Geraldine Noel of award-winning Acumum group talks to Craig Sisterson about why African businesses and individuals may want to consider Malta as a key connection for their corporate or personal affairs.
There are many different professional and personal reasons why African individuals and families could benefit from another citizenship or residency, commented Noel, an experienced business advisor and founder of award-winning Acumum Legal & Advisory in Malta.
“It may be to assist with professional or business purposes, for ease of travel, or to secure educational opportunities for their children,” said Noel, a barrister and long-time general counsel who’s lived and worked in several countries. “Or it could be because the jurisdiction they’re coming from is going through upheaval, so they want security for their future.”
For individuals, obtaining Maltese residency or citizenship could provide many benefits, including freedom of movement throughout the EU and visa-free travel across the world. It also offers access to a Commonwealth jurisdiction that’s an ideal bridge to Europe and beyond for both African businesses and high net worth individuals looking to expand their opportunities.
Acumum is an accredited agent for both the Maltese citizenship programme – Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment – and the Malta Residency and Visa Programme. Noel, the Secretary of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Malta and a six-time honouree on Citywealth’s list of most powerful and pioneering women globally in the financial services industry, has assisted several African clients to obtain Maltese citizenship or residency.
Malta has a unique status as a highly efficient tax jurisdiction that is located only four hours from Lagos and is part of the EU and the Commonwealth. “It gives comfort to financiers in respect of investment injections into a Maltese holding company. From there it can be deployed into the subsidiary, wherever that subsidiary may be in Africa.”
“But Maltese citizenship or residency may not be the most suitable,” said Noel, who prides herself on personalised service for her clients. “We may be based in Malta, but we’re not only about Malta. Our obligations and duties rest with our clients, to find the best solutions for them in their circumstances. So we have a range; we look at all different types of programmes for citizenship and residency across the world, to see which one would be more beneficial and more appropriate for the individual or their family members.”
Securing greater ease of travel is a particular attraction for business people, she said, although that has been somewhat curtailed recently due to the pandemic.
“Some of our clients are African business people and we’ve not only structured their personal affairs but also their business affairs, and have provided them with a family-office type of service.”
Acumum also acts for several African companies, including on oil and gas and infrastructure projects, helping them with corporate services and enabling them to connect with European financing.
“We incorporate companies, manage companies, and provide services, including directors, company secretary and registered offices, Then we provide whatever legal services are required by our client company, group, or individual,” Noel said, describing the multidisciplinary and holistic approach the Acumum group takes to advising clients.
To join Africa Legal's mailing list please clickhere
Copyright : Re-publication of this article is authorised only in the following circumstances; the writer and Africa Legal are both recognised as the author and the website address www.africa-legal.com and original article link are back linked. A bio for the writer can be provided on request.