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Archive for April 26th, 2010

Working yourself out of a job

For the 75/80 employees of NAMA (20 so far recruited) together with the army of external service providers, a consideration must be entertained as to how the lifespan of NAMA will impact on their continuing financial health. After all, if NAMA can be stretched to last 20 years and not 7-10 as presently expected, then it would be a poor employee or consultant that wouldn’t consider the financial opportunities. So what is to stop NAMA becoming a self-perpetuating piggybank for a small number of employees and large number of external service providers? What astute person or service provider would work themselves out of a job? It is interesting that with other country’s asset management companies, there has been an emphasis on developing employees so that they will have access to better opportunities in the private sector as the asset management company is wound up, so if you’re a lending analyst at NAMA, attention is given to how the experience can be developed to elevate you to a fantastic and lucrative role in the private sector when NAMA is wound up. A motivational challenge for NAMA may be convincing its employees of these opportunities. Another tool is to ensure employee contracts align with the objectives of the owner (the government and citizenry) for example by aligning contracts timeframes with the envisaged timeframe of NAMA or by setting job objectives and bonuses in the context of NAMA’s objectives. Pay and bonuses are controversial areas but to ignore human nature, even for NAMA employees, might be a false economy. Third party suppliers of services need to be handled more ruthlessly and the emphasis must be on ensuring NAMA control the external service providers and frame any contracts to support and encourage the fulfilment of NAMA’s own objectives and timeframes.

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Where’s Anglo?

At the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service on Tuesday 13th April, 2010, the NAMA CEO indicated that Anglo’s first tranche of loans would be transferred to NAMA in the “next 10 days”. Other than an article in yesterday’s Sunday Tribune which suggests that the Anglo estimated payment for the first tranche may be €4.5bn, and not €5.0bn previously estimated by NAMA, there has been no news. Are there unexpected problems?

With respect to the first tranche, the Tribune article claims that only BoI’s first tranche is “without issues” and apparently there are disputes in respect of the three other institutions. It is unclear whether the EU have approved the first tranche valuations.

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