Killilea replaces Dunne at top of Mountbrook firm
DEVELOPER Sean Dunne has stepped down from his Mountbrook Homes after 16 years to be replaced as a director by his wife Gayle Killilea.
Mr Dunne, who is concentrating on his D4 Hotels business in Ballsbridge, Dublin, has been the key director of the company since 1995.
Ms Killilea and fellow director Ross Connolly will now run the company, although most of its assets are under the control of NAMA receivers Grant Thornton. The directorship of Mountbrook (now known as Mavior Ltd) is the only one held in Ireland or Britain by Ms Killilea. Any salary paid to her is likely to be small, as it requires the approval of NAMA.
While the agency is known to pay salaries of up to €200,000 for major developers, Mountbrook has effectively been left with virtually no assets and is a shell of the company that dominated the property scene during the latter end of the boom. Mountbrook yesterday declined to say why Mr Dunne had decided to step down as a director.
Mr Dunne has significant personal guarantees out with various banks and these are now controlled by NAMA.
But so far the agency has not taken any action to enforce these guarantees. The company is being run on a day-to-day basis by Paul McCann, the well-known insolvency practitioner associated with the administration of Quinn Insurance.
NAMA has so far simply sat on the Dunne assets, but there has been letting of some apartments and commercial tenants found for the company's Riverside office blocks in Dublin.
Ms Killilea, a former journalist, has no experience as a property developer in Ireland and until recently had no direct role in the Dunne companies.
However, earlier this year she said she was living in the US state of Connecticut, where she was involved in property development. Mr Dunne recently told the Irish Independent he did not fear any enforcement action from NAMA, saying the agency could not take away his skills as a developer. He also said he had sunk millions of his own money into his various developments and he had lost much of this in the downturn.
Mr Dunne is backed in Ballsbridge by mainly foreign banks, including Ulster and Icelandic lender Kaupthing.