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The Independent Foreclosure Review Is Ruining My Career!

I'm a third year manager at EY who spent 18 months (right after I became a manager) managing a work stream at HSBC on our IFR work.  At the time, it seemed like a good opportunity to get real managerial experience on a high profile deal.  However, after that mess fell apart, I've found that what really happened was I lost a big chunk of time away from my group when I could have developing relationships and developing skills and, based on my assignments and reviews, it seems like I'm being treated as if I took a leave of absence that entire time.  I've been quietly looking around for a new gig and I'm getting bad results.  Some of the feedback I'm getting is that the IFR work is a weird gap in my resume that is totally unrelated to my area of expertise and a problem.   Did anyone else spend time on this project and are you having any issues as a result?