Never mind the relatively high salaries being paid to employees of NAMA, some of the most lucrative positions are reserved for the property developers themselves.
In a presentation to the Committee of Public Accounts in the Oireachtas this morning, NAMA revealed that it was paying two property developers managing “multi-billion euro portfolios” €200k a year and that between 110-120 are also on its payroll earning anything from €70-100k.
Bonuses are also being paid to these developers upon the successful disposal of individual property assets. This could prove particularly lucrative for those managing the larger portfolios.
All this is, of course, unlikely to sit well with the Irish public, especially considering the consternation around the fact that NAMA was being relatively generous towards its own employees.
However, NAMA chairman Frank Daly has described the salaries as a “commercial reality” and a “hard-nosed decision” to ensure the maximum return for the Irish tax-payer.
“The amount we’re paying them is a fraction of that they would have been taking prior to NAMA getting involved,” he said.
Very often, he says, the alternative is appointing a receiver to manage the property portfolio at the cost of around €180 an hour. What’s more, if this happens, the property developer will simply refuse to co-operate with NAMA. Nobody is better placed to manage these portfolios than the original developer, suggested Daly.
“We characterise them as an asset manager working on behalf of NAMA to protect, secure, develop and manage the property assets,” he said.
NAMA itself has also been recruiting for property management expertise and now employs around 200 people with a broad range of backgrounds including “banking, finance, legal and property and asset management”, said Daly.
As we pointed to before, the largest proportion of its staff base – 85 people at the end of Q2 – are employed in its portfolio management division. The average NAMA salary in 2010 was around €102k.
Now that 200 staff are in place, salary costs are expected to reach €20m, or an average of €100k a year. However, total staff expenses are €45m when benefits and pension costs are taken into account.
NAMA does most of its hiring directly, rather than taking on the services of a recruitment agency or headhunter, and in recent months the number of new roles has been diminishing.