Nama chairman top of the table at bankers' feast
IRELAND'S top bankers hosted a strictly private slap-up dinner for the man recently chosen as chairman of Nama, the Government agency entrusted with managing the banks' fragile property assets.
To mark his retirement as head of the Revenue Commissioners, Frank Daly was treated to a special farewell dinner just under two years ago, on April 8, 2008, by Ireland's banking elite. Among others attending the bankers' dinner to honour Mr Daly were the currently deeply-indebted former chief executive of Anglo Irish Banks, David Drumm. Anglo will probably be Nama's biggest headache in the coming year.
The numbers at the bankers' bash were restricted to less than 20, many of them senior executives of the same financial institutions that have incurred impaired property loans now destined for Nama. Mr Daly's Nama will manage the bad property assets of the banks and decide the fate of various loans made by individual bankers.
Sources at the Irish Bankers Federation, which hosted the event for Mr Daly, admit that they entertained the Nama chief -- but insist that it reflected the professional relationship and regular discussions they had enjoyed with him over many issues when he was Ireland's top taxman.
Following his retirement from the Revenue, Mr Daly was appointed a "public interest" director of Anglo Irish. A few weeks ago he resigned his board position to assume his key role in Nama.
Among eight other recently appointed directors of Nama are leading chartered accountant Peter Stewart, the chairman of Dublin Transportation Office Willie Soffe and Steven Seelig of the IMF.
Last week Mr Daly was not returning calls.