Thursday 14 November 2019

Ex-NAMA executive in probe has Treasury link

Former portfolio manager works for private equity firm that deals with a major debtor of bad bank

Enda Farrell at his home,
The Motte, Knockuddery,
Dunboyne Co Meath.
Enda Farrell at his home, The Motte, Knockuddery, Dunboyne Co Meath.
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE former NAMA executive being investigated by gardai for allegedly taking confidential information from the agency now works for a firm with strong links to bad bank debtor Treasury Holdings.



Treasury owes NAMA around €1.7bn and has become its most outspoken critic in Ireland, where the company is fighting a series of court battles after the state agency sent in receivers to take control of its best assets earlier this year.

Former NAMA officer Enda Farrell is under investigation after buying a house from a NAMA borrower, and for allegedly sending confidential information about the agency to his wife in a series of emails.

He left NAMA in March and now works for Forum Partners, a global private equity firm with major property interests.

Forum has offices across the world and manages almost €5bn worth of assets, but is in fact a relatively tight-knit business with just 90 staff worldwide. The firm has significant links to Treasury Holdings, through Treasury's links to Asian investment fund Treasury China Holdings.

Indeed, Forum is understood to be a critically important lender to the Chinese business controlled by Richard Barrett and Johnny Ronan.

In August, Mr Barrett claimed his controversial deal to personally buy two Chinese companies from Treasury Holdings was to prevent a "breach of covenant" on a €44.5m debt owed by Treasury China Trust to Forum Partners in Asia.

NAMA has objected to the deal. Richard Barrett said that without it Forum would have had the right to call in its loan to Treasury China Holdings, a property venture he part owns in China.

Treasury is hopelessly insolvent and facing liquidation on October 9 when the High Court is set to consider a winding-up petition brought by KBC Bank and backed by NAMA.

As part of the process the courts will examine the controversial sale by Treasury of two Chinese assets to Mr Barrett which was announced after the liquidation action was under way.

Last week, the High Court was told that Mr Farrell had allegedly sent more than 30 emails to his wife, containing what has been described as "highly confidential and commercially sensitive information" from the agency.

Revealed

NAMA has claimed that it believed Farrell may have committed a criminal offence - under Section 202 of the Act that established the agency.

The couple first hit the headlines when it was revealed that they had bought a four-bedroom house and land in Lucan, Co Dublin, for €410,000 from a NAMA debtor Thomas Dowd while Mr Farrell was working at the agency.

It led to an investigation by NAMA that allegedly uncovered the emails now being considered by the courts.

They are claimed to include a "master spreadsheet" detailing all loans acquired by NAMA and all properties the debts are secured on, details of asset disposal strategies about some debtors and other confidential information.

Irish Independent

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