I have been a lawyer for over a decade, and throughout my professional life, I have specialised and focused on financial services, corporate services and other matters of a commercial nature. While acting as a legal advisor in these sectors, I gained a wealth of experience in a number of areas, including regulatory and licensing matters, corporate governance, contract drafting and negotiation, corporate structuring, human resources and management. I gained this experience as a direct result of the advisory role that I have with respect to my clients who ask for my advice and assistance when they face a myriad of different situations and issues.
Several of my clients and others have recognised the experience and knowledge that I gained over the years and realised that, in addition to acting as a consultant and advisor, I could also contribute towards their businesses by being directly involved in their management structures. Consequently, over the years, there have been instances where I have been invited to join the boards of directors of corporate entities. Some entities have also asked me to act as their Money Laundering Reporting Officer or Compliance Officer.
There were instances where I accepted such invitations because I felt that I could provide a valuable contribution by being directly involved in the management and corporate governance structures of the companies that wanted to benefit from my knowledge, experience and expertise.
In all cases where I act as a director, I am directly involved in the management of the company; this means I am responsible, with the other members of the board, for the corporate governance of the entity that I serve. I do not act as a “nominee director”, and in the vest of director, I only represent the interests of the company, the shareholders and other stakeholders as required by law and in accordance with ethical standards.
I do not act as a nominee or agent for anyone when acting as a director, and if I feel that I am being invited to act as a director for such reasons, I do not accept the offer. In fact, the majority of the handful of companies for which I act as a director are directly owned by their beneficial owners or have one or more of their beneficial owners as directors. To be able to carry out my duties and functions adequately, I only accept a handful of directorships, mainly because to be as involved as I am, one needs to dedicate a substantial number of hours to the respective companies.
It should also be noted that due to my background and experience in the local investment and corporate services industries, most of the entities that I am involved with are licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”). In fact, in the majority of cases, I act as these companies’ independent director. This role is imposed upon licensed entities by the MFSA to ensure that at least one of the members of their boards of directors is entirely independent of all the other functions and service providers to provide a high level of corporate governance.