Comino is an alternative platform for small and medium management companies who have neither the ability nor the means to compete in the big leagues. As explained by Johan Kahmn, founder of Fund Management Group (FMG), the company which owns the platform, it houses hedge funds, long-only and private equity funds, among others, all under one roof.
Likewise, Kahmn also explained that the platform provides an interesting alternative for those management companies who prefer to focus on the profitability of their portfolios rather than spend time and money on regulation, compliance, risk, and transactions. Larger companies may be able to afford the effort and money required, but not so the smaller operators who may lose attractiveness and competitiveness.
Comino Platform is domiciled in Malta and is aimed at small and medium fund managers with funds between 5 and 20 million dollars in assets and more. At Comino Platform, they say that a fund may be operating in the market within a period of between six to twelve weeks. Currently, there are 578 funds registered in Malta, 460 of which are funds designed for professional investors.
Gunnar Chr Detlie, Group Operations Director, explained that Comino Platform wishes to seize the opportunity of the implementation of the new regulation on investment funds launched in Europe, in order to expand its business among U.S. and Latin American operators. The regulations are quite different and one is required to meet those regulations. “The offshore jurisdictions will face problems during the next three years in trying to comply with the regulation,” said Detlie.
Meanwhile, Gill Hillevi Dahlin, coordinator for the group in Latin America, stated that multiple strategies ranging from private equity to long short, are housed under the Comino Platform. They have received requests from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, and Colombia, especially from managers seeking a long-term solution which allows them to focus on the product, leaving the fulfillment of regulations to third parties.
Comino Platform currently has several funds under its umbrella and many more which are about to enter. They already have two funds in their Latin American basket: a fund of funds and one of Argentine equities, although it aims to expand that base.
Detlie emphasized that from Comino Platform they can address the needs of those management firms which, due to their size, cannot resort to large institutions, which require figures above 30 million dollars.
As for their forecasts for the period 2014/2015, they expect a successful close to the cycle because they trust that European regulations will push a number of management companies to move in their direction, so they expect to double the number of clients.
According to the platform, Malta has quietly emerged as one of the most stable and innovative finance domiciles in the EU, which it joined in 2004, later joining the Euro zone in 2008. Since then, Malta has developed into an important financial and business center. Malta has attracted investment from some of the world's leading financial institutions, frontline multinationals and wealthy individuals. Over the years, the Financial Services Authority of Malta (MFSA) has established itself as a household name among international organizations for its pro-business government policies. In addition, a large number of double tax treaties ensure Malta's position as a major emerging financial center in Europe.
Comino Platform, which functions as an umbrella SICAV, was incorporated in 2012 as a third party fund manager and management firm established in Malta. Comino claims to offer a more cost effective and efficient route to launch your own professional fund through a collective investment infrastructure. The platform is fully regulated by MFSA providing a one-stop shop for independent operators. The platform of fund managers is preparing to comply with AIFMD (Alternative Investment Managers Directive).
Currently Comino Platform has a team of 12 people working from Oslo, Stockholm, Malta, and London, as well as a trading team.