Malta Should Mentor Caribbean CIPs on Due Diligence, Says Thomson Reuters General Counsel

Peter S. Vincent, General Counsel for Thomson Reuters and an avid watcher of due diligence practices among citizenship by investment programs, says he is concerned about how the Caribbean price war is affecting due diligence standards in the region, and holds up Malta as a textbook example of how to conduct effective and reliable due diligence.

“If we’re looking for a model, not just for the European Union but for the entire world, I would look to a country like Malta,” said Vincent in an interview with Investment Migration Insider, referring to the due diligence practices of the Malta Residence Visa Programme and the Malta Individual Investor Programme. Malta’s agencies, he added, should look beyond their own borders and “essentially mentor other countries, including those in the Caribbean basin that are still trying to develop their programs […]”

Vincent also said he was “greatly concerned about this race to the bottom”, referring to the recent trend of price cuts among Caribbean CIP countries. While the Caribbean countries had been preaching the need for working together on information sharing and vetting practices, he explained, they had not, in his opinion, followed up with action.

Describing himself as initially holding a cynical and skeptical view of citizenship by investment programs, Peter Vincent says that because he has had the chance to speak with leading figures in the industry over the last few years, he has “become more and more comfortable with the degree of safeguards that are being put in place in order to minimize and mitigate risks to the global infrastructure.”

He further urges companies and individuals within the investment migration industry to educate governments – particularly from the US, Canada, and the EU –  about citizenship by investment and to be more proactive in doing so. This approach, explains Vincent, would help counteract the industry’s sometimes negative perception, which he suspects arises from a lack of understanding.

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