Last week, the focus on bankers’ salaries and pensions intensified and unfortunately for the bankers, I don’t think their time in that news cycle sun has expired just yet. But this morning, we turn to NAMA and its salaries and perks.
In the Dail last week, the Fianna Fail finance spokesperson Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to provide the salaries including perks of the NAMA staff. And it turns out that 12 of the 227 NAMA staff have packages worth more than €200,000 per year. It should be stressed that the figures provided include not just basic salary but also employer pension contributions – running at a modest 5% of salary on average at NAMA according to information recently released – plus allowances and benefits. “Allowances and benefits” might include private health insurance and car allowance.
There is one NAMA person whose salary and benefits are greater than €500,000 per annum and the betting would be that this is Brendan McDonagh, the NAMA CEO whose basic salary is €430,000 though he has waived 15% of this in 2012 and is now earning €365,500. It’s quite a leap from €365,500 to over €500,000 it must be said and given the average NAMA pension contribution of 5%, the difference is unlikely to be accounted for by pensions. Though having said that, Mike Aynsley the CEO of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation gets a contribution to his pension of 25% of salary.
There’s one staff member on €400,000 – €500,000 and the betting would be that this is John Mulcahy, NAMA’s most senior property man and member of the NAMA board.
There are two staff members on €300,000 – €400,000 and it is less clear who these might be, but Head of Asset Recovery, Ronnie Hanna and CFO, Donal Rooney would clearly be in the frame.
There are a further nine staff members on €200,000 – €300,000. Again, it should be stressed that these financial figures include pension contributions and allowances.
All NAMA staff whose salary exceeded €200,000 were asked in December 2011 by Minister Noonan to waive 15% of their salaries in 2012 or the portion over €200,000 whichever was lesser. All complied but apparently the request contributed to the decision of NAMA’s Head of Lending, Graham Emmett to resign. In April 2012, Minister Noonan made a similar request to the 30 staff at IBRC whose annual salaries exceed €200,000 and they told the Minister, who is the sole shareholder in 100% of the shares of IBRC, to get lost.
The comparison with IBRC is shown above, and IBRC’s figures are extracted from this press report as the PQ from Deputy McGrath doesn’t appear to be online.
The full parliamentary question and response are here:
Deputy Michael McGrath: To ask the Minister for Finance the number of staff that are on a total remuneration package including pension payments, allowances and benefits between €100,000 and €200,000, between €200,000 and €300,000, between €300,000 and €400,000, between €400,000 and €500,000; and the number with more than €500,000 at the National Assets Management Agency..
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: The National Asset Management Agency has no employees. Rather, under Section 42 of the NAMA Act 2009, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) assigns staff to the Agency. As of end-October 2012, some 227 staff had been assigned by the NTMA to the Agency. The Agency reimburses the NTMA the costs incurred in assigning these staff and in providing other business and support services.
The legislation which established the NTMA in 1990 deliberately positioned it outside of the wider public service structures with the operational freedom to negotiate market-competitive salaries to enable it to compete with the private sector to attract and retain staff with specialist and highly marketable skills. Under this business model, there are no general pay grades and no pay scale and all staff are on individually negotiated contracts.
Other than a small number of staff reassigned from other functions within the NTMA, Agency staff are employed by the NTMA on the basis of specified purpose contracts – their employment lasts for as long as their particularly skills and experience are required. The total remuneration of NTMA staff assigned to the Agency, which is set out below in tabular format, reflects the fact that, given the nature of the Agency’s activities, this staffing complement is primarily composed of experienced professional staff with substantial private-sector experience. The total remuneration delineated below includes gross salary, employer pension contribution and, where applicable, other benefits. Agency staff members are subject to the Public Service Pension Deduction.
Total Remuneration Band Number
Under €100,000 108
Between €100,000 – €200,000 106
Between €201,000 – 300,000 9
Between €301,000 – €400,000 2
Between €401,000 – €500,000 1
> €501,000 1