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Financial services in Cyprus, interview with our expert
Today, we present an interview with a distinguished member of our panel of experts. She is the founder member of a prestigious firm in Cyprus that delivers tailored solutions to corporations and high net worth individuals on an international scale. Her financial background allows her to provide high level services when it comes to company incorporation, licenses acquisition and maintenance.
Luckily, our expert has agreed to discuss the advantages of business and licensing in one of Europe´s best business centers. Read along to find out what our expert has to say.
The financial services industry has undoubtedly seen many changes in the past few years. Can you please comment on these changes and how they have influenced the current business environment?
I have seen many changes during the last 20 years, Cyrus used to be seen as a mere entertainment and touristic center, however, things changed whey the country joined the European Union in 2014. This move opened a whole new business universe for investors and entrepreneurs from Russia, the UK and Eastern Europe, who could now establish their head offices in Cyprus while still operating from their home countries. One of the main advantages of Cyprus is that it has a low corporate tax of only 12.5% and, being a EU member, this is a unique advantage that can open the doors to business in Europe with the advantages of tax optimization.
These financial advantages have attracted many Forex businesses that wanted to operate in Cyprus. The country offers low running costs and an inexpensive regulatory network, thanks to which the Forex industry has grown into an important business sector. CySEC was there during this time of expansion and assisted in the formation of this global forex hub, which was carefully created under a strong regulatory framework. In Cyprus, businesspeople can find the best environment to develop their businesses and achieve success which includes talented workforce, digital marketing experts, excellent legal services, and appropriate training. This means that Forex businesses can function perfectly well in Cyprus.
What are the changes you see in Cyprus in a near future? What is the financial sector with the highest chance for growth?
Cyprus government is planning to improve its reputation in order to attract investment funds and management companies with the restructuring of regulations and legislations.
Investors have many sectors where to invest and grow their assets such as real estate and property development. Another great example of this is the establishment of the new marina in Limassol, which undoubtedly will bring more tourists, investors, and therefore new business possibilities. Other sectors and industries that are growing and are very promising are energy and maritime sectors, shipping services and casinos.
Moreover, Cyprus is improving the transparency mechanism in order to avoid deceitful tax practices. These mechanisms will place the country in a competitive place in the international market of financial services. Thus, all businesses established in Cyprus will have the advantage of operating in a reputable jurisdiction with tax benefits, low operational costs, top quality services, beautiful landscapes and excellent life quality.
Over the past three years. Cyprus government has been successfully implementing incentives to bring in more forex businesses. Some of the best offers that this island can present to international entrepreneurs are the tax incentives and the Permanent residency program.
These strategic moves have brought many foreign companies to the country and this is the reason why many international companies and banks choose Cyprus as their center of operations. Moreover, the country maintains a high reputation because it keeps high rigorous due diligence processes, thus preventing illegal actions happening in the country such as money laundering and financing of terrorism. However, I believe there is still room for improvement, and this includes client services. The government should become more client oriented and, in order to keep growing as a financial center, it should eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, it should invest in technology and become more efficient when it comes to client service.
We know that you have worked with many clients whom you helped establish their companies. Why do you think you are one of the most chosen corporate providers in Cyprus?
We have helped to structure many businesses and achieved a portfolio of a 100% success rate when it comes to licenses. This includes Brokerage (STP & DMA), Asset-Management, Advisory, Market Maker, Underwriter, Forex, Structured Products, MTF, Group Structures, and others. I am incredibly lucky to have a team of qualified professionals who are committed to their work and help clients to solve problems and find solutions, no matter how hard the case might be. We are able to take innovative and challenging projects who others are scared to handle. Thanks to this we have a wide experience and also remain ahead of the industry in the region.
Can you tell us about your services for establishment and operation of alternate investment funds (AIF)? Is this a sector for significant growth in Cyprus?
Yes, absolutely. The fund industry is growing because many people wish to move away from the banking system to more diverse financing sources. Cyprus is also gaining reputation in this sector providing easy re-domiciliation of funds and fund managers from non-EU jurisdiction to EU jurisdictions.
Also, funds can benefit from tax exemption and reduction incentives on investment income, transactions, and securities. Cyprus offers all administration services and fund hosting to investment managers from all over the world.
Can you please tell us about the amendments of the alternative investment fund legislation and how did they change the funds environment in Cyprus?
The amendments to the regulatory framework put Cyprus in a whole new level similar to Luxemburg, Malta and Ireland when it comes to fund registration. These amendments include the introduction of new products and structures such as limited partnerships with legal personality. This is clear evidence of the government’s intentions to establish Cyprus as a solid and reputable financial center in the EU.
How can Mundo´s readers, with your help, navigate the intricated system of the AIF industry in Cyprus?
Our team has helped to structure and successfully license various fund managers and funds. We have also established successful collaborations between fund initiators, fund managers, administrators, auditors, and lawyers. All our experts are highly qualified and duly licensed.
Mundo sees Crypto as the industry of the future. How is our company embracing this new technology and these opportunities for the business sector?
We are proud to be an active member of the Cyprus blockchain community which actively seeks to advance in this new technology. Cyprus has attracted many blockchain enthusiasts and has been home for many events for this industry.
Our company is also into blockchain and we have formed alliances with blockchain experts, combining the advantages of this industry with technology regulation. We stand out thanks to our project assessment approach. Before offering blockchain services, we carefully study the client´s case taking into consideration many aspects such as technology, regulations, and company formation. Only when these factors are assessed and the project is approved we begin to work with the client.
Do you think that blockchain technologies will impact other industries as well, such as, for example, healthcare?
Today, when we talk about blockchain we are talking about something more than just bitcoin. This technology is now being tested and applied to different industries; however, it is not been yet proven at an enterprise level. So far, the most promising application of blockchain is the transfer of values or assets between parties but this still involves complicated and expensive processes.
The example you mention is great because the health system offers good possibilities for blockchain application. Nowadays, for example, a patient´s medical records are not easily accessible. If a person goes to different specialists (e.g., ophthalmologist, cardiologist, obstetrician) will have different records in different allocations. Blockchain offers the possibility of uniting those records into one ledger on the blockchain. Thus, all your medical doctors will have easy access to your records speeding up the diagnosis and eliminating miscommunication errors. This, undoubtedly, can help significantly improve the healthcare system. This, of course, takes several years of planning, designing and testing, but it is a possibility that is open for entrepreneurs who are looking to succeed in the blockchain industry.
You have been brave enough to start your own company, was it hard the transition from working for somebody to having your own firm?
When I started my career more than 20 years ago, I never thought I´d be running my own firm. However, later I realized that I have an entrepreneur spirit. In 2015 I decided to follow my own path in the business and financial service industry. Thus, I partnered with a group of professionals and business experts and began to offer a mix of services to clients in Cyprus and abroad. Today we take pride in the services we provide which include the design of fund structures, investment licenses, innovative financial consultancy services, and the delivery of sought-after seminars on matters such a Governance, AML/CFT, and Compliance and Risk Management.
would you recommend to those Mundo readers that are looking to set up their own
Running your own business is both rewarding and challenging. Before starting your own company, I strongly recommend considering these challenges because your success will depend on how you manage these. You won´t work normal working hours and your business will take most of your time but it´s important to find a balance between your business and personal life. Usually, you won´t get profit from your business during the first few months, for this reason it is important you carefully consider this and that you have enough capital to support your business and personal expenses during this time.
If you do not have the capital, then you should have another source of income.
At the beginning your clients won’t know you, so you will have to find them and to build your clientele by networking at events and continuously promoting your services and business.
The positive aspects of having your own business is that you can choose the way you operate and manage your schedule. You won’t have a boss so you will be the owner of your time, meaning you can choose to work early in the morning or late at nights, or both. You can also choose the way your business operates, picking the strategies that you consider to be good and leaving the bad ones out. You will be your own boss so; you can establish your team´s strategies and take important management decisions without asking for permission.
If you are willing to take the challenge, having your own business can be extremely rewarding. However, you will need a legal structure such as company registration, licensees, bank accounts, legal advice and so on. Luckily, my team can help you with these aspects in Cyprus so that you can concentrate on what´s important: the development of your business.
In order to ask for a consultation with me or any of Mundo´s experts, please contact us through the Mundo platforms.
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