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IRELAND – Minister for finance, Charlie McCreevy, has appointed the commission that will oversee management of the IR£5bn (e6.35bn) National Pensions Reserve Fund – the war-chest the government hopes will plug the future hole in its social welfare and civil service pension payments.

Donal J Geaney, chairman and chief executive officer of the Irish bio-pharmaceutical company Elan, has been appointed as the chairperson of the commission.

Other members are Robert J Curran, second secretary in the Irish department of finance, Brid Horan, general manager of pensions at the Irish Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Martin Kohlhaussen, chairman of the board of managing directors at Germany’s Commerzbank and managing partner at the US private equity firm Emerging Markets Partnership, Donald C Roth.
Michael Somers chief executive of the Irish National Treasury Management Agency and Daniel P Tully chairman emeritus of the US financial services group Merrill Lynch, complete the commission line-up.

According to the Irish department of finance, the minister notes that persons of the calibre he has appointed to the commission are likely to have conflicts of interest on occasion. He stresses that he has discussed this issue with the chairperson, in accordance to the procedures set out in the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act for dealing with such conflicts of interest.

The commission will be independent of government in controlling and managing the fund, as well as, appointing outside investment managers to invest the fund’s assets.
The Irish National Treasury Management Agency will act as manager, or agent, of the commission in managing the fund for an initial period of 10 years.
To prevent the use of the monies for any other purpose besides the meeting of pension costs, there is a statutory prohibition on draw-downs before 2025.

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