Wednesday 28 June 2017

Consultants billing agency €65,000 a month

Emmet Oliver

Some advisory firms are billing the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) for €65,000 in fees a month, new figures reveal. The chairman of the agency, meanwhile, is being paid €170,000 per annum.

The Comptroller & Auditor General's (C&AG) report on the agency has the first detailed account of fee structures and payments to outside contractors.

HSBC, for instance, has been awarded a fixed fee of €250,000 for financial advice and is then entitled to bill the agency for €65,000 a month. Capita, which manages the loans overall, is being paid €3.2m per annum for four years.

One of the largest recipients of NAMA fees is KPMG, which was paid €5.8m between November 2009 and June this year for valuing loans. The CA&G also reveals that valuations are costing €500,000 for every 500 loans valued. This is based on a contract given to five firms, including Ernst & Young, PWC, Hacker Young, Alvarez and Marsal and FTI Consulting.

Excess

A large part of the report is about fees charged for legal work by Arthur Cox. The costs of hiring this firm in 2009 was almost €1m. The CA&G said fees paid to Arthur Cox "were in excess of those agreed and set out in the contract between Arthur Cox and the NTMA''.

It also reveals that in March this year the salaries for NAMA staff were altered when the Department of Finance agreed that because of "exceptional responsibilities'' the chairman's salary would rise from €100,00 to €170,000. Frank Daly was only allowed this salary if he was "available without restriction''.

Ordinary board members fees were increased to €50,000 a year.

The arrangements are subject to an annual review.

Irish Independent

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