Chairman of Malta Enterprise William Wait, responsible for approving significant government subsidies to businesses, also holds key positions in 19 companies, including those receiving funds from or falling under the remit of the same institution he heads.
An accountant by profession, appointed to a number of senior government positions since the Labour Party was elected to power in 2013, Wait has been the Chair of Malta Enterprise since 2019.
He is also on the board of directors of some 19 private companies, mainly in the manufacturing sector, which is Malta Enterprise’s responsibility.
In some cases, Wait was appointed board member while already chairman of Malta Enterprise.
The Shift also found instances where companies in which Wait has a shareholding have received significant government subsidies and grants from the same institution he Chairs.
The Shift recently reported how Wait, in another role as chairman of the Central Business District Foundation, a private-public partnership taking care of the Mriehel Industrial Estate, permitted Keith Fenech, the CEO of the PPP, to also work for Methode Electronics, a client of the same Foundation.
Wait’s many hats
Research conducted by The Shift shows that through Lucerne Investments Ltd, in which he is the majority shareholder, Wait is the company secretary of Tek-Moulds Precision Engineering Ltd situated on the Bulebel industrial estate, which now falls under INDIS Malta, an offshoot of Malta Enterprise.
Wait is also on the board of directors of Toly Group International, also at Bulebel, which received millions of euros in grants from Malta Enterprise. Wait worked at Toly before Malta Enterprise, but he did not see it necessary to sever ties when taking up his new position.
Through his other paid directorship posts in private companies, Wait sits on boards alongside key business figures who often require the government’s financial assistance in their ventures.
Wait sits on the board of TUM Finance Plc, with Ninu, Matthew, and Silvan Fenech as shareholders, as well as Smartcare Finance Plc, headed by businessman Andrew Debattista Segond, and Luxury Living PLC where former Lands Authority CEO Carlo Mifsud and Jean-Paul Busuttil, known as Ta’ Bandallu, are involved.
He is also a director of AST Group Plc, a holding company for an animal feed and shipping company and Farma Plastics Ltd, a manufacturing firm.
His directorships also include International Renewable Energy Development Ltd, Luxury Living Technologies Limited, and the Malta Montenegro Wind Power JV Ltd.
Until a few years ago, Wait was also a director of Union Press Company Ltd, owned by the General Workers Union, which published the unofficial daily newspaper of the Labour Party, l-Orizzont.