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WELCOME NOTE by CEO It is an absolute pleasure to welcome you all to the second edition of the IFR & Beyond magazine. From a very generic idea in April 2018, through lots of creativity, hard work and assistance from our sponsors, the IFR team has managed to plan and deliver two extremely exciting editions of the IFR Champions Cup. The magazine itself tries to recapture the event in its entirety, starting with a variety of interviews with different participants such as players, sponsor representatives, organisers and wellknown individuals from the three industries. After which it moves on to provide an array of thought leadership pieces pertaining to the iGaming, Fintech and Real Estate spheres, and finally, it provides the reader with the opportunity to relive the most exciting moments of the event.


Apart from delivering an overview of what happened at the IFR Village, the magazine also attempts to deliver up-to-date developments on the three fastest growing industries locally. We trust you all find this edition interesting and we hope that it brings some nice memories of the IFR Champions Cup back to the participants. Yours Sincerely,

Nikola Vasovic

iGAMING FINTECH REAL ESTATE


CONTENTS IFR 2ND EDITION

05

Following the IFR Champions Cup 1st edition’s success, the For A Cause Events team was eagerly anticipating the planning for what indeed was a grander IFR Champions Cup 2019.

OVERVIEW 07 OF THE 3 SECTORS A brief overview of iGaming, Fintech and Real Estate sectors.

iGAMING

FINTECH

REAL ESTATE

OPENING 10 CEREMONY 2019 The IFR Champions Cup 2019 OpeningCeremony was held on st Saturday the 31 of August at Kind’s Showroom and was truly a spectacular evening enjoyed by all!

INTERVIEW 11 WITH HAMZA AFIFI OF SiGMA

Through a commitment to quality and years of successful operations, SiGMA has developed a strong brand, evolving into a global influencer with the ability to facilitate the biggest deals across the iGaming sector.

PROPERTY MARKET 2020

17

As 2019 comes to an end and 2020 begins, there are a lot of questions with what’s happening in the property industry. The past 3 years have been the most buoyant the industry has ever experienced. Written by Steve Mercieca.

GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE

23

A look in to the of future of iGaming, Fintech and Real Estate sectors with Jean-Michel Azzopardi.

PUTTINU 27 CARES FOUNDATION

INTERVIEW 33 WITH THE IFR MVP Interview with Radovan Djuric, Most nd Valuable Player of the 2 edition of the IFR Champions Cup and player of Stronghold Construction Ltd.

ASIA 35 PALKA INTERVIEW Interview with Asia Palka, Recaption Team Lead at Betsson Group.

IFR 2019 37 GROUP AND KNOCKOUT STAGE RESULTS

Interview with Rennie Zerafa, CEO of Puttinu Cares.

RELIVE 31 THE IFR OPENING CEREMONY IFR 2019 WOMEN’S EDITION RESLUTS

41

INTERVIEW 48 WITH BJORN FORMOSA Interview with Bjorn Fromosa, Chairman of the Board at ALS Malta.


LOVE FOR 49 HOUSES OF CHARACTER The fascinating journey into a house of character starts with the warm, mellow colour of the soft limstone, quarried on the islands. An intricately panelled wooden main door once opened , proffers invitation through a spacious hallway that often leads to a central courtyard, offering an abundance of natural internal light...

OZ & JAY 67 INTERVIEW RYAN 68 FARRUGIA INTERVIEW Interview with Ryan Farrugia, Asistant Manager at KPMG Malta.

PIERRE 78 BRINCAT INTERVIEW Interview with Pierre Brincat, Head of the MFA Women’s Football Department.

INTERVIEW 79 WITH CAPTAIN Interview with Nikola Milojevic, Captain of the Stronghold Construction Ltd.

Stronghold Construction (IFR 2019 Winners)

Gourmet Bar&Grill (IFR 2019 Runners Up)

INTERVIEW 58 WITH ROMAN PETRUSCA Interview with Roman Petrusca, SEO Product Specialist at Catena Media.

WE DON’T 59 TALK THE TALK, WE WALK THE WALK! Bernard Micallef Cann of Jugs shares some insight into why managing his team is the best ‘‘marketing’’ investment hands down.

WINNERS PRIZE

65

The IFR Champions Cup 2019 edition Winners have been awarded a trip to Moscow in May 2020 to participate in the Continental Football League (CFL).

PAYMENTS 69 INNOVATION

Mediterranean Insurance Brokers (IFR 2019 Third Placed)

IN MALTA

Are we moving in the right direction? Written by Nikola Vasovic.

JOSEPH G. 75 CUTAJAR INTERVIEW Interview with Joseph G. Cutajar, Managing Director of Mediterranean Insurance Brokers.

IFR FIRST WOMEN’S EDITION

76

For the first time in 2019, the IFR team introduced the IFR Champions Cup Women’s Edition.

ELIZAVETA 80 KUZENKOVA

INTERVIEW Interview with Elizaveta Kuzenkova, International Coordinator of the Continental Football League (CFL).

IFR 2019 84 TOP SCORER INTERVIEW Interview with Jesse Caruana, IFR 2019 Top Scorer and player of Dhalia Real Estate.


IFR

2

nd

EDITION

Following the IFR Champions Cup 1st edition’s success, the For A Cause Events team was eagerly anticipating the planning for what indeed was a grander IFR Champions Cup 2019. This year’s opening ceremony was held on the 31st of August at Kind’s Showroom. With presenters Oz and Jay hosting, we were all in for a night of laughs! Staging and decorations were taken to a whole new level thanks to Jugs. The interventions of the expert speakers were something quite special and the live draw that followed had all teams at the edge of their seats. The open bar, finger food and entertainment provided during the after-party were thoroughly enjoyed by all.

It was truly a night to remember!

All teams had a week’s chance to prepare for their group stage fixtures which had the first kick off taking place at Marsa Sports Grounds on Saturday 7th of September at 10am. This year’s edition saw the introduction of a 5-a-side Women’s Tournament which took place on Sunday 8th September and which was won by Team MT. The knock-out stages also took place on this day. The IFR Village (60m by 20m tent) was filled with company stands, food/drink stands and lots of entertainment where families, spectators and players alike enjoyed themselves throughout the whole weekend. His Excellency President of Malta, George Vella, also toured the tournament grounds and had a kick around too. This year’s edition winners, Stronghold Construction Ltd will be taken to Moscow, Russia, in May, 2020 to take part in the Continental Football Tournament! Who knows what next year’s prize will be?!

The For A Cause Events team also managed to raise €13,000 for Puttinu Cares and ALS Malta and is looking forward to seeing you all at next Summer’s 3rd edition. IFR & Beyond

05


WORLD’S

E iGAMING VILLAG

MANILA 8-9 JUN 2020 SIGMA.PH


OVERVIEW of

iGAMING

the

3

SECTORS

The iGaming industry in Malta has experienced tremendous growth over the last couple of years and is expected to continue growing in 2020. It continues to play a fundamental role locally, by directly generating employment and value-added, attracting foreign investment and human capital too. Most of the major global iGaming companies have established operations on the island showing that Malta has over the years grown to offer the complete gaming ecosystem and as such new initiatives have been taken too, including the development of the new gaming law, which will definitely help in maintaining and strengthening the island’s position as the number one European gaming jurisdiction.

GDP Contribution:

12% (data: 2018 *

Full-time Employment:

Gaming Tax Revenue:

6,673

â‚Ź59.1

(data: 2018 *

(data: 2018 *

jobs created

millions

FINTECH Over the last couple of years, Malta has invested heavily in the financial services industry, providing an optimal operating environment for business, which ensures its placement on the radar of the international finance industry. Innovation is key and Malta continues to build upon its financial ecosystem by embracing change and proactively encouraging acceptance of new technologies such as distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and artificial intelligence (AI). The plan is to have DLT account for 10% of GDP by 2027 and the ultimate aim is for Malta to become a powerhouse for economic innovation. IFR & Beyond

07


Malta is on the right path to establish a regulatory framework for AI which is expected to impact every economic sector locally, transforming current job roles, as well as creating many new ones.

No. of Financial Services Entities:

GVA Contribution:

jobs created

2,300+

11.6%

(data: 2018) *****

(data: 2018) *****

Full-time Employment:

12,000+

(financial services + ancillary services)

(data: 2018) *****

REAL ESTATE The real estate, gaming and fintech industries are currently linked in many ways. The rental market remains vibrant thanks to the other two booming industries mentioned above. Evidently there has been and will be a constant influx of new recruits in the iGaming sector, and even more so in the financial services sector too, causing rapid growth in property deals across the island. Having said that and considering Malta’s plan on becoming a powerhouse for economic and financial innovation, it is evident that this industry has a capacity to continue its positive form.

Full-time Employment:

Real Estate Activity in Malta:

(Construction industry)

(including Construction sector)

â‚Ź526

37,428 jobs created

13.5%

(data: 2018) ****

(data: 2018) ***

(data: 2018) ***

millions

* ** *** **** *****

GVA Contribution:

https://issuu.com/countryprofilermaltaltd/docs/gaming-2019 https://issuu.com/countryprofilermaltaltd/docs/gaming-2019 https://mda.com.mt/pr050419 https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/construction-sector-grew-by-10-per-cent-last-year.703905 https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/financial-services-sector-grows-by-95-per-cent.720847

08 IFR &

Beyond


IFR Opening 2019 Ceremony

The IFR Champions Cup 2019 Opening Ceremony was held on Saturday the 31st of August at Kind’s Showroom and was truly a spectacular evening enjoyed by all! The night, hosted by the well renowned Radio presentsers Oz & Jay kicked off with three expert speakers talking about their industries respectively; former SiGMA CCO Mr. Rick Goddard on behalf of iGaming, Kralanx CEO Jean-Michel Azzopardi on behalf of Fintech and Quicklets & Zanzi Homes Co-Founder and CEO Mr. Steve Mercieca on behalf of Real Esate. Mr. Pierre Brincat, Head of Malta Women’s Football also graced us with a few words following the introduction of the women’s tournament to this year’s edition. With Oz and Jay pulling all sorts of jokes from under their hats, the night progressed to the live draw, which saw local celebrities Ms. Taryn Mamo Cefai and Mr. Rowen Muscat up on stage announcing the company teams. This was then followed by a lovely open bar networking and business development reception where all enjoyed finger food by the delicious Gourmet Bar & Grill and Salumeria! The super Magician Brian Role and a live DJ/Violinist duo that was brought down all the way from Serbia, had all who attended truly entertained!

10 IFR &

Beyond


interview with

Hamza Afifi ( A c c o u n t M a n a g e r a t S i G M A G ro u p )

How has SIGMA developed over this past year and how has it kept on affecting the iGaming sector in Malta? Through a commitment to quality and years of successful operations, SiGMA has developed a strong brand, evolving into a global influencer with the ability to facilitate the biggest deals across the iGaming sector. This global stance is

reinforced by the Group’s expansion to Asia, where SiGMA Group will launch SiGMA Manila in June 2020, as well as being reflected in a strong showing from Asian delegates at the Malta summit this year.

This year’s SIGMA summit was yet again a huge success. What set this year’s edition apart from the rest? SiGMA’19 welcomed over 400 sponsors and exhibitors, 200 industry-leading speakers and a record breaking 15,000 attendees from over 80 countries making this its biggest show yet. SiGMA Group also pulled out all the stops to make this a luxury event, with exclusive travel options - four Hummer limos, two helicopters, and even a hot air balloon! A superstar lineup of speakers took hot-topic conferences to the next level, with luminaries such as Anthony Pompliano and John McAffee calling in for highly anticipated live AMAs, while well-known faces such as Brock Pierce, Jesper Svensson and Calvin Ayre took to the main stage for debates spanning regulation of new markets, Esports, cybercrime, and blockchain for iGaming. Activities during the SiGMA’19 show once again included the popular SiGMA Pitch, providing a space for 100 innovative young start­ups to gain valuable exposure on the expo floor, score exclusive invites to networking events, and reel in potential funding and mentoring from industry veterans. Furthermore, the Malta Gaming Awards returned for another season, celebrating the greatest stories of success across the iGaming industry.

IFR & Beyond

11

In your opinion, how do Blockchain and iGaming interrelate with one another? Does the Real Estate sector come into play too? There is huge crossover between the iGaming and tech sectors - especially with blockchain and AI. This synergy is something we will also be exploring in the 2020 super expo in Manila, which will bring these industries together in one location for AIBC Manila and SiGMA Manila. AI for example, offers a huge potential for streamlining business processes in iGaming, bringing player protection and transparency to the industry. The local property market has gone from strength to strength, which can largely be attributed to the extraordinary growth of the gaming and financial industries, especially due to the expansion of service offerings from existing companies and the relocation of more gaming businesses to our shores.


What are we to expect from any of these sectors in the coming year (Mainly iGaming & Fintech)? I think we can expect to see plenty of innovation, especially as emerging technologies pop up in new markets and move more into the mainstream. We are excited to explore new opportunities and challenges as we take on these verticals from a more global perspective. We’re certainly encouraged to see so many delegates from Asian countries attending SiGMA’19, including Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, Japan and China. This absolutely validates our decision to co-locate our show in Manila in June 2020 and we’re looking forward to building new partnerships between East and West next year.

“SiGMA’19 welcomed over 400 sponsors and exhibitors,

200 industry leading speakers and a record

breaking

15,000 attendees from over 80 countries making this

its biggest

show yet.”

What was your take of this year’s 2nd edition of the IFR Champions Cup? IFR Champions Cup was a great opportunity for me to take a break from my daily routine and meet our clients in a more fun environment. It is clear that these three verticals are seeing huge growth and interest, something which is evident from the surge in the number of participants we are seeing. A huge thanks must go to the organisers for their professionalism. While SiGMA was not lucky during the tournament, being knocked out by the champions gives us that much more motivation to come and support this endeavor next year.

See you at the 3rd edition of the IFR Champions Cup.

12 IFR &

Beyond


The 2019 IFR Village encompassed a larger tent spanning 60m by 20m and which featured an inside/outside lounge and eatery area, company stands, entertainment stands, and food & drink stands.

IFR & Beyond

13


It was a pleasure to have his Excellency President of Malta Dr. George Vella visit and tour the IFR Village and sport grounds. XFM radio host, Trudy, was also present interviewing and engaging the crowd on what was a fully loaded weekend of fun, new friendships and football!

14 IFR &

Beyond


OUR

CHARITY

CONTRIBUTION The charity amount raised at this year’s second edition surpassed last year’s amount of €9,000 with a total of €13,000 being collected. Puttinu Cares & ALS Malta were the charity foundations that once again benefited from this noble cause. The For A Cause Events team looks forward to raising even more next year!

IFR & Beyond

15


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MAGAZINO HALL Renowned for its versatility, Magazino proudly displays its historical features from glorious past. Built in 1727 to store oil for street lamps, it was later incorporated in the island's first power station. Once inside, there is an impressive arched ceiling and the golden limestone glistens with the cast of soft lighting. An adjoining outdoor courtyard nestled among the historic bastions can be used as a breakout area or as a stand-alone venue. Magazino can comfortably accommodate 400 persons. SAGRESTIA VAULT Located directly on the Valletta Waterfront is a hidden treasure unknown to most—the Sagrestia Vault. Annexed to the 17th century vault is a small but beautifully detailed chapel dedicated to the Flight of the Holy Family to Egypt. In combination with Sagrestia Vault, the Chapel can be utilized as a receiving area. It is truly a little gem on the Valletta Waterfront. UNDER THE STARS The possibilities are endless—the open-air venue is an artistic blank canvas with the Grand Harbour as a backdrop on one side and the Valletta Waterfront buildings on the other. The location is breathtaking and lends itself to the typical Mediterranean al fresco lifestyle.

For further details or to view any of the venues, please contact Anna Maria Cardona Schranz or Christian Saliba on: T: +356 2567 3114 E: info@vallettacruiseport.com

www.vallettawaterfront.com


PROPERTY

MARKET

2020

by Steve Mercieca

As 2019 comes to an end and 2020 begins, there are a lot of questions with what’s happening in the property industry. The past 3 years have been the most buoyant the industry has ever experienced. We have seen rentals shoot up year after year and the buy-to-let market explode. Many new developers have entered the market and many foreign investors have come to our shores. Malta was experiencing a huge lack of supply in the rental market which is the main factor behind prices increasing so rapidly. The government has tried to act as fast as possible and has, just as the new year came upon us, introduced the new Rent Reform Act which is directed at protecting the lessors and lessees in a more organized and efficient manner. This act immediately requires rental agreements to be registered online through the Housing Authority’s website. The Housing Authority’s department has created a unit of 35 people to service this part of the market. This reform is aimed at intensifying longer lease agreements to offer more stability to tenants, with a tax refund for landlords. As developers were building properties sold on plan during the boom, these have now come on the rental market and we are seeing more modern and new units available for rent. This has started to create various discussions about rental units fetching less than before and questions arising such as: ‘Is the property market crashing?’ IFR & Beyond

17

Is the

property

market crashing?

This is a question I get asked often. At QLZH, we are a young company which has been in operation for six years. We sort of came out of nowhere and joined the big players pretty quickly. This was not just because of the boom but also because of the great people and culture the group has built. Our group processes thousands of rentals per year and lists over 10,000 properties every year. By looking at all the data from our transactions and of course the listings we add daily to our database we have a theory on the million dollar question.


First, we have to take a step back and look at why the rental market went up and why there is so much demand. It has a lot to do with what we always read, foreign companies opening up here because of Malta’s weather, democratic government, member of the European union and above all, our attractive tax set up. Those are definitely the main factors, however I also believe it boils down to Ryanair, Airbnb, Social Media and the infamous Hashtag. This new online popularity of Malta has year after year given us a record of tourists visiting our little island. This has boosted businesses and, in turn, given everyone with liquid assets a place to invest; the short-let industry.

Some might say shouldn’t this have happened when we entered the EU in 2004? Or when we changed to EURO currency in 2008? Well yes, but not exactly. The world was just entering a recession. Fast forward to when things started to stabilise in 2010. This is the same year Ryanair based their first plane here in Malta. One became two in May 2012 and a new one each year till the five it had in March 2018. All of a sudden #Malta became more accessible, and at a very low cost. The hidden Jem of the Mediterranean, became the cheap summer holiday for millions of people, 2.6 million in 2018 to be exact. Airbnb has over 9000 listings on their website for Malta, most of these were recently purchased and buy-to-let investments. This is only one site, there are many others. Another thing contributing to the boom is that the Maltese have always had the mentality to invest in stone. Another factor contributing to the increase in demand came with the common trend of couples purchasing a property each instead of jointly, this is. Whereas before a couple would get married and buy a place together, today we are seeing more

of a trend were people purchase their own property, live in one and rent out the other. The last contributor which is worth more than a mention is the expat community. Many of the people coming to work in Malta fall in love with the climate and the island’s vibe. With a smile on my face, I am proud to say that many of the properties we sell to are to expats and I love it! I really enjoy dealing with people from different cultures and different corners of the earth.

18 IFR &

Beyond


Now let’s move onto the million dollar question; Is the property market slowly crashing? A bold and a broad question. When we talk about property, we have to classify what type of property we are talking about. The luxury market did not increase much in price during the boom, it did though increase in supply and this is why it didn’t increase in price. Many large villa plots started to be divided into 2 and sometimes 4. We also saw a double down on penthouses since the building height increased, so all the seafront penthouses renting for 4K now became apartments on a high floor with a great finish and still got 4K, sometimes even 5K for the newer penthouses built on top of them. We are seeing some of these properties remain vacant for longer times, but not because the demand decreased, but the supply doubled. Companies are still coming and growing here in Malta, so the demand is still increasing slowly, but not fast enough to fill all the properties that have finished completion in 2019.

“ The quality

of buildings needs to move more and more into the sustainable segment in order to respect the island and the industry.

Moving onto the middle market, which supplies a large amount of our foreign workforce with housing, this is where some people are saying that it slowed down. What is actually happening is that some of the properties purchased in older built apartment blocks received a facelift and were finished with low quality furniture. Due to the lack of supply, these were getting prices above their actual market value. Today newer buildings are coming into the market which are fetching the correct price; The same price as the third floor low investment apartments with no lift, just this time with a new build, common parts and of better quality. Hence, people are seeing prices of these overpriced properties coming down and is resulting in them believing that the market has slowed down. For now, this is not the case. We are still renting more in the past weeks when compared to the numbers we rented in the same weeks last year. Our overall website traffic has remained stable for the last 2 years and our sales volumes dipped slightly because the excitement of the boom is over and less people are looking to purchase on plan properties. Today as agents, we have to work harder to find the right property for our clients and if on plan, we have to negotiate more flexible terms with our developers. The quality of buildings needs to move more and more into the sustainable segment in order to respect the island and the industry. We need to work together with the Planning Authority, developers and architects to further improve the policies and improve the property industry holistically and as quickly as possible.

IFR & Beyond

19


Welcome to

A FINE DINING EXPIRIENCE

Situated in an old town house in St Julian’s, Peperoncino has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The food is a blend of Maltese, Sicilian and Italian with other international flavours merged, resulting in combinations both varied and interesting.

Make your reservation +356 21 388 872 8, Triq il-Bajja Balluta Bay, St.Julians

www.peperoncino.com.mt


SPONSOR PICTURE COLLAGE

ACTION AT

IFR

QuickLets & Zanzi Homes

IFR & Beyond

21


Republic Street & Zachary Street – Valletta Tower Road – Sliema Dun Karm Street – Iklin Centerparc - Qormi

A De Paule Square - Paola


by Jean-Michel Azzopardi

GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE OF

FINTECH iGAMING AND

REAL ESTATE

With companies like Alipay and Wechatpay boasting a user base of over 1 billion each, it’s clear that fintech is here to stay. This is due to the painfully slow pace of change exhibited by traditional financial institutions, as well as little push from Moore’s law. AI has been another huge factor in the rise of fintech. It’s enabled tech start-ups which operate outside of the traditional banking sphere, to optimize and automate processes that drive profits and create a better user experience.

Blockchain has been touted as the solution to all problems. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In my experience, about 10% of use cases out there are actually valid and can be improved through the use of a blockchain. Blockchain is actually a really inefficient method of storing & transferring data when compared to a centralized database. That being said, if we were to exclusively use a fork to consume 100% of our meals, then soup would be removed from every menu around the world. Blockchain and DLT’s (private blockchains) have incredible potential to change our lives in the same way as AI, it’s just not as apparent. In order to understand why DLT’s offer such unique value propositions we need to first understand the benefits. The first is simply the way in which data is stored; data is layered, replicated in multiple instances on chain and immutable. This allows for trust to be built in scenarios where trust doesn’t necessarily exist. The input of that trust factor allows for business models to exist which otherwise wouldn’t. Secondly, I’d say this is arguably more important; is the digital signature facility. Think about the number of times you had to physically present yourself in order to execute a transaction, say to sign a new contract or onboard a new service. Shouldn’t this all be done remotely in 2020? The short answer is yes it can. Digital signatures are nothing new, however they are traditionally, cumbersome and difficult to implement. Blockchain technology allows for digital signatures to be used in a smooth and seamless way, which opens a whole new world of possibilities. The issue with DLT’s is not the technology itself, it’s the adoption rate and the number and types of parties that require consensus in order to create a valid product and solution. Let’s assume for simplicities sake that adoption is a non-issue. What would the world really look like?

IFR & Beyond

23

“Blockchain and DLT’s have incredible potential to change our lives in the same way as AI, it’s just not as apparent.” Real Estate: We’re already seeing rental agreements being stored on-chain from January 2020 in Malta. In the future, through the use of blockchain tech, we will be allowed to legally sign lease agreements from the comfort of wherever we are at the time. Blockchain will create transparency in the sector, with landlords giving better prices and contract terms to well rated tenants and tenants factoring in the rating of their landlord when making decisions about which property to choose. There will be less foul play on both sides of the fence, because each party would be actively conscious about the repercussions of their actions.


Fintech: This is the space in which the objectives of blockchain are much clearer due to the rise in cryptocurrency. Crypto aside though, let’s focus on other potential models which could make sense. Users could buy and sell shares in primary and secondary markets. Users could apply for loans and other financial products online with instant feedback based on the risk score tied to their digital identity. Individuals can be given preferential rates and certain packages will be available only to customers who hold a certain standing.

“How can we use technology to build trust when it’s difficult to trust the technology?” The key is the digital identity factor which is brought about through digital signing which DLT allows for. By leveraging this, individuals can be judged on their own merit, rather than being judged as a consumer group. If I am a loyal customer to Nike and I consistently purchase Nike shoes, shouldn’t I get a better price on my next purchase? Nike have no way of measuring customer loyalty, but blockchain will make this a reality. The security of these projects is inherently important as even though blockchains are technically extremely secure (though can still be hacked), the applications stacked on top of it definitely are not. Smart contracts for example, which put simply are just lines of code stored on a blockchain, have their own vulnerabilities and can be manipulated to produce undesired results. How can we use technology to build trust when it’s difficult to trust the technology?

iGaming: Blockchain has slowly found its way into the gaming sector via RNG. Using blockchain, operators can now have a fully transparent way to develop and maintain their RNG which means less regulatory pressure as well as a new USP for operators to display to their customers. Only using a blockchain can operators justify that their RNG has never been changed, both to regulators as well as their players. In the future, a collective blockchain ID could allow for players to own their data and seamlessly port it from one operator to another, allowing operators to cross advertise their brands as well as limit risk on the GDPR, KYC and AML front while creating a better use experience for the customer.

Jean-Michel is an entrepreneur and technologist that has worked with IBM, SAP and Acunetix and has negotiated cyber security deals with companies and governments across Asia including Apple, Huawei and some of the largest fortune companies around the world. Having been involved in a number of start-ups, he prides himself in striking a balance between corporate standards and SME efficiency.

It’s only when security is taken seriously that both users and corporates can truly begin to trust this technology and will really begin to leverage its true power.

24 IFR &

Beyond


SPONSOR PICTURE COLLAGE

ACTION AT

IFR Betsson Group

IFR & Beyond

25


PUTTINU CARES

FOUNDATION INTERVIEW WITH CEO OF PUTTINU CARES MR. RENNIE ZERAFA

What is Puttinu Cares and how has this foundation contributed to the Maltese population over the years? Puttinu Cares, the children’s cancer support group, was set up 12 years ago soon after the opening of a specialised Pediatric Oncology Unit in Hospital, now known as Rainbow Ward. The support group offers guidance for the patient and relatives, helps them deal with the ordeal ahead and gives them hope for a brighter future. The team gets to know the families and aims to treat each family with individual needs. 60-90 patients travel to UK every month. Puttinu offers help when patients and their families need to go abroad to pursue any kind of further treatment in UK. Puttinu offers accommodation for the patient and the accompanying family free of charge. Our support has now extended to include adult patients. This alleviates a huge burden, since when a patient gets sick, the family doesn’t have to shoulder the expense of accommodation to be able to stay with their loved one in hospital and care for them in between stays. IFR & Beyond

27


Are there any projects (Short and Long Term) currently underway? Since 2008 we have started slowly purchasing apartments and today, we own 19 apartments in Sutton. The support group has however been receiving requests for help from people suffering from various ailments, and not just from Cancer. We realised that in order to be able to help all these people with accommodation we require more than just the 18 apartments in Sutton. In fact, since last December 2014 we started renting another seven apartments near the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton. This means that 25 apartments are available to hundreds of families in their time of need. Puttinu Cares has a dream that there will come a day when no patient and his family undergoing treatment abroad will have to pay for accommodation. We are on our way to making this dream come true. Right now, we are in the process of looking for a piece of land near the centre of London since most of the patients go to Great Ormond, National and Moorefields

Hospitals which lie in Zone 1. We are calculating that to solve 80% of the problem of accommodation for the Maltese population we need around 30 to 40 studio apartments in all. This project is being estimated to cost between 20 to 30 million sterling.

What are your thoughts on the IFR Champions Cup and how has it contributed to the foundations cause? IFR Champions Cup is an excellent event that supports Puttinu Cares. The organisers believe in Puttinu Cares projects and that one day we will have the accommodation in the centre of London.

The IFR Champions Cup for the second year gave us a nice donation which will help alleviate all the expenses.

www.puttinucares.org

28 IFR &

Beyond


RELIVETHEOpening IFR

Ceremony

st

31 August 2019 | Kind’s Showroom, Lija, Malta

IFR & Beyond

31


32 IFR &

Beyond


Radovan

DJURIC

(MVP of the 2nd edition of the IFR Champions Cup and player of Stronghold Construction Ltd) Congratulations on winning the MVP award. It was a great tournament for the team. What do you think was the key to this success? Thank you for the kind words. First of all, this team has quite a good CV locally with respect to the extremely positive ratio between tournaments played and tournaments won. In the last two years from when the team was created, it had won over 20 trophies locally and thereby this is not something new for us. Joking apart, this team’s key to success is the team spirit and of course the technical football ability and experience of particular players. We had seen you at last year’s edition too, however in a completely different role – not as a player but as a referee? Did you see any development from one year to the next? Yes, last year I was one of the referees of the tournament and it was very interesting to watch over the competition from that perspective. Regarding the actual organisation of the tournament, I must admit that it was extremely well organised considering it was the first edition last year. This year I would like to compliment the organisers even more as the tournament was taken to an even higher level. From my perspective, I felt like there was much more interest for the tournament, more competitive teams and players. The winning prize was also much more attractive this year. By winning the IFR Champions Cup, the team will now represent Malta at the Continental Football League in Moscow. What do you think of your chances and can you potentially lift the trophy there too? The whole team is proud and honoured to have won the second edition of the IFR Champions Cup. We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to play in such a big tournament abroad and at the same time represent Malta. In my opinion this is the biggest achievement of the team since inception. At the same time, I would like to say thank you to our main sponsor, Stronghold Construction. This team plays in many different tournaments in Malta under the name ‘Orthodox Wizards’. With respect to the tournament in Moscow, we are already meeting up several times during the month in order to improve our team synergy. Our goals for this tournament are quite high and I am sure that all the players will give their all to represent Malta and Serbia in the best way possible. What was your favourite moment of the tournament this year? Of course, my favourite moment of the tournament was the closing ceremony and the surprise of being announced as the MVP of the IFR Champions Cup. What is your message to the organisers of the IFR Champions Cup? What improvements in your opinion can be made in the next edition? I cannot really add much. Everything was functioning perfectly, and it was lots of fun. The only thing I would suggest on improving is the quality of the pitch which I am sure the organisers are already thinking about.

IFR & Beyond

33


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34 IFR &

Beyond


AS A

Interview with

PALK A (Reception Team Lead at Betsson Group)

How did you enjoy the second edition of the IFR Champions Cup? What did you like the most? What surprised me about the IFR Champions Cup is that apart from being a sports competition, it was also a great family event, very vivid with lots of attractions for all ages. I did enjoy the set up with lots of leisure games, chillout areas as well as food and drinks stations. Apart from sports activities for adults, there were activities organized for kids, which was great. In fact, Betsson Group decided to organize a special family day during one of the days, where all Betsson Group employees were invited with their kids and spouses. As one of the main sponsors of the event, Betsson Group had a private area at the event, how did that turn out? Did the Betsson employees enjoy the day?

Betsson Group had a relatively strong squad this year. Do you think that next year will be their year for lifting the prestigious trophy?

We had a private area where we set up an exlcusive fun zone for Betsson Group. We hosted over 200 kids and adults. We had a day full of fun and attractions. Young ones could enjoy games, magic show and a bouncy castle whereas adults were mingling and enjoying fresh food from the BBQ station. It was an enjoyable Saturday, indeed.

In your opinion, what are the main benefits of sponsoring such events? We believe in such events as they promote sport and competition amongst professionals from different industries. It’s the sort of event that brings professional people together for a fun competition and it also allows ample opportunity for networking.

Our players were very engaged and did not give up easily. It would be great to see Betsson Group squad lifting the trophy this year. It would be certainly well deserved but will they win? Good question to the captain of the team, Mark Briffa. ‘Well, given the fact that we have started training and preparing the team from now, I would say we have a far better chance’, says Mark. ‘Both years Betsson lost to the same team, which is a squad who play regularly together and therefore know each other better. This was the only advantage they had on us. Our aim is to work from now till the next IFR to build and strengthen our team, this way the only factor for any team to beat us is luck!’ Briffa states confidently.

Mark Briffa (Team Captain)

IFR & Beyond

35

www.betssongroup.com


IFR Champions Cup 2019 Group Stage Results

GROUP A 1.

GROUP B

Team Name

P

W

D

L

F

A

The Stars Group

4

2

2

0

10

4

GD PTS

P

Team Name

W

D

L

F

A

GD PTS

6

8

1.

Levski Sofra

4

3

1

0

17

4

13

10

RE/MAX Malta

4

3

1

0

6

1

5

10

4

2

1

1

19

4

15

7

2.

3. Apex Fund Services

4

2

1

1

17

9

8

6

3.

Omega Systems

4

1

1

2

6

7

-1

4

4.

MFSA

4

2

0

2

12

8

4

6

4.

Catena Media

4

1

0

3

2

4

-2

3

5.

Omarsys

4

0

0

4

1

34 -33

0

5.

Casino Malta

4

0

1

3

1

16

-15

1

GD PTS

2.

Dhalia Real Estate

Apex Fund Services

2

2

MFSA

0

2

Levski Sofra

1

0

Catena Media

Dhalia Real Estate

Omega Systems

1

1

Casino Malta

Omarsys

RE/MAX Malta

1

1

Levski Sofra

MFSA

Omega Systems

2

1

Catena Media

Dhalia Real Estate

Casino Malta

0 11

Levski Sofra

0

1

Catena Media Omega Systems

The Stars Group

4 0

The Stars Group

2

Apex Fund Services

5

0 14

Omarsys MFSA

1

3

The Stars Group

Casino Malta

Dhalia Real Estate

2

3

Apex Fund Services

RE/MAX Malta

1

0

Dhalia Real Estate

1

1

The Stars Group

RE/MAX Malta

3

0

Casino Malta

Omarsys

1

6

MFSA

Levski Sofra

4

3

Omega Systems

Omarsys

0 10

Apex Fund Services

Catena Media

0

1

RE/MAX Malta

GROUP D

GROUP C Team Name

Team Name

P

W

D

L

F

A

12

1.

EY Malta

4

3

1

0

11

5

6

10

7

9

2.

Cavalieri Art Hotel

4

3

1

0

7

1

6

10

-5

3

3.

Mr. Green

4

2

0

2

8

3

5

6

4

0

1

3

3

11

-8

1

4

0

1

3

4

13

-9

1

W

D

L

F

A

GD PTS

4

4

0

0

14

0

14

KPMG Malta

4

3

0

1

11

4

Genesis Global

4

1

0

3

4

9

1.

Mediterranean Insurance Brokers (MIB)

2. 3.

P

4.

Nexia BT

4

1

0

3

3

9

-6

3

4.

QuickLets & Zanzi Homes

5.

Ben Estates

4

1

0

3

3

13 -10

3

5.

TeamMT

MIB

3

0

Genesis Global

KPMG Malta

5

0

Ben Estates

Nexia BT

0

5

MIB

KPMG Malta

3

1

Genesis Global Limited

1

1

EY Malta

Mr. Green

0

1

Cavalieri Art Hotel

EY Malta

2

1

Mr. Green

Cavalieri Art Hotel

2

0

TeamMT

Cavalieri Art Hotel

3

0

2

4

EY Malta

Cavalieri Art Hotel

Ben Estates

0

3

MIB

Ben Estates

3

2

Genesis Global Limited

Nexia BT

0

3

KPMG Malta

QuickLets & Zanzi Homes

2

2

TeamMT

Nexia BT

3

0

Ben Estates

QuickLets & Zanzi Homes

0

2

Mr. Green

MIB

3

0

KPMG Malta

EY Malta

4

1

Genesis Global Limited

1

0

Nexia BT

TeamMT

0

5

IFR & Beyond

37

TeamMT

QuickLets & Zanzi Homes

QuickLets & Zanzi Homes Mr. Green


IFR Champions Cup 2019 Group Stage Results

GROUP F

GROUP E P

Team Name

1.

W

D

L

F

A

GD PTS

Team Name

P

W

Stronghold Construction

3

3

0

0

11

0

11

9

1.

Gourmet Bar & Grill

3

2

1

12

3

9

SiGMA

3

1

D

L

F

A

GD PTS

1

0

12

0

12

2

0

4

1

3

5

7

2.

Betsson Group

3

2

0

6

2.

3.

Frank Salt

3

1

0

2

3

5

-2

3

3.

Acquiring.com

3

1

1

1

3

5

-2

4

4.

NetRefer

3

0

0

3

1

19 -18

0

4.

Dragonara Casino

3

0

0

3

0

13

-13

0

F

A

GD PTS

0

Frank Salt

3

Stronghold Construction

Gourmet Bar & Grill

10 1

4 0

Acquiring.com

NetRefer

Dragonara Casino

0

3

SiGMA

NetRefer

0

2

Frank Salt

SiGMA

1

1

Acquiring.com

Stronghold Construction

1

0

Betsson Group

Gourmet Bar & Grill

Stronghold Construction

7

0

NetRefer

Acquiring.com

2

0

Dragonara Casino

Frank Salt

1

2

Betsson Group

Gourmet Bar & Grill

3

0

Dragonara Casino

Betsson Group

GROUP G

SiGMA

GROUP H

P

Team Name

0 0

W

D

L

F

A

GD PTS

P

Team Name

W

D

L

9

1.

bet365

3

3

0

0

4

1

3

9

4

2.

MDA

3

2

0

1

10

3

7

6

-2

3

3.

PwC Malta

3

1

0

2

4

4

0

3

-3

1

4.

STMicroelectronics

3

0

0

3

1

11

-10

0

1.

Enteractive Malta

3

3

0

0

9

3

6

2.

Calamatta Cuschieri

3

1

1

1

4

5

-1

3.

Kindred Group

3

1

0

2

6

8

4.

Grant Thornton Malta

3

0

1

2

3

6

Enteractive Malta

4

2

Kindred Group

STMicroelectronics

0

1

bet365

Calamatta Cuschieri

1

1

Grant Thornton Malta

PwC Malta

1

2

MDA

Kindred Group

4

2

Grant Thornton Malta

bet365

1

0

PwC Malta

Enteractive Malta

4

1

Calamatta Cuschieri

MDA

Calamatta Cuschieri

2

0

Kindred Group

STMicroelectronics

1

3

PwC Malta

Grant Thornton Malta

0

1

Enteractive Malta

MDA

1

2

bet365

7 0

STMicroelectronics

IFR CHAMPIONS CUP 2020

TROPHY

38 IFR &

Beyond


IFR & Beyond

39

IFR CHAMPIONS CUP

The Stars Group

1

RE/MAX Malta

3

RE/MAX Malta

0

MIB

2

MIB

1

Cavalieri Art Hotel

0

MIB

0

Stronghold Construction

2

Stronghold Construction

2

SiGMA

1

Stronghold Construction

5

Enteractive Malta

1

Enteractive Malta

2

MDA

0

Stronghold Construction

2


ROAD TO

0

FINAL

1

Levski Sofra

1

Levski Sofra

0

Dhalia Real Estate

0

KPMG Malta

0

EY Malta

0

Levski Sofra

3

KPMG Malta

5

Gourmet Bar & Grill

2

Gourmet Bar & Grill

3

Gourmet Bar & Grill

1

Betsson Group

0

bet365

2

bet365

0

Calamatta Cuschieri

Gourmet Bar & Grill Third Place Playoff MIB

3

0

Levski Sofra

40IFR &

Beyond


IFR Champions Cup 2019 Women Edition Group & Knockout Stage Results

GROUP A

GROUP B

Team Name

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD PTS

1.

bet365

2

2

0

0

7

0

7

6

2.

KPMG Malta

2

1

0

1

3

4

-1

2

0

0

2

0

6

-6

3. Cavalieri Art Hotel

Team Name

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD PTS

1.

TeamMT

2

2

0

0

15

0

15

6

3

2.

PwC Malta

2

1

0

1

5

5

0

3

0

3.

RE/MAX Malta

2

0

0

2

0

15 -15

bet365

3 0

Cavalieri Art Hotel

PwC Malta

5 0

RE/MAX Malta

Cavalieri Art Hotel

0 3

KPMG Malta

RE/MAX Malta

0 10

TeamMT

bet365

4 0

KPMG Malta

PwC Malta

0 5

TeamMT

bet365

2

0

KPMG Malta

PwC Malta

1

5

TeamMT

bet365

1

3

TeamMT

Third Place Playoff KPMG Malta

IFR & Beyond

41

2

0

PwC Malta

0


STRONGHOLD CONSTRUCTION IFR CHAMPIONS CUP 2019 WINNERS


GOURMET BAR & GRILL IFR CHAMPIONS CUP 2019 RUNNERS UP


Triq Dun Karm (Birkirkara Bypass), Iklin | Psaila Street, Birkirkara


I n te r v i ew w i t h

BJORN FORMOSA A L S M a l t a h a s n ow b e e n a r o u n d f o r m o re t h a n 4 yea r s . C a n yo u te l l u s m o r e a b o u t t h e o rg a n i s a t i o n , i t s p r o j e c t s a n d t h e p e o p l e i n vo l ve d b e h i n d i t?

Time has really flown away. We started by raising some awareness about ALS. Today we cater for thousands of neurological patients around Malta. We opened a residential home for intensive care patients, and we are building a newer and bigger one! We a t I F R a re p r o u d to h ave c o n t r i b u te d p a r t o f t h e p ro c e e d s o f o u r eve n t to A L S M a l t a . H ow d o yo u f e e l a b o u t s u c h eve n t s a n d w h a t i s yo u r t a ke o n t h e c o n c e p t o f t h e I F R C h a m p i o n s Cu p?

It is a very interesting concept that targets an emerging sector of society and the local economy. These events empower local firms and their employees to continue helping others in need.

We we re l u c ky to h ave h a d t h e c h a n c e to g re e t yo u a t o u r O p e n i n g Ce re m o ny h e l d a t t h e Ki n d ’s ( M e rc e d e s ) S h ow ro o m i n L i j a . W h a t a re yo u r thoughts on this specif ic pillar of our ove r a l l c o n c e p t?

It was a very cordial way to meet up with the participants. A special thanks to all those involved, and we had lots of fun witnessing the thrill of the live draws! W h a t ’s n ex t f o r A L S M a l t a a f te r s u c c e s s f u l l y c o m p l e t i n g t h e N ewe r & B i g g e r D a r B j o r n p ro j e c t?

The Newer & Bigger DAR Bjorn is still in its construction phase. We still need to raise funds to finish it and we also have a couple of ideas in the pipeline. Stay Tuned!

48 IFR &

Beyond


Quicklets and Zanzi Homes launched their 10th office on Imdina Road in Attard back in May 2017 and is today one of the company’s top branches! Brothers Matthew and Luke Curmi together with childhood friend Andrew Micallef Trigona and legend Yiannis Paraskevas, run a state-ofthe-art office which was designed by them from scratch, including the building of tables out of planks, graffiti work incorporating the company’s vision and more. The above, together with the recycling procedures and great awareness for the environment, has also landed the #AttardFam the award for the most sutainable eco-friendly branch. The’ve also scooped up the company’s Social Heart Award for 2018! The boy’s strong apetitie for success, and with company CEO Steve Mercieca’s positive vibe and energy, which permeates through the whole company, there is no holding these gentlemen back!

LOVE for HOUSES of CHARACTER These houses are normally, but not exclusively, found in village cores, often set in picturesque alleyways and narrow winding roads, elements which further add to their allure.

by Andrew Micallef Trigona

define who we are, and where we have come from. A veritable cornucopia of differing styles. Whoever said variety wasn’t the spice of life!

Luke, who takes care of the branch’s sales department, and Andrew, who If it is true that we are what we eat, it can runs the letting department, both share also be said that other major ingredients a passion for Maltese architecture and, of our Mediterranean diet are the places we live in which are the pride and joy of understandably, Maltese houses of Maltese and Gozitans alike. Dwelling places character are to be counted among their that reflect an architecture that in many favourite types of property. cases is quite unique and which helps IFR & Beyond

49


The fascinating journey into a house of character starts with the warm, mellow colour of the soft limstone, quarried on the islands. An intricately panelled wooden main door once opened , proffers invitation through a spacious hallway that often leads to a central courtyard, offering an abundance of natural internal light. This architectual feature then whets the appetite for what is easily the heart and soul of a Maltese and Gozitan home, the kitchen, which often times overlooks a sizeable back yard or better still, a well-nurtured garden, which, size permitting, can accommodate a pool and deck area. A well that collects water running off roof tops ensures a plentiful supply of ‘extra’ water and high back yard/garden walls offer a more than adequate level of privacy. The living, sitting and dining rooms further compliment the ground floor. A radial staircase, yet another commonly found architectural feature, leads to the bedrooms on the first floor, usually three in number, and possibly more, complimented by bathrooms/showers ensuite, especially if a tasteful renovation has taken place or is being considered. A further architectural feature at first floor level is a traditional wooden balcony, normally matching the panelling as the main door. Thickness of habitation/dividing walls ensure consolidation of warmth in the short Maltese winter months and together with Internal yards and back yards/gardens help make the longer summer months that much more bearable. Older houses of character are usually further complimented by structures such as mill rooms and stables, especially in the older tradition-laden villages, cellars, and, on occasion, barrel vault ceilings, together with patterned tiles that make for that quite tangible rustic feeling and skylights further brightening up an already illuminating experience. This type of property is becoming ever more popular and given the growing demand, supply may not always be so abundant. A house of character has always offered that certain je ne sais quoi. Owning one is a quite exciting and unique experience. Interested in taking up residence in such a welcoming environment or possibly in the purchase of one as a rental investment, offering a steady year-round income?

Get in touch! Location: Quicklets & Zanzi Homes, 35 Imdina Road, Attard Contact Numbers: Andrew +356 99262183 | Luke +356 99297437 E-mail: a.micalleftrigona@quicklets.com.mt | lukec@zanzihomes.com Website: www.quicklets.com.mt | www.zanzihomes.com

50 IFR &

Beyond


Our story started in Sweden in 1963. Over the years we have grown and expanded into new markets and in 2004 we opened our HQ in Malta. During the past 16 years we have built a strong brand and are now the employer of choice within the iGaming industry. Thank you to employees past, present and future. And to our partners, suppliers and all our friends. Here’s to the next 16 years.

20+

BRANDS

30%

INTERNAL HIRING RATE

10

OFFICES WORLDWIDE

3,280

APPLICATIONS PER MONTH

60+

NATIONALITIES

7

(LOCAL) CSR COMMITTEES

WHAT DO OUR BETSSONITES SAY

87%

ARE PROUD TO WORK WITH US

86%

RECOMMEND US AS AN EMPLOYER

89%

BELIEVE THAT WE ARE A RESPONSIBLE OPERATOR


WE CARE ABOUT YOU

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WE ARE PROUD OF OUR

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/BetssonGroup /company/Betsson-Group /betsson_group/ /BetssonGroup

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IFR & Beyond

57


Interview with

Mr. Roman Petrusca (SEO Product Specialist at Catena Media) What are your thoughts regarding the IFR Champions Cup?

The IFR Champions Cup was a well organised, challenging football competition. The number of teams, companies and players present, but also the quality of the games made it a really thrilling competition for us. We are looking forward to participating next year as well. This year was the first appearance of the Catena Media football team at the IFR Champions Cup? How do you rate the team’s performance?

Given the fact that it was our first year, and the fact that we had a brand-new team composition, I would say we played quite well. With a bit more luck next time, we will surely be able to take the trophy home. We are, however, very pleased with our performance and will look into how we can improve for next year through playing more matches and training with the same players. Since Catena Media was also one of the main sponsors of the IFR, were there any internal discussions and specific preparations internally for the event? Were you satisfied with the outcome?

We prepared for this cup as for any other competition. We proudly represent a company that is always involved in these kinds of charity events. Will we be seeing Catena Media at the third edition next year?

Definitely. This time, at least on the podium as well.

58 IFR &

Beyond


We don’t talk the talk,

we walk the walk!

Bernard Micallef Cann shares some insight into why managing his team is the best ‘marketing’ investment hands down! I think we can all agree that today having the right people is top on every company’s agenda. They are the heart and soul of the company and the force that breathes the life into your brand. And that couldn’t be truer than with JUGS! People say that when they walk in the door they can feel the buzz, when working with our team on an event or team building activity our clients are impressed with the professional approach of our team members, but actually love working with them. Yes, super proud!

JUGS is one of the best events companies we have ever worked with. Their talent is exceptional! Their ideas and recommendations are great! Their staff is extremely professional and friendly!  It really makes a difference to work with people who know what they are doing and are willing to do what it takes to make it happen. We will definitely be working with JUGS again.

Ania, Trustly

IFR & Beyond

59


We are lucky that today our name precedes us and this upbeat reputation we have earned is all down to our team. Over 95% of the team is client facing, in addition we adopt a super, super flat structure. We all pull the same rope, we each roll up our sleeves to get the job done, there is absolutely no hierarchy when out on a job. Well you could argue that creating and realising super events and teambuilding to reward and motivate teams is our bread and butter so it should come easy to us. I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it’s something we firmly believe in. So, we don’t just talk the talk, we absolutely walk the walk!

How do we keep our team motivated & creative juices flowing? How do we keep our foot on the pedal without burning out and without developing resentment? How do we find the time to get the team together between corporate events, teambuilding and evening events that take us into the early hours of the morning? You could argue that creating and realising super events and teambuilding is our bread and butter so it should come easy to us. I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it’s something we firmly believe in; we don’t just talk the talk, we absolutely walk the walk! JUGS has grown exponentially over the last few years. Our stores are bursting with props and the latest in AV equipment and only a few years after moving into our new premises at the HUB in Marsa, space is getting tight, very tight! From the outside we might look like a small team, almost family like, having lots of fun… whilst the last two descriptors are right, we are now a team of 25 supported by an additional 60-70 part-timers. As for my part, there’s a board of directors I need to report to, complete with Chairman and consultants, KPIs, the works… yep big boy stuff! JUGS has grown up! If I had to describe my role into two phrases it would be employee engagement and retention. That is the only way I can achieve results and sustain our year on year growth.

60 IFR &

Beyond


With JUGS as your event organizer, you know that the team is in for a great time! They are creative, professional and most importantly they give you peace of mind, because they are fantastic at transforming a client’s request into a brilliant, well managed event.

Marie, Hero Gaming

Here’s a stat you should definitely know; 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as the main reason for leaving, according to global studies. We know that what drives people in the long run is more about self-fulfilment and the emotional connection with the company. This is key to a driven team and staff retention. We’ve seen a knock-on effect from this work both internally as well as with our clients. By focusing on our employees and getting them to be more engaged and empowered we have experienced first-hand results from: improved performance to a healthy, happier and better functioning office environment improved loyalty and staff retention and a high-performance team that fronts the company The latter being the most important and the most representative of our brand, which in turn gives us the confidence to wow our clients again and again, the ability to deal with issues and solve problems professionally, and essentially a team who demonstrate that they clearly love what they do.

IFR & Beyond

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When it comes to life at JUGS, it is anything but routine. We offer an array of services from brand launches, conferences, shows and theme nights to team building events and entertainment; this means the team work around the clock and on gear ‘over drive’. We’re also a young team, and with the exception of a few of us ‘Generation Xers’, Millennials really do bring a different game to the table. A Millennial needs autonomy and accountability, ownership is critical for them to thrive. They are incredibly creative, more confident than we were, ambitious, and achievement-oriented. They also have high expectations of their employers and tend to seek new challenges at work, and aren’t afraid to question authority. They need flexibility and let’s say need some more attention or work to retain their loyalty.


We continually strive to create a place that feels more like a community than a workplace, a space that is conducive to work and to producing results. I suppose we are so good at what we do because we are passionate about it, and our employee engagement and strong team dynamics is proof of the pudding! We wanted to ask some members of team for their take on all of this and here is what they had to say about life at JUGS:

I love my job because it allows me to make people happy and I get to see them with the biggest smiles on their face. This gives me a lot of satisfaction. Thomas, Team Building Coordinator

JUGS looked at my skillset, my values, and what I could bring to the team; making me feel valued both as an individual and part of a team.

What was to be a short internship, turned out to be me leaving my home country in the Netherlands for full time employment with JUGS. Makes sense to say life at JUGS is too good to resist. Robert, Events Coordinator

Edmund, Props Master

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So how do we keep staff retention, staff engaged and high-performance teams?

How do you make your employees your true brand ambassadors?

How do you build a happy dream team? Whilst I’m not claiming we are perfect, we do try our best, both for our people as well as our clients. If we had to pass on some tips, based on what we do with our team, and the elements we look to incorporate for our clients, I would suggest: Lots of TEAM BUILDING activities A MANAGEMENT structure that allows and encourages engagement We know that everyone loves SURPRISES… surprise your team. Sometimes doing something outside everyone’s comfort zone is what you need to grow Press PAUSE & REFRESH often… sometimes to unlock the amazing potential of the human brain you need a break, especially from routine. Allow for the experience of NEW things such as a themed event or a new adrenaline packed activity Don’t underestimate the impact of CSR, not only in the sense of doing something for the greater good but on the impact it has on your team We continually seek to invest in our staff to give them the right tools and resources to foster genuine connections, better communication, planning and problem-solving skills. Through a series of training sessions and planned & unplanned team building events that are fun and motivational. Finally, it is important to say that while an employee development program will surely bring you a great return on investment, in the long run, alone it is not enough for the company’s success. Remember to show plenty of appreciation. The latter being an important point as what is worse than not training your staff, is training them and then having them leave.

Looking to plan your next team building day or company event? Drop us a line on info@jugsmalta.com or visit our website on IFR & Beyond

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www.jugsmalta.com


WINNERS P R I Z E Continental Football League

8-a-side is a growing format of minifootball popular in some countries even more than 6-a-side. The Russian Minifootball Federation has been organizing the 8-a-side Continental Football League since 2016 and it is the largest, best and strongest 8-a-side tournament in the world. EMF recognizes the event in its annual calendar and is encouraging affiliated national associations and clubs to participate in the amazing event.

The IFR Champions Cup 2019 edition Winners have been awarded a trip to Moscow in May 2020 to participate in the Continental Football League (CFL).

www.cfl.moscow IFR & Beyond

65


OZ&JAY

INTERVIEW

What is your take on the concept of the IFR Champions Cup?

We think it is a great opportunity for members of three of Malta’s largest economic sectors to come together, have fun and raise money at the same time. Not to mention the networking opportunities that inherently come with such events. In simple words, Oz and Jay approve. Did you enjoy yourselves hosting the Opening Ceremony?

We sure did. Although, there did not seem to be any caviar in the food selection. But other than that, we had a blast and hope to be present for next year’s event as well as opening ceremony.

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At ‘For A Cause Events’, one of our core values is about giving back to the community. How important is it to give back to the local community through one’s work and how can it encourage other companies and individuals to do the same?

Of course, it is important. We live in a world and time where there is nowhere near enough people giving. As a result, the world seems to be heading in one direction (AND WE AIN’T TALKING ABOUT THAT PRETTY BOY BAND EITHER). So, it is imperative, that not just companies, but all of us as individuals (ESPECIALLY PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA LIKE US) need to make as much effort as is humanly possible to give back in some way or another. Will we be seeing you at next year’s edition?!

Depends, what’s on the menu?


Interview with

RYAN

FARRUGIA (Assistant Manager at KPMG Malta)

How do you rate the IFR Champions Cup? Was it an enjoyable experience for you personally?

The IFR Champions Cup is organised for a good cause and that alone already shows the spirit in which it is organised. Ultimately, this is reflected in the teams’ behaviour on the football pitch itself. You can sense the atmosphere is electrifying as you walk towards the entrance and it certainly lives up to the hype as both you and all other participants have one common goal which is to enjoy the overall experience. Needless to say I rate the IFR Champions Cup very highly and, yes, it was enjoyable indeed. Knowing that KPMG does not only participate in the IFR Champions Cup but also participates in other corporate football tournaments such as the Champions Bank, how do you perceive the IFR Champions Cup when comparing it to other corporate tournaments you were part of?

Yes, our football team is very active. We participate in various football tournaments across the year, including the Champions Bank, which is held overseas, the MIA and MESA tournaments, and finally our very own Banca Cup which KPMG dedicates a huge amount of effort into organising. I would rank the IFR Champions Cup in 2nd place, just behind KPMG’s Banca Cup! KPMG performed very well at the second edition, reaching the Quarterfinals. How do you rate the team’s overall performance, and do you think you can lift the IFR trophy at the third edition?

Are you looking forward to next year? Should we be expecting some new KPMG players next year?

This is the second time we participated, and I believe that we got knocked out in the Quarterfinals in both editions. The football quality is quite high – let us not forget that John Arne Riise participated in the first edition! We honestly aimed higher than the Quarterfinals given the quality of our team, so we were quite disappointed not to progress further. We will surely give it our all in the next edition and if luck (and the VAR should be introduced this time) is on our side, we could potentially win it.

Of course! We already have our sights on tournaments preceding the IFR and we will be turning all our cannons towards it as the day approaches. KPMG is always recruiting young talent, so I would not be surprised to have some new names boosting our squad.

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PAYMENTS in the right

are we moving

INNOVATION direction?

IN MALTA

by Nikola

Vasovic

Around two years ago, as part of my Master’s in business administration, I researched and explored the extent of innovation, efficiency and what the local population perceived as more convenient methods of payment on the islands. The main findings have shown that cash is still the most preferred as well as most used payment instrument in both Malta and Gozo.

Why is this so? Apart from the fact that the results have shown

that cash is preferred due to its practicality and security, I still ask myself the question as to why people continue insisting on carrying lots of cash around with them, especially when there has been an introduction of extremely useful technologies in the payments’ industry. One of which is the Revolut application which markets itself as the “better way to handle your money”. From my personal experience, this statement is on point as this digital bank offers multiple features which are useful in this day and age. So why are we locally still so vary of switching to such solutions? The answer lies in the fact that a lot of people are so used to the materialistic aspect of money that it is difficult for them to get used to accepting a newer, more efficient way of transacting financially. A lot of people wait for something bad to happen before they realise that it is time for change – what I am referring to here are instances such as getting robbed or simply misplacing your cash.

“A lot of people wait for something bad to happen before they realise that it is

time for change”

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Things are and will definitely change in Malta over the next few years as locally we are becoming much more educated and aware of the fintech era. Huge expos such as the Delta Summit, Malta Innovation Summit, SiGMA and the Malta AI and Blockchain Summit have enormously contributed to this growth in awareness. Hence, I encourage anyone reading this magazine to attend such expos as they can really help a person understand and learn new things that can be implemented on a both day-to-day basis and in business practicality and/or transactionality too.


Why is the payments’ industry so important? Think about it, money truly makes the world go around! Most of the things we opt to do in our lives have a price tag on them and payment instruments enable us to pay for such goods and services. I still cannot get over the fact that if I happen to forget my euro notes at home and I am in my car, its half past six in the evening and I go to a petrol station in Malta, I simply cannot put fuel in my vehicle since there is simply no attendant to accept my VISA or Revolut payment. I find this extremely annoying and it truly does affect a lot of people on a day to day basis. So, putting this into perspective even though I started focusing on the customer, the merchant’s payments education is extremely important too. What I am referring to is the fact that the merchants

too need to embrace and accept change. If we are opening up our doors to expatriates, we also need to understand their needs and the environments that they come from. Take Norway for example, cheques in this country were abolished in the early 90s and cash has become increasingly rare as 95% of all payments in Norway are cashless. So, imagine a native Norwegian trying to pay for something in Malta or even worse getting a cheque salary payment from his or her employer that he has to cash at the bank by strictly noon on any day from Monday to Friday. I am definitely not implying that cash should be completely abolished but if we do want to truly call ourselves the blockchain island or the fintech island, then we definitely need to limit the use of such instruments on a daily basis.

‘‘If we are opening up

our doors to expatriates,

we also need to understand their

needs and the

environments that they come from.’’ I want to dedicate the next section of the article to some examples of new payment technologies, including virtual currencies that are becoming more and more popular in worldwide communities. Payments’ systems are constantly getting better and faster. One cool development which we have witnessed lately is the introduction of Contactless payments and Maltese banks such as Bank of Valletta have already introduced their own contactless payment cards that are relatively functional.

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It is basically a system in which a consumer taps his or her payment card near a point-ofsale terminal equipped with the technology. Simply imagine walking into the Greens Supermarket in Pembroke, seeing no sales or cash attendant. Picking up your groceries, putting them in a bag and scanning them yourself, eventually playing ‘touch and go’ at the payment station. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Wait, there is more – what if you do not even need a plastic payment card and can use your mobile phone instead, and you know what, in certain supermarkets you do not even have to take out the mobile phone from your pocket, you simply use voice activation to pay for those groceries. This is what we call Near Field Communication (‘NFC’) payments technology and it is present in applications and systems such as Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay. Maybe you have already witnessed and used contactless payment cards, but have you bought or used Amazon’s Echo speaker or Google’s smart assistant Alexa or Siri on your Apple iPhone? Most technology companies are now working with machine-to-machine or voice-activated communication systems and this is where we are heading in terms of voice activated payments. Imagine asking Alexa or Echo to buy you a new car or to pay your electricity bill. We are much closer to this than you think! Now, let’s speak a bit

more about Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) and its impact on payments. First of all, AI can be simply defined as a machine that is developed to think and learn. How can this technology be implemented to payments? Shops can implement such technology to customise their offers to clients and also offer them personal experiences. Sephora, the major French multinational chain of personal care and beauty stores has recently released its Colour IQ service which helps customers assign personalised and customised shade recommendations for foundation and concealer products. So, for the ladies out there reading this, if you go to Sephora anytime soon, try this new technology and tell us what you think. Even though this is not directly related to a payment function, it still enables Sephora to maximise payment and orders of concealers and foundations via their online website which not long ago was extremely difficult since a lot of women preferred to visit Sephora’s physical stores for such products. If you want a more direct AI payment reference, then we return to Google’s Alexa which can now understand ‘Alexa, order and pay for a Bolt cab from my house to Paceville. I will be dressed and ready in 15 minutes.’ Alexa is now capable of actually listening to these words, accessing your bank card, ordering you a cab and paying for it – that easy! Now if that is not a revolutionary way of paying, nothing is.

“Most technology companies are now working with

machine-to-machine or voice-activated communication systems and this

is where we are heading

in terms of voice

activated payments.”

I also wanted to briefly mention virtual currencies and payments and the way they are perceived nowadays. Virtual currency is defined by the European Central Bank (‘ECB’) as “a digital representation of value, not issued by a central bank, credit institution, or e-money institution, which in some circumstances can be used as an alternative to money.” Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are decentralised which means that they are not controlled by governments or banks. The consequence of this is free trade by anyone anywhere in the world. These currencies were created to eliminate trust issues of users towards central institutions such as banks. Such currencies have definitely started to become more accepted within societies and are improving the way payments and money transfers are affected around the world. Let us take a look at some currently popular cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin is the most popular one and continues to lead in terms of market capitalization, user base and popularity. Others worth mentioning are Ethereum and Ripple which are more inclined towards enterprise solutions. There are also others such as Dash which is a more secretive version of Bitcoin or Monero which is a secure, private and untraceable currency. Thereby, all these currencies have different features, and this is a very trendy aspect of the virtual payments’ industry as it allows trade and payment to occur in different forms, through various wallets such as coinbase, jaxx and many others.

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We now move on to a simple overview on the impacts of not embracing change and also some advantages and disadvantages that we can perceive from using new payment technologies versus having a cash-dependent society. First of all, we need to accept the fact that most of the globe is moving towards a cashless environment, including governments and large financial services institutions. Currently, there is quite a big social disbalance and this is one of the issues we currently face with new payment solutions. We simply cannot expect to do away with cash completely when there is still a high percentage of individuals that do not own bank accounts which makes it very difficult for those people to pay and receive payments through new technologies out there. Secondly, we are in living in an era where data is KING and even though new technologies are relatively safe in terms of data security, there is still a potential risk that personal data may be misused resulting in possible data breach. Moreover, threat from hackers is also high if the right and effective security systems are not put in place. We also need to realise the reality that if there is a power-cut all around the world and our internet stops working, we are in for a very big problem if we do not have any physical cash as trade would stop instantly resulting in complete chaos.

On the other hand, we also need to look at the benefits of implementing new payments technologies and there are quite a few. Crime, such as money laundering and tax evasion, would be drastically minimised in a cashless society. The costs of storing money and the time it takes for cash to travel from one hand to another would be eliminated resulting in a much more effective economic and financial system, and finally we would be able to exchange currencies much more efficiently when travelling internationally. Education and awareness are key to implementing new types of payment solutions. However, we can all agree that change does not occur overnight as it takes quite a bit of time and effort to influence a culture. We cannot wake up tomorrow thinking that every individual in Malta will, for example, download and use Revolut. People need to start understanding the values and features of such technologies in order to implement

them. Such technologies do bring outstanding benefits to our lives; however, we do need to be careful that we do not allow this same technology to control every detail and aspect of our lives. We need to gradually study what is right and good for us and take decisions accordingly. I strongly do believe that we, as humans, have the capacity to reason and to stay ahead of the game.

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CAVALIERI ART HOTEL

REVAMPED

What is going on at the Cavalieri Art Hotel? Exciting news ahead! The Cavalieri Art Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in a prime location in St. Julian’s; away from the hustle and bustle, however, still within a short walking distance from bars, restaurants, and surrounding landmarks. Located at the water’s edge, the hotel boasts spectacular views of Balluta Bay, making an event or stay at the hotel exclusive and unforgettable. To better serve guests and enhance the guest experience at the Cavalieri Art Hotel, the hotel is currently undergoing a major refurbishment project. Guest rooms, lobby, bar area, and restaurants will be going through a massive transformation in the next couple of months, towards a more post-modernist aesthetic. With the help of one of the leading design houses in Malta, the hotel will be finished to the highest standards and adorning top-notch designer furniture. All of this is aimed at creating a more comfortable stay and a memorable experience in a magical location. The meeting rooms have also recently undergone some renovation works. The hotel has three conference halls which are used for meetings, conferences, and events. They are upgraded regularly to the latest technology to meet the clients’ requirements in the modern age, equipped with highspeed Wifi internet and audiovisual equipment. Each hall has a large adjacent terrace, providing ample natural light and a lovely space for break-outs, with undisrupted views across the bay. The hotel has an excellent team of chefs who take care of catering for in house guests as well as for events. Menus are curated specifically for clients’ needs and preferences and cater to all types of events; from coffee breaks to gala dinners.


WWW.CAVALIERIARTHOTEL .COM


Inter view with

JOSEPH G.

CUTAJAR Managing Director of Mediterranean Insurance Brokers

What is MIB and how does it collaborate with any of the three sectors? MIB is the oldest established Insurance Broking House in Malta; established in 1976. We have been of added value to the Maltese insurance clientele in purchasing the most comprehensive insurance at the best competitive prices for over 40 years. However, our forte is in the claims service we give, which after all is what insurance is all about. We service not just the Financial Sector, the Gaming Industry and the Real Estate Industry, but all the other segments of the Maltese economy; from Hospitality to Energy, Maritime Insurance to Aviation Insurance, Life Assurance to Medical Health Insurance, Motor Insurance to House and Travel Insurance and from the smallest to the larger of risks.

MIB had a great tournament. How would you rate the team’s performance overall and did you enjoy yourselves? Enjoying the Tournament is an understatement. It was outright fun and a wonderful experience. It was our first time participating and certainly not the last. Classifying third in our first run is great, particularly when one puts in perspective the massive competitive mode that some teams were in. Our team’s performance led by our staff in IT and Administration worked wonders. It was tiring, particularly towards the semi-final on the second day but definitely fulfilling! Fair play is one of our core values at ‘For A Cause Events’. In your opinion, why is fair play important both on and off the field and how did you feel taking home this trophy? For us, winning the Fair Play Trophy was more prestigious than had we won the Tournament! Winning the Tournament has all to do with being the better football team. On the other hand, Fair Play has all to do with the gentlemen quality of our Team.

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Being in the insurance industry, particularly being Malta’s biggest and leading insurance brokers, gentlemanship and delivery of our promises is all we deal with. Insurance and fair play (in our business) is what makes us MIB. Any loyal client which we have, and we are proud to have many such prestigious clients, want a fair insurance premium for their protection policies inasmuch as a fair claim settlement when the unforeseen loss happens. What were your thoughts on the concept of such an event, which also included the Opening Ceremony and will we be seeing you next year? An honourable concept indeed, which is what attracted us to the event. Philanthropy is an integral part of our brand. MIB has been a philanthropist contributor for all of its history. Our staff are engrained in philanthropy and donate a monthly contribution to a charity fund, which fund is topped up by the Company (often doubled) and regular, at least annual, donations, are made. See you at next year’s tournament!


IFR

1st

Women’s edition

For the first time in 2019, the IFR team introduced the IFR Champions Cup Women’s Edition.

A much smaller but competitive tournament was played on Sunday 8th September 2019 at the Marsa Sports Ground. The idea is to continue growing the tournament year on year, ultimately promoting Women’s football in Malta and implementing an open door policy to both male and female participants. In the first year, we had 6 participating women teams.

76 IFR &

Beyond


Triq Dun Karm (Birkirkara Bypass), Iklin

Psaila Street, Birkirkara


Interview with

PIERRE

BRINCAT (Head of the MFA Women’s Football Department)

What is your general impression of the IFR Champions Cup? It was my first experience and the organisation was top notch. A very well-organised event for a very good cause. In the 2019 edition we introduced the IFR Women’s Edition, how did Team MT rate the overall experience? For our girls and staff, it was a beautiful day to get together with our ex-women’s national team players and enjoy a lovely sporting event together in a relaxed atmosphere. Team MT won the trophy very comfortably. Even though the level was not very high, we believe that the emotions and overall motivation was still there amongst all teams. How did you see it from your angle as coach of the team? Yes, we won the event comfortably but overall, I feel that it was a very good and competitive game in the final. For me as the coach of the team, my aim was for the girls to primarily enjoy the tournament, avoid any injuries and play some good football to show everyone what women’s football is all about. We feel that we were ambassadors for the women’s game. Next year we are hoping to have many more teams in the Women’s edition. What do you think is the driving force behind Women’s football in Malta and how has Women’s football progressed over the years locally? We at the Malta Football Association are working very hard to raise awareness of the game. First and foremost, our aim is to encourage more girls from schools to play football through the organisation of after school sessions and promotional sessions. We also have enormous support from the local clubs which also play a major role in promoting women’s football. Currently, we are also working on introducing more female football coaches to the game by issuing scholarships to new participants. We are hopeful for your support again next year. Will we be seeing an even stronger Team MT squad for the next edition? We hope to participate once again. The event was great, and the girls are already asking if we will take part again. By inviting us to the tournament you have encouraged the girls to start meeting more frequently as they have now been organising multiple recreational 5-a-side matches. We honestly thank you for this.

78 IFR &

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Nikola

MILOJEVIC (Captain of Stronghold Construction Ltd)

Congratulations on winning the IFR Champions Cup this year. In your opinion, what was the key to winning the Cup? Thank you so much! The key to success was our team spirit and good overall organisation. Even when we had bad periods in our game (like in the quarterfinals when we were losing 2-0 against Enteractive), we did not falter psychologically. Conversely, we encouraged each other and managed to overturn the result. We ended up winning 5-2. After that thrilling match, I was sure that we would win the tournament. Do you feel that the level of competition increased from last year? Yes, the football was on a much higher level than last year. There were a lot of good quality teams. Next stop is the Continental Football League (CFL) in Moscow, Russia in May 2020. What are your expectations? Have you already started training and preparing for the tournament this year? I believe that we have a very competitive team! We are starting preparations and all I can say is that you should EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. What did you like about this year’s edition of the IFR Champions Cup? Like I said before, the level of football was much better and we hope that from one year to another, the quality will increase like your organisation which is already at an extremely high level. You will be representing both Malta and the IFR Champions Cup at the CFL, can we expect a positive result and possibly a championship run from the team? We cannot overpromise! I know for sure that we will give our all to represent Malta, the IFR organisation and all the Serbians in Malta in the best possible way!

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I N T E R V I E W

W I T H

Ms. Elizaveta

Kuzenkova International Coordinator of the Continental Football League (CFL)

The IFR Champions Cup Winners will be travelling to Moscow in May 2020 to participate in the CFL tournament. They will be representing Malta. What level of football should be expected there?

The level of the tournament is very high, CFL is the biggest 8-a-side football competition in the world, that makes it the main event for clubs in such format, so teams are preparing throughout the year to show their level. Have you had the chance to have a sneak peak of the IFR Champions Cup first and second edition videos? If yes, what do you think of such a concept?

Yes, I saw the event and concept is really great. I see a very big potential in such projects and I truly believe that the winners will be able to compete for the main prize at the CFL. We are all looking forward to the tournament next year. Apart from the football aspect, what else can we expect from Moscow itself and the organisation surrounding the tournament?

Moscow is a very big city and it is full of historical buildings which are located within walking distance, with some of the best night clubs in the world. Russia is a country that will force you to fall in love with it, because of its spirit. Will we be seeing you as a guest of the IFR Champions Cup delegation next year at the third edition of the IFR Champions Cup?

Sure, for me it will be an honour to be your guest.

80IFR &

Beyond


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WHAT WE OFFER? At ‘For A Cause Events Ltd’, we offer our clients assistance with the creation and development of various types of events, ranging from small meetings, conferences and parties to large innovative, creative and premium events. We have the passion and drive to help our clients turn their concepts into realities.

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Branding

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Charity is a big part of who we are – we provide a calculated portion of proceeds from each organised event to selected charity foundations.

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IFR & Beyond

83


Jesse

CARUANA (Top Scorer and player of Dhalia Real Estate)

Congratulations on winning the IFR Champions Cup Top Scorer award! How did it feel playing the tournament for the first time? Thank you, it felt good to be a part of a tournament of this size, it was actually the first big tournament I have been involved in since high school. The competition skill level is a lot higher now.

How do you rate the team’s performance? In your opinion, could you have made it even further this year? Our team did really well, I am proud of the boys, the group stage was a great success for us especially the last game. The knockout stages not so good. Maybe bring in VAR next year? We could have gone further if we won all our games, next year our plan will be to score more goals than the other team in every game and not just in the group stages.

Out of all the goals you scored at the tournament, which is the one you remember and value the most? The first one of the last group stage game, you always remember your first... I had shot and the keeper saved it, I realized he didn’t have football boots on just sneakers so I thought he would slip while throwing it as it was a bit wet, so I went in between two of his players, he threw it and slipped a little and it went straight to me then I put it in the back of the net.

How do you rate the IFR Champions Cup and will we be seeing you at the tournament next year? It was a great tournament and really well run, I had a lot of fun even when not playing, there were things to do such as massages, eating, human table football and much more. It meant you weren’t just sitting and waiting. I’ll be back next year, especially now with our new game plan.

84 IFR &

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IFR 2019


IFR 2020

CHAMPIONS CUP

IFR September 5th - 6th

Melita Football Ground IFR stands for iGaming, Fintech and Real Estate. A 7-a-side Champions Cup football tournament with a difference, organised for a selection of local and foreign iGaming, Fintech and Real Estate companies. REGISTER YOUR TEAM ON OUR WEBSITE

www.ifrchampionscup.com presented by

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Profile for IFR & Beyond

IFR & Beyond 2019/20  

It is an absolute pleasure to welcome you all to the second edition of the IFR & Beyond magazine. From a very generic idea in April 2018, th...

IFR & Beyond 2019/20  

It is an absolute pleasure to welcome you all to the second edition of the IFR & Beyond magazine. From a very generic idea in April 2018, th...

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