The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) Board has unanimously appointed Christopher Buttigieg as acting CEO of the regulator.
Dr Buttigieg had been appointed Chief Officer Supervision in March 2020 following his appointment as Chief Officer Strategy, Policy and Innovation in 2019.
He joined the Authority in 2000 as Manager in the Investment Services Unit and has gained professional experience in various areas of financial regulation, supervision, the investigation of market misconduct and the enforcement of sanctions.
Dr Buttigieg takes over from Joseph Cuschieri, who earlier today suspended himself after a Times of Malta report that he attended a Las Vegas trip paid for by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
The 2018 Las Vegas trip took place just months before media reports had identified Yorgen Fenech as the owner of 17 Black, a company linked to the Panama Papers scandal. The trip also took place a year-and-a-half before Mr Fenech was arrested and charged in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
(left) Joseph Cuschieri & Edwina Licari
Mr Cuschieri, alongside the regulator’s General Counsel, Dr Edwina Licari, who also attended the Las Vegas trip, have both suspended themselves while the MFSA has decided to “initiate an assessment of the facts reported to safeguard the interests of the Authority”.
The Las Vegas trip took place one month after Mr Cuschieri had left his position as CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority to take up his new role as head of the MFSA.
Dr Licari was not engaged with the regulator at the time, but held the position of legal counsel for the Malta Gaming Authority.
The MFSA, in a statement, said the review against both parties will “be conducted in the most transparent and ethical manner”.