Ex-Nama man glides into Glenveagh chairman role

Cantillon: John Mulcahy has navigated the property rollercoaster with ease

John Mulcahy: Glenveagh Properties is planning to raise about €350 million before seeking a stock market listing as early as October. Photograph: Shane O’Neill/Fennells.

Few Irish property figures have managed to navigate the industry's rollercoaster ride over the past decade with the ease of John Mulcahy.

As chief executive and chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Ireland between 2002 and 2010, the chartered surveyor benefited from the property boom as the firm was a leading intermediary in land deals around Dublin.

As the market stuttered, Mulcahy found a cushion in Nama, where he was originally hired by the State’s bad bank in 2009 to help develop a template to value about €72 billion of commercial property that Nama was preparing to take over from the nation’s ailing banks.

He went on to become head of portfolio management at Nama in February 2010, just before the agency started to take delivery of toxic loans, before being appointed head of asset management two years later and retiring from Nama in 2014.


The property poacher turned gamekeeper has proven to be much in demand again in the private sector and, within months of exiting Nama, he joined the boards of property fund Iput and a vehicle used by US private equity firm Oaktree to hold property assets it mopped up in Ireland at discounted prices following the crash.

Housebuilding company

Now Oaktree has found further use for the services of Mulcahy, with the 68-year-old being lined up as chairman for a housebuilding company it has set up with Bridgedale, a low-profile development firm led by Stephen Garvey.

The new entity, Glenveagh Properties, is planning to raise about €350 million before seeking a stock market listing as early as October. Mulcahy, Garvey and Oaktree executive Justin Bickle, who is being lined up as chief executive of the new Irish housebuilder, have been given 200 million of so-called "founder shares" in Glenveagh, which may be converted into ordinary stock over time, subject to certain conditions.

With house price inflation running at almost 12 per cent and the Construction Industry Federation forecasting that 18,000 units will be completed this year – about half the level of demand – it's hard to see how the trio will not make tidy sums out of the awards.