This information is already in the public domain but until now hasn’t been available online. It is correspondence which evidences the salaries paid to NAMA developers and it has just now been published by the Oireachtas Committee of Public Accounts, commonly called the PAC. It is correspondence received by the PAC in July from NAMA’s Martin Whelan – he’s the former CIF communications chief who was recruited as NAMA’s Relationship Manager in January 2012, though he seems to have recently acquired a bit of an empire and his title has become Head of Relationship Management. His job is to maintain good relations with politicians – NAMA recently refused in a parliamentary question to say how much the Relationship Department at NAMA was costing (us!), citing data protection – no, seriously!
The correspondence shows the gross salaries drawn by developers – referred to as “principals” by NAMA. The most eye-catching figures will be the three developers getting €200,000 a year. NAMA won’t disclose their identities but two of the three are believed to be Ballymore’s Sean Mulryan, the man behind large residential developments in London and Castlethorn’s Joe O’Reilly, the developer of the Dundrum Town Centre shopping complex. The identity of the third has attracted less speculation, though I would not be surprised if it was a certain Northern Irish developer and racehorse owner.
In total there are 168 developers getting an overall total of €15.49m per annum – an average of €92,200.
Of course this information is misleading, and possibly completely misleading. I would be willing to wager that neither Sean Mulryan nor Joe O’Reilly would get out of bed in the morning for €200,000 a year. But the possibility of a profit share from the eventual sale of assets just might pique their interest, and there could well be hundreds of millions of euro on offer from NAMA in that regard, but NAMA doesn’t like talking about this. And it should be remembered that whilst these developers may be working on NAMA-related assets, they may also be working for Certus/BoSI-related assets or indeed new ventures. I am pretty sure very few of the developers on €0-49,000-a-year – the average is €43,000 – are working full-time on NAMA assets. In other words, they may be part-timers, but again NAMA is not likely to be keen to discuss this aspect.
As is usual when developer salaries and rewards are discussed, the conversation tends to turn to value for money, and if developers who are unable to repay their loans are the best people for NAMA to employ. NAMA says that hiring developers is cheaper than the alternative of property or share receivers who in Ireland tend to charge around €200 per hour and €800 per hour respectively. They will not be as familiar with the projects as the original developers and as we saw recently in the Ivan Yates case at the High Court, receivers can get bonuses on top of their basic. If you feel tempted to vent ill-feeling on the subject, this previous blogpost on developers’ salaries might add another dimension to your feelings.