Finance Minister Michael Noonan has appointed NAMA chairman Frank Daly as one of the 'three wise men' who will advise him on the workings of the toxic debt agency.
In a related appointment, senior NAMA executive John Mulcahy has been appointed to the main NAMA board as an executive director.
Last night Mr Noonan confirmed that former HSBC chief Michael Geoghegan, Denis Rooney of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and current NAMA chairman Mr Daly have been appointed to a new three-man committee -- which will advise Mr Noonan on NAMA's strategy and progress, as well as on senior appointments and pay at the agency.
The three members are understood to be donating their services free of charge.
The appointments of Mr Geoghegan and Mr Rooney were previously revealed by the Irish Independent. The appointment of Mr Daly is a surprise move, however.
Corkman Gerry Murphy had been tipped as a potential committee member. But Mr Murphy, who is a senior executive at property and investment giant Blackstone, was seen by some as having a potential conflict of interest.
US-based Blackstone is already advising the Irish Bank Resolution Corp (IBRC) -- the former Anglo Irish Bank -- on the sale of its property loans, and in the past tried to buy a major loan portfolio from NAMA.
However, the appointment of NAMA insider Mr Daly seems equally likely to raise concerns, given the role he already has as the chairman and public face of the agency.
Mr Noonan originally said he would set up the committee in last December's Budget.
Except for Mr Daly's dual role, the new body is separate to the board of directors responsible for overseeing NAMA.
The committee will be headed up by retired banker Mr Geoghegan. He produced a previous report on NAMA for Mr Noonan last year.
The UK-born son of Irish parents, Mr Geoghegan was educated in Dublin. He is a former chief executive of HSBC, one of the biggest banks in the world.
He rose to the top of the bank over a 37-year career and is understood to be providing his services on NAMA for free.
Belfast-based Mr Rooney is chairman of the IFI, and a former chairman of the Institute of Directors. He set up Northern Ireland-based construction consultancy DRA in 1984 and sold it to White Young Green 20 years later.
Meanwhile, senior NAMA executive John Mulcahy -- who has just joined the main NAMA board -- is the ex-chairman of property company Jones Lang LaSalle and currently runs the Asset Management Division in NAMA.