The Punt: Are jobs for life on the cards at Nama?

Animal spirits in the property sector mean the agency’s employees are in demand with various property firms, while if they stay with Nama they face the prospect of working themselves out of a job over the next three to five years.

Unsurprisingly chief executive Brendan McDonagh and chairman Frank Daly have been looking at ways to retain key people without the political back lash that would be inevitable if already good salaries at the agency are hiked, or heaven forbid bonuses introduced.

News that officials are looking at possibly extending the life of Nama beyond the 2020 cut off by allowing it to morph into a long term State property company, sounds like just the solution.

Being able to hold out the prospect of a job for life could make all the difference in the battle to retain talent, which would be good for Nama. Whether it would be good for the rest of us remains to be seen.
McCarthy Dealz out the love

Dealz chief executive Jim McCarthy is rather fond of the Irish consumer.

That’s probably not surprising, given that the discount retailer has managed to open 34 stores here in just three years

Speaking to the Punt about the discount retailer’s plans to open a further ten new stores in Ireland, Mr McCarthy waxed lyrical about our collective nose for value.

“We love being here and we love pleasing the Irish consumers,” the obliging Mr McCarthy said.

“We’re indebted to the Irish consumers, who have voted with their wallets and purses. “The Irish consumer is very, very wise – they want the best deal they can get.”

But it didn’t even stop there, as Mr McCarthy also described us as “very smart”, very savvy”, and “very cost-conscious”.

The Punt had almost begun to blush by that point.

Dealz trades as Poundland in the UK, and Mr McCarthy has been running things for eight and a half years. Previously he was on the operating board of Sainsbury’s.

Mr McCarthy has two grandparents from Cork, and his son Sean is a prop for Leinster after signing from Jersey in May.

McCarthy jr, who weighs in at 17st 8lb, has been capped for the Ireland U18. He’s entitled to a discount at his local butcher, so that probably helps.
Eircom captain steps ashore

So Herb Hribar has saluted farewell to Eircom.

The former US naval officer may not be leaving the business entirely ship-shape, but it’s certainly seaworthy and in a much better place than it was a couple of years ago.

Mr Hribar spent nine years with the US Navy after qualifying from its academy in 1974 with a degree in oceanography. Clearly no slouch, he also holds an MBA from George Washington University, as well as a Masters from John Hopkins University.

It’s hardly surprising in many ways that he has decided to leave the company after plans to return Eircom to the stock market were put back on the shelf. He was going to make a packet in bonuses from the IPO, and he may figure that waiting around for another two years just isn’t worth it.

As well as that, time catches up with us all.

Mr Hribar turns 63 on Friday, leaving him a narrow window to get his feet under the table at another senior role where he’ll have time enough to make his presence felt and have a lasting impact.

Renewing his contract at Eircom would have at least brought him to age 64. And with Eircom’s stock market return now on the long finger for probably another two years, he obviously figure now was the time to cut loose.
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