Tuesday 21 May 2019

Former Nama portfolio head set to take the chair at IPUT

John Mulcahy, pictured on right, with his then boss, Nama chief Brendan McDonagh, outside Leinster House
John Mulcahy, pictured on right, with his then boss, Nama chief Brendan McDonagh, outside Leinster House
IPUT chief executive Niall Gaffney, centre, with Savils chairman Roland O’Connell and IDA CEO Martin Shanahan at the launch of 7 Hanover Quay in Dublin last year

Peter Flanagan

NAMA's former head of portfolio management is to take over the chairmanship of the biggest unlisted property vehicle in the country.

John Mulcahy was yesterday named chairman designate at IPUT. He will take over from Frank Close, who will step down later this year.

Mr Mulcahy led Jones Lang LaSalle's Irish business before joining Nama in 2009. He retired from that position in 2014 before joining IPUT six months later.

That move raised eyebrows and led Finance Minister Michael Noonan to declare there was "no conflict of interest" in Mr Mulcahy moving back to the private sector.

In his Nama role he was the key decision maker in deciding when the state bad bank should sell its loans and property.

Now, as chairman of IPUT's investment committee, he is a key voice in advising the fund's management team on possible purchases.

Mr Mulcahy's appointment was announced at the investment fund's AGM in Dublin. At the meeting, current chairman Mr Close told investors the firm had agreed terms for a €150m loan from US bank Wells Fargo to fund the refurbishment or rebuilding of several buildings IPUT owns in central Dublin.

The fund is redeveloping office blocks at 47-49 St Stephen's Green and 10 Molesworth Street in Dublin 2.

In a statement, the fund, which is led by chief executive Niall Gaffney, said it took in €85.8m in rent last year -helping it boost the net asset value (NAV) of its portfolio by 5.01pc. NAV is a key measure of the health of any property investor.

The "fair value" of its portfolio increased €251m, driven mostly by its Dublin property book.

IPUT's portfolio is almost entirely based in Dublin. It owns a string of office blocks including Riverside 2 on the south quays and the headquarters of law firm A&L Goodbody at 25-28 North Wall Quay.

Addressing shareholders, Mr Close said, "IPUT recorded a total property return of 25.3pc for 2015 with both core and active portfolios contributing to this performance.

"This allowed the Fund to distribute €79.2 m in dividends to our shareholders, an increase of almost €19m on 2014," he added.

"The first four months of 2016 has seen continued momentum. We are continuing to look at acquisitions in key locations. While there is always some level of uncertainty, we foresee another year of satisfactory growth in 2016 as the commercial property market continues to grow on the back of higher rental values and increased occupier demand."

Shares in the unlisted property vehicle were trading at €1,001.57 - the most recent price available.

Irish Independent

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