The Punt: Moore gets back to business
Increased yields and rising prices are one thing, but the Punt knows of no better barometer of confidence in the property market than the exodus of staff from NAMA.
NAMA proved to be something of a lifeboat for property professionals in the aftermath of the crash, providing well-paid and, indeed, fascinating work when that was pretty thin on the ground.
But as the waters calm, the rush out of the NAMA lifeboats is now under way in earnest. The latest to clamber back into the private sector is property specialist Helen Moore.
The Punt notes that, while to date NAMA staffers leaving for greener pastures have been headed towards the commercial end of things, Ms Moore is moving back into the housing market.
She has just been appointed as director of New Homes at estate agents Lisney, with a brief to work with clients on everything from planning and development strategies to risk and sensitivity analysis.
No stranger to the property game, Helen began her career with Hamilton Osborne King and spent 14 years there, eventually ending up as director of its New Homes Division.
In 2009, she moved to the Central Bank, and from there to NAMA, where she spent three years as a portfolio manager before this latest move.
Heff takes long route to retail
The Dunnes dynasty already has a few family members involved in the retailing business, but one of Margaret Heffernan's sons, Andrew, has remained outside the business fold.
After training as a doctor, he spent a year practising becoming a consultant at Bain & Co and then a banker with Goldman Sachs in New York. He went on to do a two-year MBA at Harvard. In 2009, he enrolled with the New York-based Parsons School of Design.
"It took me 10 years to get here," he recalled in one of the school's annual reports. "I was a doctor. Then I was a banker. Then I went to Harvard and got my MBA. Finally I found a place to study what I want to study."
He wanted to start his own lifestyle brand and has ultimately based himself in Amsterdam. His Heff Holding vehicle invests in retail businesses, taking either a majority or minority stake. Among the portfolio companies listed on its website is Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons, which has made threads for clients including Winston Churchill. Heff also includes Irish social network firm Skillspages among its clients.
All this experience could be useful at Dunnes, which insiders say has been having a tough time in its textiles business. "I don't have any aspiration to be a designer or creative director," Andrew told a Harvard alumni magazine a couple of years ago. "I want to work on the business side, something that most designers and creative directors aren't that comfortable with."
Prestigious title for FCS
Roscommon firm FCS Global, which provides telephone system support services for over 3,000 sites in 170 countries, has been named the 'National Public Champion' for Ireland in the prestigious European Business Awards. Another four firms have also received so-called 'Ruban d'Honneur' status -- a gong awarded to just 100 of the entrants to the awards from across Europe. The Irish recipients were Agile Networks, AirSpeed Telecom, EPS Group and the Irish Dairy Board.
FCS Global was founded by Mike Rowland in 2002. It will now go on to compete against other national champions to be voted the European Public Champion. Past award-winners in specific categories include state-owned forestry firm Coillte, which in 2012 was named the leader in environmental and corporate sustainability.
Looking at the awards website, the lengthy process from entries to awards and the numerous categories catered for, the Punt reckons, unfortunately, that it's very difficult to get excited about the whole thing unless you're involved.
Still, five Irish firms were obviously made very happy yesterday.FCS Global was founded by Mike Rowland in 2002. It will now go on to compete against other national champions to be voted the European Public Champion. Past award-winners in specific categories include state-owned forestry firm Coillte, which in 2012 was named the leader in environmental and corporate sustainability.