Business Irish

Sunday 18 February 2018

Board members remove themselves from deliberations over conflicts of interest

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

THE Comptroller & Auditor General's report notes that two board members reported conflicts of interest which forced them to temporarily remove themselves from the agency's deliberations since the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) board was appointed by Brian Lenihan last December.

Board member Brian McEnery had a conflict of interest in January in relation to his employer, Limerick-based Howarth Bastow Charleton, which is a reserve panelist on the loan asset valuers panel.

Mr McEnery again stepped out of the room in March when the board discussed tenders for reviewers of the business plans submitted by struggling property developers to NAMA.

He was joined by Eilish Finan, a former AIG chief financial officer who is the only female member on the NAMA board and is a qualified accountant and electronic engineer.

Such conflicts of interest are common in Ireland's small business world where companies often provide several services.

In July, two businessmen alleged Mr McEnery had a conflict of interest arising from his being both the receiver over their properties and serving on Nama's board.


A lawyer for the businessmen told the court at the time that the application had nothing to do with Mr McEnery personally, who was a man of the highest integrity.

Mr McEnery was proposed for NAMA by Fine Gael when the board was appointed late last year.

The insolvency expert has previously served as a board member of semi-state bodies as well as serving as president of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Mr McEnery told the Irish Independent last summer that no previous recession had produced such a huge overlap between personal insolvency and corporate insolvency.

Irish Independent

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