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Nama says it's not worried as manager quits for fund

GIANT UK private equity firm Forum Partners has hired former Nama executive Enda Farrell to scour the Irish market for distressed debt deals.

Forum Partners is a €5bn real estate investment management firm, with operations in the US, Europe and Asia.

Mr Farrell was a portfolio manager at Nama before the move to the private equity company.

Fears that Forum Partners might benefit from Mr Farrell's inside knowledge of Nama were dismissed by the state agency, which is selling €80bn worth of property assets to investors.

A Nama spokesman told the Sunday Independent that no properties are sold without a competitive bidding process and that all properties are independently valued before any sale. All sales are also reviewed by the Comptroller & Auditor-General's office.

Top civil servants are restricted from moving to private sector jobs in areas where they may have specialist knowledge.

Civil servants must spend a year in "quarantine" before taking up these jobs.

Forum announced last week that it was shifting its focus to concentrate on European debt markets. The company is seeking to capitalise on the difficulties banks have with distressed borrowers.

"Enda will perform a number of roles for Forum, including sourcing loans from Irish financial institutions, creating new products for investment in Ireland and helping Crown [a Forum investment] build their loan servicing platform for Irish banks," according to Forum.

Sunday Indo Business