Hibernia Reit founders poach Nama talent
A senior Nama executive, who played a pivotal role in its formulation of proposals for the delivery of social housing, is among 50 employees currently on 'gardening leave' in advance of taking up new positions in the private sector.
Former Nama portfolio manager Felix McKenna is set to take up the role of chief executive of the Dad Property Fund, a vehicle established by the founders of Hibernia Reit, Bill Nowlan and Frank Kenny. The fund's principal business will see it invest in social and affordable rental accommodation.
The recruitment of McKenna represents a coup for the fund, given the depth of knowledge and level of expertise that he has acquired in the area of social housing since he began working with the state agency in 2010.
The requirement by Nama's parent body, the NTMA, for McKenna to wait for a period of at least three months before taking up his new position is a requirement of the contracts provided to Nama employees up until 2014.
A review of the so-called 'cooling off' period for departing employees was conducted in 2014, following disquiet over Nama employees leaving to take up positions in the private sector.
Longer notice periods of three to six months (up from one to three months) for middle and senior management employees were subsequently introduced.
McKenna isn't the first senior Nama executive whose expertise has been secured by Bill Nowlan and Frank Kenny. Indeed, Nowlan's own son, Kevin, served as a senior portfolio manager at Nama before taking up the position of chief executive at Hibernia Reit.
Listed on both the Dublin and London stock exchanges, the company has a portfolio valued at €1.167bn.
A spokesman for Nama declined to comment.
Sunday Indo Business