KPMG receives over €18m in fees from Nama

An auditing firm has received over €18m in fees from Nama as part of a €114.7m bonanza for professional firms, figures reveal.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed KPMG received €18.1m from Nama since the agency’s inception to Jan 31.

In the most detailed information released to date on fees paid to professional firms, Mr Noonan detailed payments in excess of €114.7m — inclusive of VAT — paid out by Nama since 2010.

He confirmed KPMG received €16.7m of its €18.1m total for its role as ‘audit co-ordinator’ of Nama’s work. He said the costs of the sole audit co-ordinator “are recovered from the financial institutions through a reduction in the acquisition value”.

The figures show the firms to receive the highest amounts in fees were: PriceWaterhouseCoopers (€13m) in fees for work under various headings; Ernst & Young (€8.4m); Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP (€6.6m); Deloitte & Touche (€4.8m) and FTI Consulting (€4.5m).

In a letter to Deputy Terence Flanagan arising from a Dáil question, Mr Noonan listed eight separate categories under which firms received professional fees. The most lucrative area relates to ‘loan valuation and related due diligence’ where five firms shared €30m.

Under that category, he said Ernst & Young received €8.3m (inclusive of overall amount above), PriceWaterHouseCoopers (€7.5m — inclusive of overall amount above); Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP (€6.6m — inclusive); FTI Consulting Ltd (€4.1m — inclusive) and UHY Hacker Young LLP received €3.4m.

Mr Noonan said the “loan valuation and related due diligence costs are recovered from the financial institutions through a reduction in the acquisition value”.

Mr Noonan confirmed that along with the €30m in fees on ‘loan valuation and related due diligence’ and the €16.7m to KPMG as audit co-ordinator, Nama has paid out €19.2m to 34 firms in ‘portfolio management fees’ and €14.3m to 28 firms for legal due diligence.

Some €12.4m was paid to 41 firms for property due diligence; €9.4m in legal fees to 73 firms and practitioners; €6.47m for financial and tax advice to six firms; €3.4m to 72 firms in ‘borrower recoverable costs’ and €2.5m to three parties in auditing and accounting costs.

The top earning legal firm was Arthur Cox which received €3.4m in fees across a number of headings, including legal due diligence and ‘legal fees’ with Hogan Lowell International LLP receiving €2.92m. Allen & Overy LLP got €2.4m.

Mr Noonan said legal due diligence costs are recovered through a reduction in the acquisition value. On Nama’s portfolio management fees, the top five received €9m with Deloitte & Touche receiving €2.9m; Jones Lang Lasalle Ltd (€2.8m); Grant Thornton (€1.2m); MKO (€1.1m) and Smith & Williamson Freaney Ltd €898,000.

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