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