Dr Man­fred Galdes is ap­pointed as Part­ner of ARQ Group For­mer Di­rec­tor at the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Anal­y­sis Unit

Malta Independent - - BUSINESS -

ARQ Group yes­ter­day an­nounced that Dr Man­fred Galdes, for­mer Di­rec­tor at the FIAU, has been ap­pointed CEO and di­rec­tor of its com­pli­ance and AML/CFT (anti-money laun­der­ing and coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ism fi­nanc­ing) con­sult­ing arm, ‘ARQ Risk and Com­pli­ance Lim­ited’.

The ARQ Group is a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary pro­fes­sional ser­vices or­gan­i­sa­tion set-up in joint ven­ture be­tween the found­ing part­ners of Cap­stone Group and those of law firm Fenech Far­ru­gia Fiott Legal. Dr Galdes will also be join­ing the law firm as a part­ner, head­ing the law firm’s com­pli­ance and AML prac­tice.

Dr To­nio Fenech and David Borg, part­ners at FFF Legal and Cap­stone Group re­spec­tively, and ARQ Group di­rec­tors had this to say about Dr Galdes’s ap­point­ment:

“Com­pli­ance and AML/CFT pro­ce­dures have be­come a key ele­ment within all as­pects of com­merce but par­tic­u­larly within the fi­nan­cial ser­vices and pro­fes­sional ser­vices sec­tors. Know­ing your client is more rel­e­vant in to­day’s world than ever be­fore and the oner­ous re­spon­si­bil­ity being placed on li­censed en­ti­ties and prac­ti­tion­ers can be daunt­ing par­tic­u­larly when cou­pled with rapid changes to leg­is­la­tion. The pro­lif­er­a­tion of IT plat­forms to fa­cil­i­tate fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions and the sheer amount of data that is being pro­duced daily, cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties which may be ex­ploited both for le­git­i­mate as well as il­le­git­i­mate pur­poses. This puts a lot of strain on in­ter­nal sys­tems and the risk that these are breached or cir­cum­vented for crim­i­nal gain have grown ex­po­nen­tially.

“As a Group we have been pro­gres­sively investing in de­vel­op­ing a strong pres­ence and in­fra­struc­ture in this sec­tor and with Man­fred’s ex­pe­ri­ence and the qual­ity of the team that we have put to­gether to sup­port him, we are con­fi­dent that we can pro­vide clients and col­leagues with the right level of guid­ance and sup­port to help them nav­i­gate the com­plex is­sues sur­round­ing com­pli­ance and AML. A sound un­der­stand­ing of AML & CFT pro­ce­dures will fur­ther con­trib­ute to­wards en­hanc­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of the Mal­tese fi­nan­cial and pro­fes­sional ser­vices sec­tors.

“Apart from purely legal con­sid­er­a­tions, the com­pli­ance and AML con­sult­ing field is rapidly be­com­ing a field that re­quires multi-dis­ci­plinary re­sources and ex­per­tise. We have there­fore asked Man­fred to also head our multi-dis­ci­plinary of­fer­ing, which is aimed at the pro­fes­sional as well as the fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­mu­ni­ties.”

Prior to join­ing ARQ Group Dr. Galdes served as Di­rec­tor of the FIAU, Malta’s fi­nan­cial in­tel­li­gence unit that is also re­spon­si­ble for the reg­u­la­tion and su­per­vi­sion of all en­ti­ties sub­ject to AML/CFT obli­ga­tions un­der Mal­tese law. In this po­si­tion his pri­mary fo­cus was the up­scal­ing of the coun­try’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties to com­bat fi­nan­cial crime and the de­vel­op­ment of an ef­fec­tive and so­phis­ti­cated risk-based AML/CFT su­per­vi­sory frame­work.

Be­sides chair­ing var­i­ous do­mes­tic com­mit­tees, Dr Galdes also rep­re­sented Malta and the FIAU on the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s AML/CFT Ex­pert Group set up un­der the EU’s Third Di­rec­tive, the EU’s FIU Plat­form and the Eg­mont Group’s Legal Work­ing Group. He served as a mem­ber of the Mal­tese del­e­ga­tion to Coun­cil of Europe’s Com­mit­tee of Experts on the Eval­u­a­tion of AML/CFT Mea­sures (MONEYVAL) and the del­e­ga­tion to the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties set up for the pur­pose of as­sess­ing ad­her­ence to the Coun­cil of Europe Con­ven­tion on Laun­der­ing, Search, Seizure and Con­fis­ca­tion of the Pro­ceeds from Crime and on the Fi­nanc­ing of Ter­ror­ism. He is a trained eval­u­a­tor un­der the 2013 method­ol­ogy of the Fi­nan­cial Ac­tion Task Force (FATF).

Dr Galdes has also been in­volved in the draft­ing of var­i­ous laws and lec­tures on the sub­ject of pre­ven­tion of money laun­der­ing and other ar­eas of law. He was also re­spon­si­ble for co-or­di­nat­ing Malta’s first AML/CFT Na­tional Risk Assess­ment.

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