockchain

Summit is obviously capitalizing on this

momentum, and has already exceeded

expectations in many regards. However,

as the landmark event for the Maltese

blockchain scene, the Malta Blockchain

Summit is also bringing its own energy to the

emerging Blockchain Island. Organised by the

same crack events team behind SiGMA, now

a globally-renowned brand in iGaming, the

Malta Blockchain Summit already comes with

a strong pedigree, even though the inaugural

edition is yet to take place.

Now that the ball is in our court, we’re

committed to making the Malta Blockchain

Summit the definitive event for this space.

We’re cognizant of our role in the process.

Our job is to shine the spotlight on others,

not ourselves. Everything about the Malta

Blockchain Summit has been designed with

that purpose. That means that initiatives

like our ICO Pitch and our Hackathon are

intended to give the whole scene a boost.

That’s where the Malta Blockchain Summit

comes in. As SiGMA has already made itself

a key part of Malta’s iGaming infrastructure,

the Malta Blockchain Summit aims to give

the Maltese blockchain and DLT scene a true

focal point. It’s not entirely altruistic. A rising

tide lifts all boats – if we’re able to project the

immense promise of blockchain, give the best

ICOs a lift, and attract the best developers to

our burgeoning Blockchain Island, everyone

will be better off, ourselves included. This

tech is still at the stage where success and

failure are neither fatal nor final, and a lot of

lessons are being learned on the fly. Our goal

is to help forge the right connections, and to

provide the right talking shop to speed up

that learning.

Equally important to us is the possible

interplay with other promising emerging

technologies. Blockchain, AI and IOT look

like they could mesh together very well,

and completely change how we conduct

our human affairs. We’ll be exploring these

exciting prospects throughout our show.

The summit is comprised of four conferences

covering the field’s regulatory, marketing,

affiliation and investments, tokenomics

and cryptocurrencies, as well as fintech

and blockchain for developers. To provide

the best value proposition for exhibitors,

blockchain developers and affiliates are

invited to the Malta Blockchain Summit free

of charge. The summit also includes a twoday

Hackathon, an ICO Pitch, a buzzing expo

floor, a Blockchain Awards Ceremony, and

ends with an unwinding Crypto Cruise.

MBR

Creditline: Malta Blockchain Summit

Creditline: Malta Blockchain Summit

36


LOREM

Malta Business Review

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BRIAN WONG

The Malta Blockchain Summit, this November

1st and 2nd: I look forward to meeting you

then to strengthen our ongoing efforts in

making Malta the Blockchain Island.

Hon. Joseph Muscat,

Prime Minister of Malta,

Keynote Speaker

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Malta Business Review

INVEST

Supporting a Future Entrepreneurial Malta

Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia addressed a seminar on the EU-funded INVEST project, with

the topic of financial and forecasting models for entrepreneurs. The opening address was delivered by the Minister for Education and

Employment Evarist Bartolo.

Farrugia explained how the Government

is acting as a platform to support a future

entrepreneurial Malta, ready to drive the

country’s digital transformation in a world of

hyper-innovation.

Addressing an audience of entrepreneurs,

Farrugia spoke of the importance of

entrepreneurship as it creates new companies,

opens up new markets and nurtures new skills,

and is therefore a vital driving force for job

creation and economic growth. He recalled

that since joining the European Union in 2004,

Malta has worked hard to capitalise on the

funding opportunities provided to the member

states – particularly in regards to structural and

cohesion funds.

Enterprises are being supported through EU

funds when undertaking investment projects

aimed at securing sustainable business growth,

by becoming more competitive, innovative

and more resilient to market challenges.

The Parliamentary Secretary explained how

EU-funded projects have contributed to the

economic and financial sustainability of Malta’s

fast-growing economy. “Whether it is through

the €30 million we are investing in SMEs, the

€20 million we are investing in research and

development, the Kappara and Marsa Junction,

financial instruments in loans and guarantees

or the ESF funds for the reskilling and upskilling

of our workforce, they all contribute to Malta’s

economic growth. For the next EU budget post-

2020, we are planning for these programmes to

be simplified and flexible,” he said.

The Business Enhance Schemes, which are

part-financed by the European Regional

Development Fund 2014-2020, seek to support

enterprises, mainly SMEs and start-ups, through

the provision of a non-repayable grants. The

scheme includes the Start-Up Invest Grant

Scheme with a maximum grant of €300,000; the

SME Growth Grant Scheme with a maximum

grant of €500,000; SME Diversification and

Innovation Grant Scheme having a maximum

grant of €200,000; SME Internationalisation

Grant Scheme having a maximum grant of

€10,000; e-Commerce Grant Scheme having

a maximum grant of €5,000; and the SME

Consultancy Services Grant Scheme having a

maximum grant of €4,000.

So far, 145 SMEs have already benefitted from

funds under the 2014-2020 programme. A total

of €51 million have been allocated towards

providing financial assistance to SMEs. An

agreement was also recently signed with the

EIB group and the European Commission to

increase financing available under the SME

Initiative in Malta.

The initial SME Initiative in Malta has allowed

the Bank of Valletta and BNF Bank to deliver

approximately €60 million of new SME financing

across the country within less than three years.

“Due to the successful uptake of this initial

agreement, we, together with the EIB Group and

the EC have decided to add additional resources

to this initiative. This increase will trigger

additional SMEs financing for an amount of €28

million, resulting in more SMEs benefiting from

European resources on advantageous terms,

such as reduced interest rates and improved

collateral requirements, bringing the total SME

financing to around €90 million,” Farrugia said.

Other EU-funded opportunities include the

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, a crossborder

exchange programme which enables

aspiring young entrepreneurs to learn from

entrepreneurs with experience, as well as The

Youth Employment Initiative, which supports

unemployed young people who are currently

not enrolled in education or training in regions

with a youth unemployment rate above 25%.

The Youth Guarantee is a guarantee made

to unemployed people under 25 — whether

registered with job-search services or not —

that they will get a good-quality, specific offer

of work within four months of leaving formal

education or becoming unemployed.

"A total of €51 million

have been allocated

towards providing

financial assistance to

SMEs

Aaron Farrugia, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds

Similarly, the Interreg projects are EU-funded

programmes for territorial cooperation through

which Maltese entities get to learn from our

European counterparts and become aware of

best practices, which are then implemented

locally. “Such projects are also excellent

platforms for building relationships with our

foreign colleagues, whilst learning in the

process and passing on some of our ideas and

experiences too. The outcome of these projects

or their pilot-actions, feed in national policy

papers or even serve as an important baseline

for larger projects financed through other EU

sources or national funds,” Farrugia said.

With Brexit leaving a €13 billion gap in the EU

budget, and issues of migration, defence and

security being given priority, Malta`s private

sector should do more and better to tap into

centralised EU funds. In this regard, Farrugia

referred to an action plan announced last

month through which Malta can make better

use of funds from direct EU funds after 2020 –

such as Horizon 2020, Life+ and creative Europe,

amongst others, through the setting up of a

new division focussed solely on this, which will

fall under the division for programme funding.

Challenges remain, as the November 2017 EU

report 'SME Performance Review' outlines

that newly founded entities ‘created by selfemployed

have survival rates typically between

30-60 % after the first five years, and Microentrepreneurs

are disadvantaged compared to

Larger Enterprises.

“Let’s face these challenges while consolidating

this present regulation and taxation system that

nurtures champions. A system that fosters capital

investment and encourages entrepreneurs and

investors to finance this current productive

economy,” Farrugia said. MBR

Creditline: Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds

and Social Dialogue/DOI

38


BRANDING

Malta Business Review

www.maltabusinessreview.net

39


Malta Business Review

CIVIL LIBERTIES / RULE OF LAW / DELEGATIONS

Rule of law in Malta:

Speed up Murder Investigation & Halt

Corruption, MEPs Ask

By Estefania Narrillos

Civil Liberties MEPs urge the Maltese Government to solve the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and to

address corruption cases and gaps in the rule of law.

Sophia in 't Veld (ALDE, NL) , Head of the

committee’s delegation to Malta, said:

“Given the confidentiality, we have not been

able to verify what progress was made in

the investigation and if the authorities are

still looking into all the different hypothesis

about who ordered the killing of Daphne

Caruana Galizia. Resolving the crime is

crucial, not only for the family of the victim,

but for democracy as a whole.

We would like to see the libel cases against

Ms Caruana Galizia, which are now being

faced by her family, withdrawn. We have also

asked the minister of justice Owen Bonnici to

find a solution for the makeshift memorial for

Daphne, allowing people to mourn or make a

statement, and to unambiguously condemn

the hate campaigns against her and her

family”.

Ms In ‘t Veld noted the unavailability of

minister for tourism Konrad Mizzi to meet

with the delegation.

“We have several concerns about numerous

scandals, such as the alleged sale of

humanitarian visas to Libyan nationals,

money laundering through Maltese banks

or the alleged involvement of people in

government circles in corruption cases. The

mechanism of “citizenship for investment”

though not illegal in itself, could provide a

back door to the EU to undesired elements,

putting pressure on passport free travel

within the Schengen area. The Member

States are closely connected, so in order to

preserve credibility and trust, it is crucial to

uphold the same standards across the EU.

We find particularly worrying the passiveness

of the institutions in triggering investigations

even in the face of incriminating evidence.

Everybody is pointing at someone else, so it

is unclear who will initiate an investigation

into suspicious activities: the police, the

magistrates, or just a citizens complaint.

We therefore propose to invite the Venice

Commission to Malta to assess the systems

in place as well as the application in

practice. And more broadly, we propose

to put a rule of law mechanism in place to

analyse the situation of the rule of law in

all Member States on an ongoing basis, as

per the legislative proposal of the European

Parliament.

Finally, we call on the government and on the

political opposition to act as a unifying and

reconciling force to help the Maltese society

overcome its divisions and animosity”, she

concluded.

"We have several

concerns about

numerous scandals,

such as the alleged sale

of humanitarian visas to

Libyan nationals, money

laundering through

Maltese banks or the

alleged involvement of

people in government

circles in corruption

cases

Meetings with Government, judiciary,

police forces and NGOs

In Valletta, MEPs met the deputy Prime

Minister Christopher Fearne and the

ministers for justice, Owen Bonnici, and

finance, Edward Scicluna. They quizzed

the Attorney General, the Chief Justice,

police authorities and the heads of the

Malta Financial Services Authority and the

Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. They

also exchanged views with journalists and

representatives of the Daphne Project and

assessed the situation with NGOs involved in

the field of rule of law and the fight against

corruption.

MEPs discussed the progress of the

investigation into the murder of Daphne

Caruana Galizia with some of her relatives,

including her widower, Peter Caruana Galizia.

Slovakia

Prior to arriving in Malta, MEPs were in

Slovakia to check on the ground the situation

of rule of law and the developments in the

inquiry into the assassination of journalist

Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová. They met,

among others, Slovak President Andrej Kiska,

and Prime Minister Pellegrin.

Next steps

MEPs participating in the delegation will now

draft a report, summarising their conclusions.

The report will be presented to the Civil

Liberties Committee in a public session and

subsequently sent to the EP Conference of

Presidents for information. MEPs also plan

to draft a resolution, to be put to a vote in

plenary.

Background

The Civil Liberties Committee established

in May a new working group to monitor

the situation as regards rule of law and

fight against corruption within the EU, with

specific reference to Malta and Slovakia.

Chaired by Sophie in ‘t Veld (ALDE, NL), it has

one member per political group.

With a mandate until 31 December 2018, the

working group is tasked with recommending

specific actions such as meetings, hearings

and missions. It will also present a final

report to the committee summarising its

conclusions.

The visit to Slovakia and Malta is a follow-up

to previous missions to both countries after

the murders of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée,

and Daphne Caruana Galizia.

List of members in the delegation to

Slovakia and Malta

• Sophia in 't Veld (ALDE, NL) , Chair of the

monitoring group on the rule of law and

Head of the Delegation

• Roberta Metsola (EPP, MT)

• Josef Weidenholzer (S&D, AT)

• Monica Macovei (ECR, RO) - only in

Slovakia

• Sven Giegold (Greens/EFA, DE) - only in

Malta MBR

Creditline: Committee on Civil Liberties,

Justice and Home Affairs/EP

40


EU ENVIRONMENT

Malta Business Review

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

By Baptiste Chatain

Measures to accelerate the roll-out of E-cars

• Towards real conditions testing of CO2

emissions

• Call for support for European battery

manufacturing

Real-driving emissions test by 2023

Parliament calls on the EU Commission to

table, within two years, plans for a realworld

CO2 emissions test using a portable

device, like that recently introduced for

CO2 emissions from new cars should be cut

by 40% by 2030 and market uptake of electric

and low- emission cars should accelerate,

said MEPs on Wednesday.

In the draft law voted on today, MEPs

proposed setting a higher target for reducing

EU fleet-wide emissions for new cars by 2030

of 40% (compared to the EU Commission’s

30%; year of reference 2021) with an

intermediate target of 20% by 2025. Similar

targets are set for new vans.

Manufacturers whose average CO2

emissions exceed these targets will pay a

fine to the EU budget, to be used for upskilling

workers affected by changes in the

automotive sector, MEPs agreed.

Carmakers will also have to ensure that zeroand

low- emission vehicles - ZLEVs - (electric

cars or vehicles which emit less than 50g

CO2/km) have a 35% market share of sales

of new cars and vans by 2030, and 20% by

2025.

Miriam Dalli, MEP

NOx. Until then, CO2 emissions must be

measured based on data from the cars’

fuel consumption meters. The real-driving

emissions test must be up and running from

2023, say MEPs.

Social impact of decarbonisation

MEPs acknowledge that a socially acceptable

and just transition towards zero-emission

mobility requires changes throughout

the automotive value chain, with possible

negative social impacts. The EU should

therefore promote skill development

and reallocation of workers in the sector,

particularly in regions and communities most

affected by the transition. MEPs also call for

support for European battery manufacturing.

Labelling & Lifecycle emissions

By the end of 2019, the EU Commission

will have to propose legislation to provide

consumers with accurate and comparable

information on the fuel consumption, CO2

and pollutant emissions of new cars. And

from 2025, carmakers will have to report the

lifecycle of CO2 emissions of new cars put on

the market, using a common methodology.

Quote

Miriam Dalli (S&D, MT), rapporteur, said:

“Achieving the European Parliament’s

support for a 40% CO2 emissions target by

2030 was no mean feat and I am proud of the

successful result achieved. Equally important

is the 20% emissions target for 2025. This

legislation goes beyond reducing harmful

emissions and protecting the environment.

It looks at setting the right incentives for

manufacturers; it encourages investment

in the infrastructure; it proposes a just

transition for workers. Now, I look forward to

representing the European Parliament and

negotiating on its behalf for strong legislation

with the European Council and the European

Commission".

Next steps

The report was adopted with 389 votes to

239 and 41 abstentions. EU ministers will

adopt their common position on 9 October.

Negotiations with MEPs for a first reading

agreement would then start on 10 October.

Background

Transport is the only major sector in the

EU where greenhouse gas emissions are

still rising, say MEPs. In order to meet the

commitments made at COP21 in 2015, the

decarbonisation of the entire transport

sector needs to accelerate, on the path

towards zero-emission by mid-century.

At the same time, the global automotive

sector is changing rapidly, in particular

in electrified powertrains. If European

carmakers engage late in the necessary

energy transition, they risk losing their

leading role, say MEPs. MBR

Creditline: EP/Valletta

www.maltabusinessreview.net

41


Malta Business Review

BRANDING

The Brand Manager is dead…

One of my first memories is sitting on my father’s shoulders at a 1973

Vietnam protest in Holland. As my Mom tells the story, my angelic

blonde three-year-old self made quite the impact as I shouted ‘Nixon,

Nixon - get your hands off Vietnam!’.

Hanneke Faber - President Europe & Member of the

Unilever Executive team at Unilever

My Dad left his comfortable associate math

professor position at a university in his late

twenties to head the ‘Interchurch Peace

Council’, a church-funded Dutch NGO. In

the 1980s, he led the massive European

anti-nuclear movement, galvanizing

almost 500,000 citizens to demonstrate in

Amsterdam and in The Hague. Later on, he

fought for human rights in Eastern Europe,

built close ties with leaders like Lech Walesa

in Poland and Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia,

and en route, became a ‘persona-non-grata’

in East Germany with a large Stasi-file.

I took a different route. My first job after

college was in marketing, with consumer

goods behemoth Procter & Gamble. My

"Consumers, citizens,

indeed people are

looking for more.

Today, brands need

performance and

genuine purpose to

thrive.

father would jokingly refer to it as ‘The Firm’,

after the John Grisham thriller. And while

he was proud of my burgeoning career,

I’m sure his pride at times was mixed with

a sense of bewilderment about how his

daughter ended up selling Vicks VapoRub

(yes, my very first assignment) at this icon of

American capitalism.

Enter the era of

disruption

P&G was, in fact, a fabulous brand-building

school. On our way to much-revered ‘Brand

Manager’ status, P&G’s advertising gurus

42


BRANDING

Malta Business Review

long live the Brand Activist

by Hanneke Faber

instilled in my peers and I the importance

of ‘distinctive benefits’, product superiority,

leading share of voice, and standing out at

‘the first moment of truth’. We’d better make

sure consumers knew Olay moisturized

more effectively than the next brand over;

and that Head & Shoulders removed 100%

of dandruff. We moved from brand to brand,

irrespective of personal conviction or usage.

In fact, many of my male peers worked

on Always, which always made for fun

conversations at the bar (‘so, tell me a bit

about what you do?’). Brand management

was a science that could be mastered. For

many years, it all worked like a charm.

Consumers, citizens, indeed people are

looking for more. Today, brands need

performance and genuine purpose to thrive.

But then, of course, technology started

spelling change, even disruption, for brands.

Between e-Commerce and social media, it

became easier for passionate entrepreneurs

and start-ups to claim spaces that big brands

had long left untouched. While it had been

virtually impossible for newcomers to land

on Walmart’s shelves before, suddenly

Amazon and Alibaba’s marketplaces offered

instant mass distribution to anyone who

wanted it.

Combined with savvy social media and

digital marketing, new brands popped up to

deliver on every new need big companies

had long considered ‘niche’. Organic? Check.

Vegan? Check. Ethnic? Local? High protein?

Check, check, and check…and those were

just the big ones. In turn, the big traditional

retailers took note, listing many more new

brands on their shelves.

Why purpose comes

first today

So, what are the big, established brand

companies to do? Today, I’m Unilever’s

President for Europe; and I believe that the

days of ‘managing’ brands are well behind

us. Washing shirts a little whiter or making

hair a bit shinier than the next brand is

still important, but performance by itself

is no longer enough. Consumers, citizens,

indeed people are looking for more. Today,

brands need both performance and genuine

purpose to thrive.

A great brand’s purpose is unlikely to be

vanilla (‘we help people be happy’); but

more likely to be a point of view that not

everyone will agree with (‘we should all be

vegans’). And that means change for the

people behind brands, too. To be competitive

with all those committed entrepreneurs

out there, brand builders at Unilever need

to take a stance, to create movements, to

evangelize and even sacrifice. In short, we

need brand activists.

"Today, Unilever's

fastest growing brands

are those with a clear

purpose. They grew

47% faster than the

rest of the portfolio

and delivered 70% of

company growth in

2017.

Today, Unilever's fastest growing brands

are those with a clear purpose. They grew

47% faster than the rest of the portfolio and

delivered 70% of company growth in 2017.

‘Peace, love and ice

cream’ magic

Take Ben & Jerry’s, acquired by Unilever in

2000. Of course, the brand makes fantastic

ice cream. Just try a pint of Chunky Monkey

or Cherry Garcia (or if you’re feeling

particularly peckish, the ‘Vermonster’, a

20-scoop bucket. Really). But the brand’s

true magic is in its purpose of ‘peace,

love and ice cream’. Peace and love are as

alive today as when Ben Cohen and Jerry

Greenfield opened their first parlour in a

garage in Burlington in 1978.

The brand team champions inclusion

for refugees and LGBTs, and fights

climate change. It sponsors Pride. It runs

programmes to help refugees integrate back

into work. You simply can’t work on Ben &

Jerry’s if you don’t believe in its purpose

100% and are ready to go to bat for it. The

Ben & Jerry’s brand has grown sales by

double digits for many consecutive years.

Keeping it real

Or take Dove, another big, global Unilever

brand with long track record of strong

growth. Dove makes terrific deodorants,

shower and skin care products. But what

truly differentiates Dove and the people

who work on the brand is their purpose:

raising women’s self-esteem. The Dove team

champions real beauty, doesn’t use digitally

distorted images, and has quietly spent

much time educating more than 20 million

girls around the world via programmes that

help them develop a positive relationship

with the way they look.

So have we got it all figured out at Unilever

in Europe? Of course not. Some of our

brands are still too ‘vanilla’. We need to

work harder on reducing the amount of

plastic we use. We still have brand portfolio

opportunities, despite exciting, purpose-led

acquisitions like Pukka herbs and Grom ice

cream. And sometimes, we run into heated

public debates when others don’t agree

with our points of view, or feel we don’t live

up to our own high standards. We welcome

those discussions.

But most importantly, we know that brand

activism is working for us. Today, Unilever’s

fastest growing brands are those with a clear

purpose. They grew 47% faster than the

rest of the portfolio and delivered 70% of

company growth in 2017. My father would

be proud. MBR

Credit: LinkedIn

www.maltabusinessreview.net

43


Malta Business Review DENTAL HEALTHCARE

Replacing Old Bridges with Implants

By Jean Paul Demajo

The most popular way to replace a missing

tooth used to be with a fixed bridge. This

would involve trimming one of more teeth

on either side of the missing tooth and fixing

a conventional metal-ceramic bridge to each

of these supporting teeth. The bridge literally

bridges the gap with a suspended tooth in the

middle of the supporting teeth.

Advantages:

1. Quick

2. Aesthetic

3. Very good track record

4. Strong and reliable

5. Cheaper than implants

Dis-advantages

1. Lifetime of bridge is dependent on the

supporting teeth; if supporting teeth fail,

bridge fails and would need replacing.

2. Trimming of the teeth causes irreversible

loss of healthy tooth tissue.

3. Supporting teeth may require root canal

treatment.

4. Area of missing tooth below bridge will

continue to lose bone.

5. Bridge may need changing after 10

years.

6. Maintaining good hygiene below the

bridge may be difficult.

Intra-Oral before treatment

Intra-Oral after treatment

Today the most widely recognized way to

replace missing teeth is with dental implants.

This involves the insertion of a fixture or

screw in the jaw. Once healed a tooth is

attached onto it. This method may be utilized

to replace single or multiple missing teeth.

Advantages

1. Independent from other teeth

2. Very good track record

3. Maintains bone and therefore reduces

bone loss

4. Very good aesthtics

Extra-oral before treatment

Dis-advantages

1. Expensive

2. Not suitable for every patient

3. Oral hygiene must be well kept

4. Involves surgery

5. Long duration of treatment

6. Sensitive procedure

Not every patient is a good candidate for

bridges. The same applies for implants. It is

important to know your options and hear

your physician’s advice on what is best for

you! MBR

Extra-oral after treatment

Case Study

A middle-aged lady decides to remove a bridge done many years ago to replace two missing teeth. The sixtooth

bridge spanned across the patient’s front teeth fixing them altogether. The bridge was supported by

four of the patient’s natural teeth having another two teeth suspended on it to replace the missing teeth.

Two implants were inserted in the jaw to eventually replace the two missing teeth. Once healed the once

6-tooth fixed bridge was replaced with six individual full ceramic crowns; four on the natural teeth and two

on the implants. This solution allows for better aesthetics and hygiene maintenance.

Ask your dentist!

DR JEAN PAUL DEMAJO

Dental and Implant Surgeon

44


LOTTERIES & GAMING

Malta Business Review

Maltco Agents Excited With

SUPERSTAR New Game

The launch of the new Maltco Lotteries’

SUPERSTAR game has been followed by an

extensive training of all Agents and staff on

the new game so that all Maltco personnel

are now familiarised with the new software

platform and the different elements of the

new game, ready to offer it to their players

every day.

The survey run following the agents

training revealed that all Agents found this

training to be engaging, informative and

highly motivating, while expressing their

appreciation for the game and the expected

enthusiasm of their players.

Results from the same survey, show that

Maltco Lotteries Agents are confident

towards the future success of the new lottery

game; SUPERSTAR. When asked about the

player’s perception; they also expressed that

they are extremely positive that this game

will be most entertaining, while is expected

to fit players’ dreams and expectations.

This comes as no surprise as it is a fact that

SUPERSTAR is designed specifically to meet

the needs of all local players, drive them to

present their inner SUPERSTAR and shine the

way for all!

Incorporated also in the SUPERSTAR

training was Maltco’s drive to ensure that

everyone offering Maltco Lotteries’ games

is fully conversant with Responsible Gaming

principles and the Anti-Money Laundering

principles and practices, advocated by the

legislation and the company.

The first inaugural draw of SUPERSTAR takes

place on Friday, October 5, while tickets

are available as from Friday, 28 September.

The initial SUPERSTAR jackpot is €660,000.

Superstar will be drawn and broadcast live on

TVM, every Friday at 7.45pm.

Get Your Ticket & Shine Your Way!

For further information email info@maltco.

net, visit the Maltco website www.maltco.

com or call

2388 3000.

About Maltco Lotteries

Maltco Lotteries, a modern and dynamic

company established in 2003, holds the

latest Licence and Concession to operate

the National Lottery of Malta awarded in

2012. Maltco Lotteries provides high-quality,

innovative and entertaining games (including

lotteries, sports-betting, fast games and

instant games) under the auspices of the

Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Players can

enjoy a friendly, secure and fun environment

in the Maltco Points of Sale, participating in

their favourite games, assisted by the welltrained

in high client service Maltco Lotteries

Agents.

Maltco Lotteries has invested in the stateof-the-art

gaming technology and services

of INTRALOT; guaranteeing security,

trustworthiness, transparency and a superior

gaming experience. Certified in Responsible

Gaming, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and Security

Control Standard (WLA SCS) by the European

Lotteries and the World Lottery Association,

Maltco Lotteries ensures the safest gaming

environment through its Agents’ retail

network, the largest one in Malta and

Gozo, maintaining the leading position

in the market. Maltco Lotteries, has and

exceptional track record in Corporate Social

Responsibility, with continuous support

to the Governmental Good Causes Fund

and numerous Maltese charitable causes

alongside the sponsoring of the local sports

and athletes, sustaining the Maltese Society,

Culture and Well-being. MBR

Creditline: MALTCO LOTTERIES Limited

Maltco Lotteries has been training its agents ahead of the first draw of the new lottery; Superstar.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

45


Malta Business Review

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Online Platforms:

New rules to increase transparency and

fairness

In a well-attended public information

discussion co-organised by the European

Parliament Liaison Office and the Malta

Business Bureau, on the proposed EU

regulation on Fairness and transparency for

business users of online services, MEP Francis

Zammit Dimech emphasised the need for fair

rules and transparency for business users of

the online platforms particularly vis-a-vis the

industry giants.

Business and ministry speakers noted

that platforms are here to stay and it is in

everyone’s best interest to ensure these work

fairly for everyone. Support was generally

expressed for the draft regulation on the

perception that it will protect smaller and

independent businesses.

MEP Zammit Dimech outlined some

interesting concrete examples of the

balancing act required in his role as

Parliamentary rapporteur for the Legal Affairs

Committee to represent the concerns of

business users while protecting the freedom

of platforms. Issues of data, protection of

consumers, ranking, whether search engines

should be considered intermediaries - the

Parliament is moving towards considering

them to be so - and what form of online use

should be considered a transaction all feature

high as in his role as Rapporteur on this file,

wherein he is meeting both the big platforms

and the small businesses.

Mr Simon de Cesare, President of the Malta

Business Bureau, while noting that the hotel

industry was the most represented sector

present in the audience, emphasised the

importance of the proposed Regulation for

the sector, observing that over 50% of guest

nights in Europe are booked through Booking.

com. This, he said, gave the latter enormous

leverage over accommodation providers

when setting the contractual terms of the

business relationship.

Ms Anna Zammit Vella, acting Head of the

EP Office in Malta, emphasised Parliament’s

role as co-legislator on this file together

with Council, underlining the opportunity

for citizens’ to put forward their thoughts on

this draft law whilst it is still being discussed

in Brussels and in this way, to be part of

the European law-making process as their

thoughts would be reflected in Parliament's

position and possibly in the final text.

Ms Glorianne Borg and Mr Philip Vella

from the Ministry of Economy, Investment

and Small Business, set the scene with a

technical presentation on the main points

of the proposed regulation, in particular the

three pillars of transparency, redress and

monitoring that the proposed text is built on.

Amongst the observations that emerged from

the ensuing debate, Mr Nigel Mifsud, from the

Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and

Industry, stated that terms such as “indirect

remuneration” needed a definition and that

agreement was needed on what “terms and

conditions” should include.

Mr Marcel Mizzi, representing GRTU, noted,

on the other hand, that the challenges for

business users brought about by ranking is

very real but that the proposed regulation

should not stifle platforms.

Mr Andy Tanti, representative of the

Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association,

highlighted the increased dominance of

online travel agencies, leading to businesses

losing control over the conditions of their

own sale or distribution

In response, MEP Zammit Dimech stated

that some of these concerns were being

addressed in the 44 amendments currently

being tabled by himself, which also extended

to other issues notably:

• what should be the specific point of the

initiation of a commercial transaction

• how criteria used by platforms could be

shared while respecting their right to

not disclose algorithms

• ensuring protection of personal data, for

example, from affiliates that platforms

may have that consumers/business

users may not know about.

The public also raised concerns such as being

"punished" by online platforms when selling

online without knowing why. This is one of

the main grievances that this new law will set

right when it is adopted.

Parliament is aiming to establish its position in

the coming weeks, and the Austrian Council

Presidency for a framework agreement among

Member States by November. Realistically the

MEP and MEIB agreed, it will take two years

to have this legislation in place. MBR

Creditline: EPO

MEP Zammit Dimech

46


Malta Business Review

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www.maltabusinessreview.net

47


Malta Business Review

CASEWARE CLOUD EVENT

AUDITING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

CASEWARE CLOUD & B2B

NETWORKING EVENT

Organised by MBR Publications Ltd

Mr Jaap de Waard - CaseWare Head of Business Development, Europe & Middle East

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Ms Angele Sammut - Director CaseWare Malta

48


Online platforms:

New Rules to Increase

Transparency & Fairness

EU: ONLINE PLATFORMS

Malta Business Review

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs

Rapporteur MEP Francis Zammit Dimech

will be presenting a new draft EU law that

will impact online businesses together with

representatives from the MEIB and other

stakeholders.

Through this new proposal, providers of

online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon

and eBay) and online search engines (e.g.

Google search) will be required to implement

a set of measures in the contractual relations

they have with online businesses. These

proposed new measures aim to ensure

transparency and fairness with online

retailers, hotels and restaurants businesses

and app stores, among others, which use

such online platforms to sell and provide

their services to customers in the EU.

The proposal is still at an early stage in

consideration in the European Parliament,

which is why Friday’s event will also provide

those affected with an opportunity to make

their position known in time before the vote.

So if you sell goods or services on online

platforms such as Google Play, Amazon,

Facebook or Booking.com or if your online

business has trouble meeting the terms

and conditions set up by online platforms,

join the European Parliament Office and the

Malta Business Bureau on Friday 5 October

at the Life Sciences Park at 9 a.m.

If interested, please register at epvalletta@

ep.europa.eu. MBR

Creditline: EPO

European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Rapporteur

MEP Francis Zammit Dimech

www.maltabusinessreview.net

49


Malta Business Review

PLENARY SESSION - CIVIL LIBERTIES

EU’s judicial cooperation arm,

Eurojust, to become more effective with new rules

• Reform in Eurojust’s functioning and structure to improve operational effectiveness

• Data protection framework updated

• Increased transparency and democratic oversight

MEPs adopted on Thursday updated rules to clarify the role of Eurojust and improve its effectiveness.

Eurojust, the EU’s judicial cooperation unit,

facilitates cross-border investigations and

prosecutions of serious crimes in the EU.

The changes in the Agency’s functioning

and structure, including a new governance

model, will make Eurojust more efficient in

tackling cross-border crime.

The updated rules also take into account

the establishment of the European public

prosecutor's office (EPPO), expected to be

operational between 2020 and 2021, as

well as the new rules on data protection for

EU institutions and agencies. Furthermore,

with the revision of the rules, the European

Parliament and national parliaments will

in future be more involved in evaluating

Eurojust’s activities.

Quote

European Parliament rapporteur Axel

Voss (EPP, DE) said: “With this reform, we

are adapting the legal framework of this

crucial agency to the new challenges in our

common fight against crime and terrorism.

By doing this, we are making sure that

Eurojust can continue its excellent work of

supporting national authorities, facilitating

cross-border investigations and coordinating

prosecutions.”

Next steps

The new rules were approved by 515 votes

to 64, with 26 abstentions. They have already

been agreed upon by the Parliament and

Council negotiators in June, but still require

the formal approval of the Council.

The regulation will take effect one year after

its publication.

Background

The European Union Agency for Criminal

Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) was set

up in 2002 to improve the coordination

and cooperation in investigations and

prosecutions between the competent

authorities in the Member States. It deals

with serious cross-border and organised

crime such as terrorism, human trafficking,

drugs and arms, sexual exploitation of

women and children, cybercrime and online

child abuse.

In 2017, EU countries requested Eurojust’s

assistance in 2550 cases representing a 10.6

% increase from 2016. 849 of these cases

were closed during the same year.

MBR

Creditline: EPO

50


ipation in this and similar activities highlights

he community.

oster Clark’s

Date:

LifeCycle

Thursday,

Challenge

20 September

2018 by

2018

hRLU.

Ref: 090- 2018 EN

Air Malta is proud to support the LifeCycle

Challenge 2018. This annual event is a gruelling

mountain bike challenge of 2,000km, normally

completed over 10-12 days in different countries

every year. This challenge, considered to be one

of the ten most arduous cycling challenges in

the world, is organised by LifeCycle (Malta)

Foundation, an NGO founded 20 years ago to

create awareness and generate support for

patients suffering from renal disease.

To support this noble initiative, Air Malta’s

Chairman Dr Charles Mangion presented a

donation to Founder of LifeCycle, Alan Curry

and Chairperson Dr Shirley Cefai, in the

presence of all cyclists participating in this

year’s Arabian Nights challenge.

A total of 25 cyclists signed up to attempt

this year's challenge which will see the team

cycling all the way from Dubai (UAE) to Salalah

(Oman) this October. They will be supported

by a team of drivers, helpers, a physiotherapist

and a camera person. The Airline wishes all

participants success in this challenge and would

like to thank them for their dedication, support

and commitment towards this noble cause.

The Airline is proud to be associated with

LifeCycle

and its endeavours to collect funds to assist

renal patients and their families. The Airline’s

airmalta Supports

CSR

Malta Business Review

LifeCycle Challenge 2018

participation in this and similar activities

highlights

Air Malta Supports LifeCycle Challenge 2018

hairman Dr Charles Mangion presenting the

nder of LifeCycle, Alan Curry.

Air Malta is proud to support the LifeCycle

Air Malta’s commitment

Challenge

to the

2018.

community.

This annual

event is a gruelling mountain bike You too challenge can support the of Foster 2,000km, Clark’s LifeCycle normally

Challenge 2018 by donating at MBR

completed over 10-12 days in different countries every year. This

https://goo.gl/7bhRLU.

challenge, considered to be one of the ten most arduous cycling

challenges in the world, is organised Air Malta’s by first LifeCycle flight took off (Malta) on 1 st April Foundation,

1974. The

airline has been instrumental in opening up and

an NGO founded 20 years ago connecting to create Malta awareness to the rest of and the generate

world,

diversifying and presenting new tourism market

support for patients suffering from opportunities renal disease. to and from the islands.

To support this noble initiative, Air Malta’s Chairman Dr Charles

Mangion presented a donation to Founder of LifeCycle, Alan Curry and

Chairperson Dr Shirley Cefai, in the presence of all cyclists participating

in this year’s Arabian Nights challenge.

A total of 25 cyclists signed up to attempt this year's challenge which will

see the team cycling all the way from Dubai (UAE) to Salalah (Oman)

this October. They will be supported by a team of drivers, helpers, a

physiotherapist and a camera person.

The Airline wishes all participants success in this challenge and would

like to thank them for their dedication, support and commitment towards

this noble cause. The Airline is proud to be associated with LifeCycle

and its endeavours to collect funds to assist renal patients and their

families. The Airline’s participation in this and similar activities highlights

Air Malta’s commitment to the community.

You too can support the Foster Clark’s LifeCycle Challenge 2018 by

donating at https://goo.gl/7bhRLU.

Picture shows Air Malta’s Chairman Dr Charles Mangion presenting the

airline’s donation to the Founder of LifeCycle, Alan Curry.

-ends-

Air Malta plc

Corporate Communications

Commercial Division

Sky Parks Business Centre

Level 2

Malta International Airport

Luqa LQA4000

E stephen.gauci@airmalta.com

T +356 2299 9228

M +356 7970 9928

Dr. Charles Mangion presenting the airline’s donation to the Founder of LifeCycle, Alan Curry

“I AM ACTIVE” 5KM Walk/Run by

Simblija Care Home

Simblija Care Home Walk

Runners and walkers came together to celebrate the

International Day of Older Persons. Ms Charmaine

Attard, General Manager at AX Care, Mr Angelo Xuereb

and Naxxar Mayor, Ms Anne Marie Muscat Fenech

Adami thanked all the participants who came together

and signalled the start. Donations collected from the

event went to K9 Urban Search and Rescue Malta (K9

USAR) who’s well trained dogs were just a pleasure

to watch. K9 members attend on a weekly basis to

Simblija Care Home and aid residents including those

suffering from dementia through what they refer to as

‘pet therapy’.

Air Malta’s first flight took off on 1 st April 1974. The

The smile of the airline residents has been and instrumental sessions with in opening the K9 up and

connecting Malta to the rest of the world,

dogs and members is something they really look

diversifying and presenting new tourism market

forward to in opportunities their extensive to and activity from the schedule. islands. Ms

Attard said that as we grow older an active lifestyle

becomes paramount to our health but no matter the

age or current physical condition, participants came

together to improve their general outlook on health.

She reiterated the importance of maintaining an active

lifestyle even in elderly life as a routine instead of a

short-lived resolution. MBR

www.simblijacarehome.com | 22351000

Simblija Care Home Walk

Creditline: Hilltop Gardens

www.maltabusinessreview.net

51


Malta Business Review

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Maltese companies can still apply to the

EIT InnoEnergy Investment Round

4 October marks Maltese cleantech innovators’ last chance to

apply for 2018 funding

EIT InnoEnergy, Europe’s sustainable energy

engine supported by the EIT, today announces

the cut-off date for applications to its 2018

Investment Round for supporting revolutionary,

cleantech and sustainable energy innovations.

Maltese innovators looking for investment

before the end of the year must apply by 4

October to receive their support in time.

The Investment Round – what is it for and for

whom?

The Investment Round targets SMEs with

proven technology concepts that will transform

the future of energy in Europe. Since launching

the Round in 2011, EIT InnoEnergy has invested

€190 million in projects spanning eight

technology areas across Europe – resulting in

€3 billion of forecasted sales. Companies from

France, Scandinavia and Benelux have already

been successful in securing funds – and this

could be Malta’s year for success.

On top of funding, EIT InnoEnergy offers

applicants a trusted and proven, collaborative

innovation platform and access to an energy

innovation ecosystem of more than 385 industry

partners from across the mix of sustainable

energy solutions.

Where are the needs to support SMEs in the

energy innovation sector?

“InnoEnergy considers commercialization

as a priority business need of small and

medium enterprises when carrying out an

innovation project. Besides, it is extremely

important to shorten time to market, products

internationalization, to scale business activity

up and to get an access to de-risked, predictable

financing. That is how the current needs of

SMEs in the energy innovation sector look like,”

says Marcin Lewenstein, Innovation Officer in

InnoEnergy Central Europe.

• Product commercialisation

EIT InnoEnergy task is to identify and enable

access to partners who help them define and

provide them with access to their target group

when launching a new solution. Using the

support, it is possible to accelerate a moment of

the products start.

• Scaling up and industralisation

Starting with a large-scale production is one

of the phases that requires more investment.

EIT InnoEnergy provides knowledge and help

avoid common mistakes that might hinder the

industrialization process.

• De-risked, predictable financing

In general, projects financed by EIT InnoEnergy

require a development in technology or

prototypes, so the economic investment is

high. Cooperation with EIT InnoEnergy enables

quick funding activation and efficient process of

innovative product implementation.

Apply Now

Jakub Miler, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy Central

Europe says: “It is our mission to accelerate

the clean energy transition in Europe. So, we

are identifying, investing in and partnering with

the very best and brightest innovators in the

sector to help them scale-up, reduce their time

to market and ultimately commercialise their

technology.

“And I mean true partnership. We go beyond

the mere contribution of cash to help our

partners grow. Not only do we provide access

to Europe’s leading network of cleantech and

sustainable energy expertise, but we provide

sustained support through marketing and other

value-building services.”

Businesses can find out more about the

Investment Round, including how to apply, via

this link.

* * *

More about InnoEnergy

InnoEnergy is a fund investing in solutions in the

area of energy, cleantech, mobility and broadly

understood smart technologies. Through

knowledge, financing and network of contacts,

we support the commercialization of products

and their introduction to international markets.

InnoEnergy is present in forty countries, where

we cooperate with more than three hundred

partners - the largest industrial concerns,

leading research and academic centers and

innovative entrepreneurs, investing about €

100 million annually in solutions that increase

the competitiveness of our economy thanks to

cleaner, better and more efficient technologies.

During seven years of operation, InnoEnergy

has invested in innovative projects with a total

value of € 2 billion. Thanks to our support,

eighty products have hit the market so far.

MBR

Creditline: InnoEnergy

Creditline: WebiMax

52


WORK STRESS

Malta Business Review

With Job Stress Skyrocketing, James Arthur Ray Helps

Workers Turn Swelling Workloads into Opportunity

By Greg Adomatis

There once was a time when the operative word

in “day job” meant that it was just something

we did to earn a paycheck while the sun was

out. Slowly, work-related tasks started creeping

into our lives outside of office hours. Now it’s

the norm to take calls, respond to emails and

generally lend a hand long after you’ve left

work for the day. Blame technology as well as

employers all too happy to see their workers

knock out work-related tasks from home.

It’s no wonder then that we’re all so stressed,

says leadership and performance advisor James

Arthur Ray. According to a July 2018 article

from the New Zealand Herald, 30 percent of

workers employed by firms with more than

50 employees reported heightened stress

and anxiety. “A growing number of smaller

businesses were also recording longer hours –

rising from 8.1 percent in 2014 to 22 percent

in 2016,” the newspaper adds. The United

Kingdom-based Business Matters magazine

states in a July 2018 article that “48 percent

of British workers do little or nothing at all to

relieve work stress.”

Gallup tells us that 72% of workers surveyed in

a variety of countries around the world report

to be disenchanted, stressed and unfulfilled in

their daily work. And those number might be

conservative given that not all people surveyed

are completely honest with themselves or the

interviewer.

Add it all up and you’ve got discouraged,

disenchanted -- and maybe even disgruntled --

employees. It’s natural to be a bit overwhelmed

with work from time to time. However, James

Arthur Ray is giving individuals, both business

owners and leaders as well as employees, the

tools they need to hone their grit via a growth

mindset.

James Arthur Ray says overwhelmed workers

can thrive in stressful circumstances. Here’s

how…

• By adopting a “growth mindset” and

realizing that your natural talents are

merely a starting point, you’ll begin to view

the future as a place for movement and

improvement. “The person with a growth

mindset sees everything, even when

uncomfortable, unflattering, undesirable,

painful and frightening, as input for

further development, advancement and

growth,” says Ray.

• See a better future for yourself. From this

starting point, the optimist who believes

that they can develop the grit required

to push forward in daily life is going to

take small setbacks in stride. With the

willingness to sacrifice for a cause and

calling far beyond your own personal

needs, the day-to-day stressors are tests

for something greater.

Afterhours work is here to stay. It’s up to you to

update your perception of such tasks and turn

them into an opportunity for personal growth.

When you find your purpose and cause versus

just a career, your world shifts.

"A growing number of

smaller businesses were

also recording longer

hours – rising from 8.1

percent in 2014 to 22

percent in 2016

James Arthur Ray is a New York Times bestselling

author and has reached more than 1

million people via keynote speeches, events

and retreats. He has been featured on national

media outlets such as Fortune magazine,

People magazine, Huffington Post, Larry King

Live, Piers Morgan, the Today Show, CNN and

Oprah. MBR

Creditline: WebiMax

Creditline: WebiMax

www.maltabusinessreview.net

53


Malta Business Review

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

The Storm is over or is it not?

By Antoine Bonello

The heavy rainstorm has finally stopped but

we still have a long winter to go,

Not long ago I have received a phone call from

a dear friend and vivid reader of my articles,

which unfortunately I haven’t seen for years.

I did not recognise his voice at first and I was

a bit confused until my brain registered this

lovely and unexpected surprise. Surprises

can be good and bad but when it comes

to water entry inside our houses it is never

a nice surprise. Water entry is the result of

many things like poor DIY works, bad roofers

or materials or both. Structural movements

and carelessness is another factor, many

of us think that the roof should protect us

unconditionally without the need to do any

form of maintenance to it.

While good weather may seem like a relief,

the potential for water damage may just

be the beginning. Storm water runoff can

quickly overwhelm natural and manmade

systems, leading to flooding and property

damage. The most common damage from a

storm is to roofing and retaining walls, which

often results in water leakage that leads to

interior water damage and possible mould.

For homes that are connected, or semidetached,

damages on the roof or within the

walls can also cross property lines. In a natural

environment, storm water runoff is absorbed

Thermal waterproofing can easily be applied on congested roofs

Sealing of carpet membrane joints with resin and fibreglass

by soil and vegetation,

evaporates into the

atmosphere or flows

into bodies of water.

Urban development has

dramatically changed

this natural system.

Rainfall is nowadays

directed rapidly by roofs

and roads into pipes and channels leading

into wells or other water storage facilities.

The help of qualified experts in these

situations is of utmost importance. Only a

qualified roofer can provide you with a tailor

made waterproofing system that suits your

needs. The steps you take today to prepare

your home with proper waterproofing and

appropriate drainage system can help you

avoid time-consuming and costly repairs

when the bad weather does blow through.

The good news is that there are products

and techniques that can withstand UV rays,

high winds, sea salt corrosion and water

stagnation and can save you the ordeal or

constant maintenance and vigilance.

How Can You Protect Your Home from Storm

Water?

Most of the water intake from retaining

walls are simply related to the use of nonelastic

and non UV resistant paint that

becomes rigid and starts to flake and peels

off when subjected to Sun rays and building

movements. An easy way to avoid these

types of problems is by using a certified

UV Resistant and Elastic waterproof paint.

These certifications must be clearly visible

on the cans and are usually found only on

CE certified products. If in doubt consult the

product data sheet that nowadays are easily

available on the internet. The application

is important as the product itself, we tend

to believe that two coats of product is

sufficient to withstand our Mediterranean

climate and in many cases the primer is

left out. For optimal results the application

of a consolidating primer is required to

strengthen the sand and cement plastering,

together with a minimum of three coats

of product for an average consumption of

500g-1kg per square metre.

Roofs are no exception and before we apply

any form of protection we have to put into

the equation many factors such as its size,

the location (by the sea or inland) and its use

(BBQ and leisure).

Salt, wind and hail can easily damage plastic/

acrylic based membranes, while traditional

carpet bitumen membranes and cement

based membranes are too rigid and fail very

easily when subject to structural movements.

Resins membranes on the other hand are

proving to be the future; they are designed

54


BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

Malta Business Review

to meet our harsh hot summer and sudden

climate change. Their application is simply by

roller, brush or sprayed and can be applied

easily in corners and obstructed areas. The

final result is completely seamless, elastic,

resistant to heavy traffic, can withstand direct

bonding of tiles if desired and guaranteed

to last for years due to their resistance to

UV rays. They are light in weight compared

to other materials and can become stronger

when they are reinforced with fibreglass net

type matt 225. Resin membranes also help

to reduce heat intake inside buildings due

to their thermal ability to reflect natural

radiation.

We all know that delicate works that involve

waterproofing must be carried out by

professionals who are able to identify the

problems and address them with the best

possible materials and solutions possible. The

problem is how to identify the good installers

from bad ones. The answer is simple, always

make sure that the roofers are members of

the Malta Professional Waterproofing and

Resin Flooring Association. This guarantees

good work, traceability and trustworthiness.

Serious roofers are in possession of the

Association’s Installers Card for the peace of

mind of their customers. Always ask the roofer

if he is a member of the said association and

to show you the Installers card prior to any

works.

The Malta Waterproofing and Resin Flooring

Association provide technical knowledge and

professional formation to all Maltese installers

who wish to improve their workmanship or

start a carrier in the waterproofing business.

The Association also assists its members by

providing the services of a profession advisor

when facing challenging situations or other

difficulties during their works. The Association

also provides its qualified members the

Certified Installers Card. This is done to

reassure the general public that the person is

able to carry out the requested job at its best.

All this is being made possible thanks to Resin

and Membrane Centre and NAICI International

Academy. For further information with

regards the Malta Professional Waterproofing

and Resin Flooring Association visit our

website on www.maltawaterproofing.com or

call on 2747764 MBR

Creditline: The Resin & Membrane Centre

Damages releated with poor workmanship and materials

www.maltabusinessreview.net

55


Malta Business Review

EDITOR’S CHOICE

EDWARDS LOWELL OPENS MALTA’S FIRST

ROLEX BOUTIQUE

Valletta, 8 October 2018 – The much-awaited

opening of the first Rolex Boutique in Valletta

took place on 27 September 2018. Two years

in the making, the new boutique gives visitors

a true taste of luxury thanks to its carefully

designed interior, which incorporates a striking

emerald aqua floor in reference to the iconic

Oyster, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch.

The newly inaugurated boutique is finished to

the highest standards. Soft lighting, polished

brass frames, leather chairs and custom-made

furniture are complemented by handcrafted

stucco panels that depict the skyline of Valletta

with a sailing yacht in the foreground. This

marriage between Malta’s cultural heritage and

the Rolex Middle Sea Race highlights the iconic

Rolex Middle Sea Race start, a spectacle that

graces our beautiful Grand Harbour every year.

A highlight of the opening ceremony was

Chairman Malcolm A. Lowell’s speech

reminiscing about when his father gave his

mother a Rolex watch as a wedding gift. He also

commented on how the business had gone

from strength to strength, by saying: “It was

a rather small business in the beginning but

we progressed slowly but surely until this very

special achievement today, which we are very

proud of.” His son Malcolm R. Lowell, Managing

Director of Edwards Lowell, added to his father’s

sentiments by stating: “Over the last two years

Valletta has changed dramatically and we are

proud to be part of that change.” It is moments

such as these that underline the family values at

the heart of Edwards Lowell.

ABOUT

EDWARDS

LOWELL CO.

LIMITED

“When a man dedicates his life to a company,

both become intricately entwined. The business

becomes personal, especially in the case of a

family-owned business.”

- Malcolm A. Lowell, Edwards Lowell Chairman

Synonymous with luxury since 1925, Edwards

Lowell is renowned for being a fine retailer of a

curated selection of the most prestigious brands

in the world. From its conception over ninety

years ago, this family-run business has strived

to offer its clients the world’s finest products

alongside unique customer service. The Edwards

Lowell Rolex Boutique is the first Rolex Boutique

on the island and is set to be valuable addition

to the Edwards Lowell family. Edwards Lowell is

looking forward to presenting their esteemed

clients with a curated selection of fine timepieces

which can be enjoyed and treasured for their

unparalleled craftsmanship and ultimately be

passed down from generation to generation.

ABOUT

ROLEX

An unrivalled reputation for quality and

expertise. Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture

headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the

world over for its expertise and the quality of

its products. Its Oyster and Cellini watches,

all certified as Superlative Chronometers for

their precision, performance and reliability, are

symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige.

Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand

pioneered the development of the wristwatch

and is at the origin of numerous major

Rolex Boutique, Valletta

watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the

first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926,

and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism

invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over

400 patents in the course of its history. A truly

integrated and independent manufacturing

company, Rolex designs, develops and produces

in-house all the essential components of its

watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to

the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing

of the movement, case, dial and bracelet.

Through philanthropic programmes and a broad

palette of sponsorship activities, Rolex is also

actively involved in supporting the arts, sports

and exploration, and encourages the spirit of

enterprise, as well as the conservation of natural

environments. MBR

All rights reserved - Copyright 2018

56


Equiom, the international professional services

provider, is proud to announce it has been

shortlisted for Trust Company of the Year at the

prestigious STEP Private Client Awards.

Speaking of the nomination, Global CEO Sheila

Dean said: ‘It’s fantastic to be recognised by

such an important industry body and even

more significant to be up for Trust Company of

the Year. We’ve had a transformational journey

in recent years, expanding our jurisdictional

CORPORATE & FINANCE

Equiom Steps Up For

Top Nomination

Sheila Dean

footprint and evolving our offering in line with

industry changes and the shifting needs of our

clients. Our trust service remains at the heart

of the business and we’re proud to deliver an

exceptional service to our global clients.’

Hosted in London later this year, the ceremony

will attract more than 700 practitioners from the

wealth management industry and Equiom will

send a team of ten to represent the business.

Sheila continued: ‘Being shortlisted for Trust

Company of the Year demonstrates Equiom’s

market-leading position and we are proud to be

named among other big names in the industry.

Good luck to all the nominees.’

The STEP Private Client Awards are held annually

and recognise excellence among trust managers,

financial advisers and other leaders in the private

client sector. Equiom was shortlisted after being

assessed by a panel of judges that represent

internationally renowned solicitors, lawyers,

accountants, financial advisers, barristers and

trust companies.

Malta Business Review

EDITOR’S NOTE

Equiom has been shortlisted for Trust Company of

the Year in the STEP Private Client Awards. The STEP

Private Client Awards is held once a year to recognise

excellence among trust managers, financial advisers

and other leaders in the private client sector. The

winners will be announced at a ceremony in London

on 7 November.

About Equiom

Equiom is fast becoming the stand-out business

in the professional services sector, with a strong

presence in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and

The Americas. It provides a range of innovative

and effective business partnering solutions.

Equiom’s experienced and highly qualified

teams support corporations and high-net-worth

individuals around the world with their fiduciary

and related support-service needs.

MBR

Creditline: Equiom

Betsoft Gaming

Signs Content Agreement with Iconic Operator Casino GrandBay

Betsoft Gaming has secured its leading

position in the Curacao regulated market,

entering into a content partnership with

online institution Casino GrandBay.

The agreement - the second signed with

a Curacao operator in August 2018 – is

extensive, covering many marquee Betsoft

titles from the sought-after Slots3TM series.

These initial games will be launched as part

of a ‘blockbuster’ promotion, highlighting

the importance of the content to Casino

GrandBay’s player acquisition and retention

strategies. Work has also already begun to

add a further 40 Betsoft titles to the GrandBay

library.

Launched in 2001, Casino GrandBay is one

of the online gaming industry’s longestestablished

institutions. For 17 years,

the operator has worked to pioneer new

experiences, including the signature Wheel of

Fortune, and today Casino GrandBay carries a

guarantee of offering ‘something different for

everyone’.

“Casino GrandBay is an iconic part of the

iGaming landscape, helping to steer the

development of the online casino industry

since almost the turn of the millennium” says

Annamaria Anastasi, Marketing Director for

Betsoft. “Seventeen years later, GrandBay’s

mission is still to provide players with a choice

of the world’s finest slot games, and Betsoft

is delighted to be joining what is still an

extremely selective pool of content suppliers.”

Key to Casino GrandBay’s choice of content

partner was a level of audio-visual excellence

that would appeal to its discerning players,

as Adrienne Banks, Brand Liaison Officer

explains. “Casino GrandBay is focused on

bringing the best online entertainment to

our players, so we chose to work with Betsoft

because of the quality and variety of their

games,” Banks says. “Every game selected

showcases gorgeous graphics and cinematic

gameplay, across a variety of different genres,

which fulfilled our requirements beautifully.”

MBR

Creditline: Betsoft Gaming

www.maltabusinessreview.net

57


Malta Business Review

NEWSMAKERS

Minister Scicluna reaffirms the Ministry’s

commitments to combat money laundering

An awareness seminar for voluntary

organisations was held at the Aula Magna,

University of Malta. The seminar was organised

by the National Coordinating Committee for

Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of

Terrorism with the full support of the Ministry of

Finance and the Office of the Commissioner of

Voluntary Organisations.

When addressing officials of voluntary

organisations, Minister Edward Scicluna

emphasised that the government is determined

in its fight against money laundering and the

financing of terrorism. In his speech, Minister

Scicluna referred to the newly established antimoney

laundering and anti-terrorism financing

mechanism, which has been set up and has

been operating since April 2018. The setting

up of the National Coordinating Committee

is just one of the initiatives being taken by the

Government to ensure the security of the local

economy. The Minister referred to the National

Risk Assessment which was completed first in

2015 and was updated in 2017. This National

Risk Assessment identified and assessed the

threats and vulnerabilities related to issues of

money laundering and terrorism financing. This

assessment formed the basis of Malta’s Anti-

Money-Laundering and Combating of Terrorism

Strategy which embraces a comprehensive

list of actions to enhance the national antimoney

laundering and the combat of terrorism

framework which the government is taking

to address risks. In this national strategy the

National Coordinating Committee is identified

as being the mechanism responsible for

defining the overall strategy and overseeing

the implementation of the actions listed in the

strategy.

Minister Scicluna stressed that the aim of the

National Coordinating Committee is to not only

define an overall anti-money laundering and

combat of financing of terrorism plan of action

and for overseeing the implementation of this

same strategy but to reach out to the various

stakeholders for an effective coordinated setup

in the national combat against money laundering

and terrorism financing. This newly established

mechanism is also an invaluable tool in helping

prepare for and coordinate for international

evaluations such as FSAP which have just finished

their evaluation and MONEYVAL which will be

making their next evaluation in November.

MBR

Creditline: Ministry of Finance and the Office of

the Commissioner of Voluntary Organisations.

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri

launches a Diploma in Cryptocurrency by

Centrecom

“Centrecom efforts and financial investments

amounting to €5m in order to support DLT

technology will serve as a model for other

companies” – Silvio Schembri

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services,

Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri

visited Centrecom, a private company focusing

on customer services which during the past few

months invested heavily in the latest technology

in order to proceed with its operations effectively

for the benefit of customers. “Centrecom

efforts in adapting to DLT technology will serve

58

Minister Scicluna during seminar

for voluntary organisations

Photoo: DOI - Clodagh Farrugia O'Neill

as a model for other companies still yet to

discover the opportunities this industry holds

and the benefits for day to day operations.

Besides, what is remarkable is the investment

in human resources and the strengthening

of its workforce’s skills”, said Schembri. He

commended Centrecom’s initiative with regard

to the sponsorship programme being offered

for its Training Department to fulfil a Diploma

in Cryptocurrencies. “In view of having world

leading companies in blockchain and the crypto

sphere that are choosing Malta as their home,

it is crucial to train our human resources and

familiarise them with this sector” stated the

Parliamentary Secretary.

Robert Spiteri, General Manager for Centrecom,

explained how the company is working to grow

its business and embrace the changes that

are coming along with the emergence of the

new blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.

In fact, in a short span of time since the

inauguration of the new premises in June 2018,

Centrecom invested around €5 million in an

effort to embrace new technology. Centrecom

announced its investment of €3 million for new

offices which can cater for 450+ desks in order

to offer a variety of services such as customer

support, amongst others. It was explained

that embracing the changes that are coming

along with the emergence of blockchain and

cryptocurriencies meant an investment of €1.4

million to have a robust technology in place as

well as investment in training the employees.

“I thank the administration of the company for

their efforts and for being part of the DELTA

Summit between the 3rd and 5th of October,

the Maltese Government’s official blockchain

and innovation event”, said Silvio Schembri. MBR

Scource: THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT

FOR Financial Services, Digital Economy and

Innovation

The Malta Gaming Authority will be

launching its sandbox for Distributed

Ledger Technology during Delta Summit

During the Delta Summit, the Malta Gaming

Authority will be launching its sandbox for

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). This

was announced by Parliamentary Secretary

for Financial Services, Digital Economy and

Innovation Silvio Schembri while addressing

the third edition of iGaming idol—an event

which has become a staple in the calendar of

iGaming events rewarding excellence within the

Creditline: The Malta Gaming Authority

different iGaming spheres. Silvio Schembri said

that the MGA’s launch of the sandbox comes

after the publishing of a consultation document

in March which started discussions amongst

stakeholders for the introduction of DLT and

virtual currencies. “The Authority is keen to

embrace the technology and is not shying away

from understanding the rise of DLT Technology

with an aim to boost economic innovation, all

this within a regulated environment”, said Silvio

Schembri.

Sandbox is a space in which this technology can

operate securely in a restricted environment.

During the ceremony, Silvio Schembri presented

the Hall of Fame award for the first time, which

this year was awarded to George DeBrincat for

his proactivity in the industry since its inception.

This means that the third edition of iGaming idol

awarded 22 individuals for their outstanding

contribution towards the iGaming industry in the

home of gaming excellence. MBR

Creditline: The Malta Gaming Authority

Standard and Poor’s affirms Malta’s A-/A-2'

ratings with a positive outlook

The Ministry for Finance welcomes the latest

credit rating report by Standard and Poor’s

which affirms Malta’s A-/A-2' ratings with a

positive outlook.

Standard and Poor’s acknowledges that

in recent years, the Government has

consolidated government finances, reduced

general government debt relative to GDP, and

undertaken several structural reforms, notably

those that have increased female participation

in the labour market and reduced the country’s

energy bill. Indeed, the report states that the

positive rating reflects Malta’s strong growth

performance, the recurring current account

surpluses driven by Malta’s large services

exports, and the improving general government

budgetary position and fiscal management.

Standard and Poor’s notes that significant

investments in energy and logistics were

important contributors to growth in 2014 to

2016, while growth in the exports of services such

as tourism, logistics, and e-gaming are expected

to continue fuel growth in the coming years.

In 2019, it expects growth to moderate but to

exceed that of peers at similar income levels and

stages of development. The report notes that

the implementation of recommendations from

spending reviews, the fast pace of growth of new

economic sectors, and increases in government

revenues have allowed the consolidation of

public finances. It further projects that, with

recurrent fiscal surpluses, the debt-to-GDP ratio

will decline to under 40 per cent in 2021 from a

projected 47 per cent in 2018. On the banking

sector, the report notes that the domestic banks

are highly liquid and possess a low loan-todeposit

ratio.

Standard and Poor’s acknowledges that

macroeconomic policymaking will remain geared

toward further fiscal consolidation. Indeed,

it notes that efforts to further reform stateowned

enterprises, reduce skill mismatches,

and improve the long-term sustainability of

public finances will be implemented gradually,

alongside increased public investment to plug

infrastructure gaps. Minister for Finance Edward

Scicluna comments: “I am pleased to note that

Standard is attributing Malta’s exceptional

economic performance to the Government’s

economic, fiscal, and social policies and the

undertaking of reforms. The Government

intends to continue along this successful path as

promised in its electoral programme”. MBR

Credit: Ministry for Finance

Photo Credit: MFIN


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