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ESB fund chief was paid more than McManus

AN executive at the ESB's green energy fund made over €700,000 last year, accounts show.

Some €738,750 of profits went to an executive at Novusmodus, the private equity house set up to run the ESB's €200m greentech investments. The payment is one-third more than outgoing ESB boss Padraig McManus's €500,000 package, and almost three times the salary of incoming CEO Pat Doherty.

With its head office in Mayfair, London, Novusmodus leads 'smart' tech and renewable energy projects on behalf of the ESB, including in a company that installs solar panels on roofs, a laser light technology firm and an energy-efficient lighting business.

Novusmodus is led by Richard Nourse, a former Merrill Lynch executive. Operating profit was around €1.98m for the year on turnover of about €6.1m.

Recent investments include a share of a €2.3m investment in solar panel company Lumicity and part of a €100m investment in Irish company Wind Energy Direct.

An ESB spokesman said: "Novusmodus LLP is not owned by ESB and the ESB has no employees in that fund. Any payments made are a matter for Novusmodus."

The Novusmodus website says: "Whilst we are independent, we have a deep relationship with ESB, the Irish utility who are the sole investor in the fund."

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