MFSA to have first non-Maltese CEO

Financial services watchdog to have non-Maltese CEO for the first time since it started operations in 2002

File Photo
File Photo

The Malta Financial Services Authority will be getting a foreign CEO for the first time since it started operations in 2002.

The Malta Independent reported the new CEO will be announced in the coming days, and will take over from acting head Christopher P. Buttigieg.

Buttigieg took over the financial services watchdog after former CEO Joseph Cuschieri resigned from the post last October.

He had resigned after reports revealed he had accompanied alleged Caruana Galizia murder mastermind and 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech on a 2018 trip to Las Vegas.

The vacancy for the MFSA top job was advertised internationally on popular platforms such as The Economist.

A requirement for prospective applicants was prior experience working in a regulatory environment, ideally with exposure to multiple areas within financial services regulation.

Sources said the financial services watch dog was looking beyond the country’s shores in order to restore its reputation.

They also said there was a political wish to have a “wide open process for the sake of transparency.”

The call was opened on an international level to help the MFSA “regain credibility,” the sources added.

A specially appointed board was set up to shortlist the applicants and choose the next chief executive. This is a newly adopted procedure, with past CEOs appointed by the MFSA’s board of governors.

Sources also said the new CEO will have his work cut out for him, in light of Malta’s greylisting last month and the United Kingdom’s decision to place Malta on the high-risk list for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.