Thursday 12 December 2019

The nine decision makers we're counting on

Ailish O'Hora

AS the Government gears up for the biggest financial gamble in the history of the State, nine key decision makers have the task of guaranteeing that the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) will recoup the €54bn it is paying to rid the banks of toxic loans.

They include NAMA boss Brendan McDonagh, a former ESB financial controller, and chairman Frank Daly, an ex-Revenue commissioner.

In his new role, Mr Daly will receive a salary of €170,000 -- the highest paid to the chair of a state agency.

John Corrigan, chief executive of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which has overall responsibility for NAMA, also sits on the board.

Other board members include the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Steven Seelig, former Bank of Ireland executive Michael Connolly and Peter Stewart of accountancy firm O'Donovan Stewart.

Eilish Finan, a former AIG chief financial officer, Brian McEnery of accountancy firm Horwath Bastow Charleton and Willie Soffe, the chairman of the Dublin Transportation Office, make up the final three.

The salaries of the other top NAMA executives are not known but the ordinary board members receive annual fees of €50,000, rather than the €38,000 proposed by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.

Brendan McDonagh

Mr McDonagh was appointed chief executive of NAMA at the end of last year.

The low-key Kerry native joined the NTMA in 1994 having previously worked at the ESB.

He was born in Killorglin in 1968 and has a BSc from what was then the Rathmines College of Commerce. He worked on secondment from the ESB to the NTMA a number of times and was given a full-time position in 1994.

Frank Daly

The former Revenue Commissioners executive was called out of retirement by the Government to play a number of key roles during the financial crisis.

He was a Government-appointed director of the now-nationalised Anglo Irish Bank and stepped down from that position to take up his role as NAMA chairman.

Prior to that, Mr Daly chaired the Commission on Taxation set up by the Government in 2008.

While at the Revenue, the Waterford native oversaw the body's expansion into tax evasion while its search for offshore assets netted nearly €1bn in uncollected taxes and fines.

John Corrigan

Mr Corrigan took over as head of the National Treasury Management Agency at the end of last year following the resignation of Michael Somers.

He has been with the agency that handles the national debt since 1991 and was previously a chief executive at AIB Investment Managers.

Mr Corrigan has played a key role in advising the Department of Finance and Mr Lenihan over the past two years on a number of issues including the bank guarantee scheme and the establishment of the NAMA.

As the NTMA is overseeing NAMA, he will dictate the State's future relationship with the financial sector.

Steven Seelig

Mr Seelig will join the board of NAMA in May from the Washington-based IMF.

While he has given his backing to NAMA, he has also said he did not believe that it would result in a big increase in bank lending to the general economy.

Eilish Finan

A former finance boss at insurance giant AIG, Ms Finan is the only female member of the NAMA board.

She is a qualified accountant and electronic engineer.

Michael Connolly

Mr Connolly is a former Bank of Ireland executive. He is also a member of the Financial Services Ombudsman Council.

Brian McEnery

Mr McEnery is a Limerick-based senior partner at accountancy firm Horwath Bastow Charleton. He specialises in corporate finance.

Patrick Stewart

A financial consultant, Mr Stewart is managing director of accountancy firm O'Donovan Stewart.

William Soffe

Mr Soffe is a former Fingal county manager and chairman of the Dublin Transportation Office.

Irish Independent

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