Deborah Schembri wins the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Award

Deborah Schembri has won the second edition of the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Award, in recognition of her extraordinary role in structuring and growing STM Malta Pension Services Limited into a major global pension provider, as well as for demonstrating determination and perseverance in accomplishing her professional goals.

Malta Chamber President, Perit David Xuereb was on the panel of judges in the competition.

“I am honoured to win this important and prestigious award. It is the result of my hard work, integrity and perseverance that I always have put in in the various C-Level roles that I held over the years” said Deborah Schembri as she accepted the award.

“I would like that as the Winner of the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards, I will have the opportunity to promote the competences and capabilities of women with a view in seeing more women being appointed in decision-making positions and board members. I also hope that I serve as an inspiration and encouragement for other women.”

A virtual ceremony to announce the winners was held at San Anton Palace and all nominees were invited to join remotely. The presentation of the trophies to the winners was held a few days later by H.E. George Vella, President of Malta. The winners were also presented with a smartphone each, sponsored by Vodafone Malta.

The Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards were launched in 2018 through a partnership between HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. and the Office of the President of Malta, with the aim of highlighting outstanding female leaders in the business and economic world. This year’s edition of the awards was held under the patronage of the President of Malta, and sponsored once again by HSBC Malta, together with Farsons Group and Nestlé Malta Ltd.

Malta Chamber teams up with HSBC Malta for Trade Finance and Supply Chains webinar

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with HSBC Malta, is organising a webinar entitled ‘Future of Trade Finance and Supply Chains’. The webinar will take place on 29th October, starting at 2pm.

Supporting businesses that are thinking about their future in light of the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, this webinar will look into how working capital can be optimised by blending operational efficiencies with financial tools to enhance cash flows and reduce costs. The event will elaborate on approaches that businesses can apply to build resilience and facilitate recovery from the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

The webinar will be led by Sibel Sirmagul, HSBC’s Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance (Europe), who will be accompanied by Gaetano Sammut, Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance at HSBC  Malta.

Joyce Grech, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC Malta, said, “HSBC Malta has supported The Malta Chamber throughout the pandemic, making our Group’s global expertise and insight available to the Maltese business community as it looks ahead to a post-Covid future. This new webinar, which is part of a series of online events, will deliver further practical support and advice, helping the local business community not only adapt to the changes happening around us, but to thrive despite these challenges.”

The three pillars of smart working – Exigy

The following was penned by Exigy, a local team of industry experts with over 17 years in providing digital solutions:

A sudden shift in priority for digital systems has left several businesses reeling, not anticipating that such a strong push for digital transformation would be needed so urgently.

On the other hand, many other organisations are already feeling the benefits of implementing technology within their business processes.

Due to this, it has become crucial, now more than ever, for business leaders to identify the true key pillars of achieving smart working.


Flexibility is one of the prime factors that make up a truly smart workplace. Implementing an effective collaborative platform will allow managers to easily track the productivity of each employee, eliminating the need for micromanagement and insistence on time spent at the office.

For instance, EY Ireland recently reported that 70 per cent of businesses found a significant increase in productivity when shifting to rewarding employees based on contribution and productivity rather than hours worked.

The shift from hours to contribution has certainly paid dividends for various businesses. A reason for the surge of productivity stems from various factors, such as employees facing fewer interruptions.

This makes it possible for them to focus on their work and make more calls themselves, thereby increasing autonomy.

The reduced stress caused by traffic or of arriving on time at the office are also significant factors.

All these benefits have a positive impact on the quality of work and productivity, which benefit the company in terms of earnings in the long run.


Another noticeable pillar is that of workflows. In the modern workplace, employees often have less time for traditionally repetitive tasks. Increasingly, human resources are becoming the most important resource.

However, over 40 per cent of employees’ current tasks can be automated by today’s technology, meaning that most workplaces may be preventing their staff from working on more important tasks and allowing them to do their best work.

Through Business Process Automation, employees’ time can finally be freed up for more important tasks, through intelligent workflows that take care of administrative tasks.

The smart nature of Workflow Automation is not only efficient in boosting employee productivity, but it may also help deliver projects on time with fewer opportunities for error or miscommunication.

As AI grows increasingly intelligent, so too does the ability to receive useful predictions and insights that use existing performance data to improve on existing tasks.


Lastly, mobility is yet another vital pillar in achieving a smart workplace. Allowing most of an employee’s key tasks to be done anytime, anywhere and on any device is a significant benefit.

As more and more of the workforce becomes occupied by millennials, a generation known for their familiarity with various devices, it is the ideal time for businesses to utilise multi-device platforms, which grant the user the ability to complete tasks, irrespective of their surroundings.

This not only achieves a flexible flow of operation but also gives employees a greater sense of freedom to work with whichever device they feel most comfortable.

The tools to achieve smart working have never been as accessible as they are today, from centralised ERP solutions to smart collaborative tools that help move the flow of work from one department to another.

However, success can only truly be achieved if your organisation is ready to adopt them. Keeping these pillars in mind is crucial for achieving a truly smart workplace.

At Exigy, we bridge the gap between business and technology. We are proud to help digitally transform our clients’ business processes through the expertise of our consultants and our knowledge of industry best practices.

Contact us to find out how our solutions can help increase your business resilience and take your business to the next level.

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André Zarb takes the helm as Senior Partner for KPMG in Malta

Leading professional services firm KPMG announces a change in its top role, with André Zarb being appointed as the firm’s senior partner as from October 2020.

André Zarb will be succeeding Tonio Zarb, who led the firm during a significant period of investment and growth, with the firm doubling its revenue and investing in one of the broadest multi-disciplinary teams on the island.

Commenting on the appointment, Tonio Zarb stated “I am pleased to see André take over with a solid team backing the next chapter of growth, initiatives and overall leadership, which André will undoubtedly bring to the firm”.

André joined KPMG in 1986 and he took over responsibility for the tax function in Malta in 1993. He was appointed partner in 1994 and was instrumental in driving significant developments within the tax function. For almost three decades he has been advising leading local businesses, international clients, multinationals and private equity firms on various tax matters. André has also regularly advised the public sector on major changes in tax legislation, and has closely contributed into developments which helped establish Malta as a financial centre. In addition, following Malta’s accession to the European Union, he has regularly advised on EU related fiscal matters.

Commenting on his election, André Zarb said “I am excited to take over from Tonio and to continue to build on the strong fundamentals, in particular our talented and committed 500+ team, our solid leadershipgroup, and most importantly our clients and other stakeholders who place their trust in us. We are relentless in our drive to be the most trusted and trust-worthy multi-disciplinary professional services firm.”

Tonio, who has been with the firm since 1979, barring a short three-year stint overseas, became partner in 1989 and led the advisory function before being appointed Senior Partner in 2012. Tonio now looks forward to returning to a client-facing role as a partner within the Advisory Function. In a message to all staff of KPMG in Malta, Tonio Zarb stated “I believe that I’m leaving behind me not only a very strong firm with the potential for a great future ahead of it, but also a very committed and capable management team that will deliver on this promise”.

As André moves into his new leadership role, Anthony Pace has been appointed Head of Tax as from October 2020. Anthony brings three decades of professional services experience, crafted principally within the tax function of the firm where he has led numerous direct and indirect tax advisory engagements in banking and financial services, telecommunications, gaming, real estate and family businesses. He has also led several tax due diligence engagements.

In welcoming him into his new role, André commented “Working over the years with Anthony within the Tax function, I have witnessed first-hand his skills and incisive approach and I am delighted that he has taken over the leadership role. He has a lot to offer to the tax practice and indeed to the wider firm.”

MBB Wins National Enterprise Support Awards 2020

The Malta Business Bureau has won this year’s edition of the National Enterprise Support Awards with its Energy Ecosystem initiative. This annual award is hosted by the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, and seeks to reward entities which support entrepreneurship and enterprise growth. As national winners, the MBB’s initiative has now been shortlisted to compete on a European stage against initiatives from Germany and Portugal, at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) to be held virtually this November, in Berlin.

The MBB Energy Ecosystem is the first comprehensive network of energy stakeholders and businesses of its type in Malta. It promotes direct energy efficiency action by businesses in Malta through promoting technical support for energy projects; the promotion of financial instruments for energy efficiency that address market gaps; the dissemination of local best practices; and policy learning.
The business sectors in Malta have performed well with regards to energy efficiency. Official figures show that by 2019, the industrial and services sectors have increased their Gross Value Added by 8.9%, while their energy consumption only increased by 3%. This shows a decoupling between production and energy consumption, with energy efficiency gains acting as a key contributor.

MBB President De Cesare said, “we are extremely honoured to receive this prestigious award as recognition of the hard work put in by our team, and more importantly – the strong performance by businesses and all stakeholders involved to really make a change. Businesses increasingly understand that energy efficiency is not only an environmental responsibility, but that it also makes business sense. This is becoming even more critical now with the Commission’s EU Green Deal announcement earlier this year, which will place sustainability centre stage for the years to come.”

The Minster for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, Silvio Schembri congratulated the Malta Business Bureau on achieving first place in the National Enterprise Support Award with their innovative project. “I commend Malta Business Bureau for their initiative and even more for making it as EEPA finalists amongst European peers, an achievement which sheds light on Malta’s entrepreneurial mindset.” In his address, Minister Schembri called for more young people who are willing to take the risk and launch entrepreneurial initiatives.

The MBB is privileged to have seen a strong desire to achieve CO2 emission reductions amongst all stakeholders involved in the business community, from policymakers and energy auditors, to technical and managerial staff within businesses. Without this strong commitment, the benefits gained so far could not have materialised. The MBB expressed gratitude to all the parties and business which participated in its Energy Ecosystem.

The MBB believes that this commitment and enthusiasm, coupled with the existing competence, form a good base to help Malta align with ambitious energy efficiency policy and the EU’s 2030 goals. It also forms a strong foundation for Malta to move towards the 2050 goal of carbon neutrality.

So far, the Energy Efficiency Ecosystem has reached around 150 Maltese companies across various industries and will seek to continue expanding this network and offer continuous support where needed.

The Ecosystem is led by the MBB, in collaboration with the Energy and Water Agency. The MBB represents the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association.

For more information, please contact:
Gabriel Cassar
MBB Sustainable Development Executive
+356 21251719

For further information and material on the MBB Energy Ecosystem: