Third AIB manager joins commercial property firm Relm

Armand Lako joins Real Estate Loan Management which was set up by Richard Barrett

Dublin-based Real Estate Loan Management (Relm), a boutique debt arrangement business set up by Irish businessman and barrister Richard Barrett, has made another hire from AIB.

Armand Lako, a senior manager with AIB property lending, resigned last week, having worked with the bank since 2010.

Mr Lako, who previously worked at Irish Nationwide Building Society, is well known in the property finance market and worked on a number of AIB’s recent new property lending transactions.

He's the third senior recruit from AIB for Relm. In December, it emerged that David Renwick, head of property lending at AIB corporate and institutional banking, and Paul Dowling, head of development and specialist property at the bank's property lending unit, left the State-controlled financial institution for Mr Barrett's company.


According to the company’s website, the Relm team has “collectively participated” in property lending transactions with a value of more than €5 billion.

It states that they have the necessary “multi-disciplined skills and experience to provide a highly professional interface with debt funders”.

Relm is a sister company of Mr Barrett's Bartra Capital, which plans to invest €1.2 billion in housing, energy and healthcare.

Bartra is a captive client of Relm, which is run as a separately managed business and arranges debt capital for property investment.

A spokesman for Relm declined to comment in respect of Mr Lako but said the business was “very active on a number of transactions for clients and has a need to rapidly expand the team”.

Debt requirements

It was reported recently that Relm had three early-stage transactions in the pipeline. It is also the arranger of all of Bartra’s debt requirements. It is understood they will advise property developers seeking non-bank debt financing, with a particular focus on international investment groups.

During their time at AIB, Mr Renwick and Mr Dowling dealt with a number of big property developers in Ireland, including Cairn Homes and Michael O’Flynn.

Mr Barrett previously owned Treasury Holdings with property developer Johnny Ronan.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times