FJVA - Company Founder

Our reward is in providing tailored solutions in the most efficient and ethical manner whilst nurturing lasting relationships for mutual growth and success.

Francis J. Vassallo, founder of FJVA, has a simple explanation for his company’s 20-year continued success: keep things ethical, be honest with regard to client needs and, above all, always put the client first, before anything.

Francis J. Vassallo

Founder

Adriana Camilleri Vassallo

Adriana Camilleri Vassallo

Managing Partner

Having set up FJVA in 1998 – alongside her father Francis J. Vassallo – Adriana has witnessed first-hand the opportunities and the challenges the financial services industry constantly faces not only in Malta, but worldwide.
She recognises the dynamic aspects of the industry and is keen to see FJVA continue to grow from the fledgling it was 20 years ago to a firm which is internationally-recognised and with international aspirations.
“I don’t think expanding internationally is any easier now than it was before, but I think we’re in the right place now to explore these opportunities,” she says. “Our home is established and Malta will remain our core. However now feels like a good time to tap into new markets.”
Educated in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Spain, Adriana graduated in Business Administration from the European Business School in London in 1996. After graduation, she joined Coopers & Lybrand’s international tax planning division before joining her father to build FJVA.
Amongst other responsibilities in the management of the firm, Adriana is responsible for the overall operations of FJVA and heads the indirect tax (VAT) department.
Adriana also heads the Compliance Department and is the appointed Compliance Officer for all the companies within the FJVA Group.
Adriana is a member of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) and the Malta Institute of Management (MIM).

Languages: Maltese, English, Spanish

Steffan Vassallo

Steffan Vassallo

Partner

Investment Services is where Steffan sees remarkable growth in Malta, an area he has specialised in since joining the firm in 2008.
“They’re coming here because the regulation is user friendly, the main language is English and, as a member of the EU, it is a highly professional environment that has a robust infrastructure allowing companies to be passportable into Europe.”
Graduating in Law from the University of Reading in 2002, Steffan joined EFG Private Bank Luxembourg SA in 2003.
In 2007 Steffan joined Deutsche Bank Luxembourg Private Wealth Management as Assistant Vice President.
At FJVA he heads the Investment Services and Fund Management Department.
He is a member of the Institute of Financial Practitioners (IFSP) and the International Tax Planning Association (ITPA).
Steffan is fluent in English, Italian and French and he is proficient in Spanish.

Languages: is fluent in English, Italian and French and he is proficient in Spanish.

Ruth Agius Scicluna

Ruth Agius Scicluna

Partner

Attention to detail and double-checking information is what separates the wheat from the chaff in the legal and taxation world. In fact, according to Ruth, this point is so important that FJVA lives by the expression ‘the four-eyes principle’, emphasising that everything is checked by a second person.
“This gives you a fresh pair of eyes to look things over and to bounce off ideas,” she notes.
Ruth, who heads up the tax and legal advisory section, joined the firm in 2002.
She graduated in Legal and Humanistic Studies in 1999, obtained her Diploma in Notarial Studies in 2000 and her Doctorate of Law in 2002.
She undertook her law traineeship with a leading law firm in Malta, focussing on corporate and financial legislation, legal research and assisting in the drafting of legislation. Ruth then joined KPMG Malta focussing on both local and international taxation including tax consultancy, tax planning and compliance.
Ruth is a member of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP), a member of the International Bar Association (IBA), a member of the Malta Institute of Taxation (MIT) and a member of the Chamber of Advocates of Malta.

Languages: Maltese, English and French

Luis Algueró Azqueta

Luis Algueró Azqueta

Partner

Luis, a Spanish national, joined FJVA in 2014 assuming the responsibility of Regional Manager for Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. His drive in this market was so successful that he soon became a Partner of FJVA and head of business development.
“Malta offers an excellent solution for Latin American clients looking to invest in Europe. Malta’s tax regime is second to none. At FJVA we also have the great advantage of speaking various languages that our international clients really appreciate.”
He graduated in Law from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in 2003.
After a legal career in Spain, he was seconded to FJVA in 2007, and later joined the company on a full-time basis, becoming a partner in 2017.
Luis is a member of the Spanish Bar

Languages: Spanish, English

Kurt Risiott

Kurt Risiott

Partner

Kurt admires companies with well-spread out resources and considers this to be an ingredient to success. “A good balanced team with a blend of disciplines and backgrounds,” he notes. But more importantly, he says, you need a strong ethical base, consistency and continuity.
He joined FJVA in 2006 soon after graduating in Law. He was immediately drawn to the international aspect of financial services, specialising from the start on how to apply Malta’s tax treaty and domestic tax legislation to international corporate structures.
Kurt completed his Masters in Financial Services in 2007.
He practices corporate law and is responsible for the ongoing management of a portfolio of Maltese corporate structures.
Kurt is a member of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP), a member of the International Bar Association (IBA), and a member of the Chamber of Advocates of Malta.

Languages: Maltese, English, Italian

Karl Buttigieg

Karl Buttigieg

Partner

To achieve the best results, companies need to understand their goals and work hard to achieve them, says Karl who joined the firm in 2009. “You need to know what you want,” he points out simply.
Karl joined FJVA from PwC, where he trained in risk management and worked within the audit and assurance practices in Jersey, Milan and London. “I was thrown in the deep end, however I was ready for it because I was career-oriented. The cultural changes opened my mind,” he notes.
At FJVA he heads up the international accounting department, where technical International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and local generally-accepted accounting principles (GAAP) advice is delivered to clients.
He gained his ACCA (Chartered Accountancy qualification) in 2000.

Languages: Maltese, English, Italian

Louise Chircop

Louise Chircop

Associate

“When establishing a company in Malta there’s a lot of emphasis on substance; to have a physical presence on the island,” says Louise. “In fact, there’s a clear shift away from companies without a presence on the island,” she adds.
Soon after graduating in Law in 2001, Louise worked in the legal unit of the Malta Stock Exchange, which gave her valuable exposure to the listing of securities on the market.
She joined FJVA in 2007 where she oversees corporate and tax law as well as civil law applicable to business.
In 2010 Louise successfully passed the Malta law option paper of the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Louise is a member of the Institute of Financial Practitioners (IFSP).

Languages: Maltese, English

Sean Vassallo

Sean Vassallo

Associate

Sean sees the success of FJVA hinges on its ability to provide a one-stop-shop service to clients. “We take a case from the start to the end of the whole process,” he says. “This is what has made us market leaders in financial services.”
He joined the firm in 2010, after 4 years working in the audit department with a Big 4 audit firm where he worked on various engagements of both local and international exposure, and has since seen the firm double in size.
He is part of the accounting team, co-manages its daily running and he is responsible for servicing a portfolio of clients including the preparation of management accounts, liaising with external auditors, managing group consolidation in line with IFRS and local GAAP.
Sean graduated in Management in 2005 and after completing his ACCA in 2009, he was awarded CPA and Practising Certificate in auditing.
Sean is also fellow of the Malta Institute of Accountants.

Languages: Maltese, English

David G. Debono

David G. Debono

Head Financial Controller

David joined FJVA 16 years ago from a business background, helping the then still fairly new company with strategy and management. Over the years he has seen the company grow, yet one thing has remained consistent: its ability to adjust to challenges and grasp opportunities.
“It’s a changing world and our sector changes with the laws that are passed. But we are not afraid to diversify into areas that are new to us,” he says.
Soon after completing secondary school, David was articled with a firm of chartered accountants in London, where he later qualified.
He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1980.

Languages: Maltese, English

Melanie Cassar Darmanin

Melanie Cassar Darmanin

Associate

Many potential clients judge a service provider on their first impressions, and this, according to Melanie, can make or break the relationship. “The moment they get the ‘cookie cutter’ feel you’ve clearly lost touch with them,” she says. “It’s really important to keep the personal touch.”
Having joined the firm in 2009, Melanie heads the Common Reporting Standards (CRS) and Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act (FATCA) team at FJVA. She specialises in corporate law and taxation.
In 2013 Melanie obtained a Diploma in Taxation and is a member of the Notarial College, the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners and the Malta Institute of Taxation.
Melanie practices corporate law and is responsible for the supervision and management of a variety of Malta companies following her appointment as Associate at FJVA in 2015 as well as heading the Common Reporting Standards (CRS) and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) team at FJVA.
Melanie is a member of the Notarial College, the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) and the Malta Institute of Taxation.

Languages: Maltese, English, Italian

Rowen Bugeja

Rowen Bugeja

Deputy Financial Controller

Rowen joined FJVA during 2017 and is responsible for the financial aspects of the FJVA group of companies, preparation of management accounts, liaising with external auditors and monitoring of internal controls.
Rowen is a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), a Certified Public Accountant in Malta and also a member of the Malta Institute of Accountants. He also read for the Diploma in International Financial Reporting (DipIFR). Prior to joining FJVA, Rowen was employed in the industry as an accountant of a group of companies for a period of ten years with both local and international exposure in various business sectors.

Languages: speaks Maltese, English and Italian

Francesca Cesca

Francesca Cesca

Senior Advisor

Francesca joined FJVA in May 2018 as senior advisor responsible for expanding FJVA’s activities in Asia and in the Middle East.
She is an international corporate lawyer with over 18 years of professional experience in corporate, M&A and business development.
Before relocating to Malta, Francesca lived and worked in several countries, namely Italy, the UK, China, India, the UAE and France.
She is a qualified lawyer in Italy and became a member of the Italian Bar in 2000. Francesca combines legal and business skills, holding an Executive MBA from Rutgers University (2002).

Languages: Italian, English, French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish.