Marion Gamel is a certified executive coach (PCC/ICF), a mentor, a business writer, and a public speaker.

She was formerly CEO of Betsson Services and CMO of Betsson Group – a global leader in online gaming, gambling and betting – between 2016 and 2018.

Why did you choose to become resident in Malta?

After coaching one of Betsson’s leaders for about six months and liaising closely with Betsson’s CEO, I was offered the Chief Marketing Officer role and moved to Malta in January 2016. I didn’t choose Malta per se but, after visiting the island, I became convinced that it would be a great place to live, aligned with my tastes and needs. Malta charmed me in three days!

How easy was it to settle in Malta and set up in business?

I found settling in Malta smooth and easy. As an employee, my employer did a lot of the work for me in terms of paperwork, taxes, permits, registrations, and guiding me through processes. Overall, I had fully settled on the island in under three months, including moving into a lovely townhouse in Sliema!

When I set up my coaching business on the island years later, I partnered with an amazing accountant who (again) guided me well, and I was able to work and invoice clients in a matter of weeks.

To me, it felt as if Malta had processes in place (as you would expect from any European country) but not to the point of standing in my way of doing business and going about my life.

What have been your top moments of living and working in the country, so far?

The sunshine all year round. The locals’ kindness and sense of humour. The incredible diversity on the island, with nearly all nationalities represented among friends and colleagues. The unique level of safety the island offers. The closeness to all major European destinations, thanks to a fully functional international airport and a great national airline.

How have you found doing business in Malta?

Very easy! I have a Mediterranean background (Provence/Italy) so the Maltese culture and way of doing business resonate with me. Yet, Malta is not a country I focus on much in my work. My ‘business’ in Malta happens with small businesses for personal and private matters (workers, medical staff, hospitality staff, house staff, and so on).

What sets Malta apart from other countries or regions, both personally and professionally?

The immensely high quality of life, mixed with global work opportunities and connections. You are in Europe, yet it feels like you are on holiday the minute you step out of the office. Oh – and the Christmas carols played on speakers in the street in December!

How open and welcoming was Malta’s business community when you first arrived – and how has your relationship with the community developed since?

Although I don’t do much business with locals in Malta (my work predominantly focuses on other markets), from my limited experience, I find that (in private and in business) the Maltese are kind, open, warm, and lovely to deal with.

My advice to someone settling in Malta is to take the time to get to know people and form a relationship with them. Locals are less ‘transactional’ than in other European countries or cities. First you get to know one another and then business happens smoothly.

What would you say are the top pros and cons of investing in Malta?

Pros: So many! Taxes and regulations (being a Highly Qualified Professional means a considerable tax rebate for five years, which is attractive). Being part of Europe. The weather. Fantastic work-life balance. Great schools and safety for families with children.

Cons: Get ready to have to attract talent to the island as it is small and competitive, so you may not find the people you need on the island. This can get pricey for a company and become time-consuming.

This feature was first carried in the Malta Invest 2023 edition. Malta Invest is the first-ever comprehensive international investment guide focusing on Malta as a destination. It is produced by Content House Group.

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