Wallace claims Nama adviser ‘peddled’ assets in Asia

TD obtains documents on Project Eagle that claim Cushnahan sought successor fees

The National Asset Management Agency has been embroiled in fresh controversy after it was alleged a former adviser was “peddling” assets to foreign investors as early as 2010.

Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace has made a number of new allegations about the agency’s sale of the Northern Ireland loan portfolio, known as Project Eagle.

Mr Wallace confirmed he had travelled to Asia last weekend to meet an English businessman who had contacted him through the NamaLeaks website.

The Independent TD has claimed he has received more than 100 emails and other documents regarding the sale of the portfolio.


This correspondence claims Frank Cushnahan, a former member of Nama’s Northern Ireland Advisory Committee, was seeking to receive successor fees for potential transactions as far back as 2010.

Mr Wallace said: “Last weekend I travelled to Asia to meet a businessman who contacted me through NamaLeaks. I went to collect documents and emails. Within a short time of Frank Cushnahan being appointed to Nama, he was peddling assets belonging to Nama to foreign parts.”

‘Influential people’

The documentation provided by the businessman who was acting as a middle man between Nama and potential investors in Asia, states Mr Cushnahan will provide “some influential people here in Asia who are looking for external investment because they cannot do it themselves for legal reasons”.

It further alleges that potential investors would be invited to private dinners with high-level politicians if the sale proceeded.

It adds: “Frank [Cushanhan] will ensure that only people with the highest integrity at governmental level would be involved and the returns look very, very good.”

The Government has promised an investigation into the sale of the Northern Ireland loan portfolio, following a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General which found it resulted in a potential €220 million loss to the taxpayer. It also raised concerns about why Nama diverted from normal procedures in selling the loan book.

Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour and Independents have supported calls for a commission of investigation.

Dáil privilege

Speaking under Dáil privilege on Thursday Mr Wallace outlined the contents of a number of the email exchanges.

Nama was not commenting on the latest revelations on Thursday night.

Mr Cushnahan is a central figure in the controversy over Nama’s sale of the loans to US company Cerberus in April 2014 for €1.6 billion. The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the UK’s National Crime Agency are investigating the transaction.

Last week, the PAC was told Mr Cushnahan was to share in a proposed £15 million fee sought from a bidder for the agency’s Northern Ireland loans while he was still a member of the State body’s Northern advisory committee.

Mr Cushnahan has denied acting improperly while a Nama adviser.

On Thursday, the PAC heard Cerberus paid £15 million to lawyers linked to Mr Cushnahan for extra information that the company believed would aid its bid for the State agency’s Northern Ireland loans.

Cerberus hired US lawyers Brown Rudnick and Belfast solicitors Tughans on March 24th 2014, shortly before Nama accepted its £1.241 billion (€1.6 billion) bid for the loans, known as Project Eagle, on April 4th, 2014, and agreed to pay them a £15 million fee.