Irish

Thursday 21 August 2014

John Moran: Juice bar owner turned finance boss won’t be short of job offers

Shock resignation isn't that surprising when you think about it

Ailish O'Hora

Published 07/05/2014 | 14:22

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John A Moran, former Secretary General at the Department of Finance
John A Moran, former Secretary General at the Department of Finance
John Moran former General Secretary of the Department of Finance
John Moran former General Secretary of the Department of Finance

ONE thing is for sure.

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John Moran, who has just resigned as top civil servant at the Department of Finance, won't be short of job offers - that's if he's in the market for one.

And in many ways his 'shock' resignation today wasn't that surprising at all.

He was, after all, the accidental civil servant who came on board just when he was needed -  the right man for the job, so to speak.

Seen as a close ally of Finance Minister Michael Noonan (they are also both Limerick men), he took over the reins at the Department of Finance back in 2012 - when we were still in thick of the financial crisis.

He came from the Central Bank and it was his extensive experience in the banking sector that led to his appointment as secretary general at Finance given the colossal role that sector played in the economic crisis.

Moran (48), who is a lawyer, took over from Kevin Cardiff.

Prior to that he worked in the private banking sector - as a senior executive at Zurich Capital Markets and with law firm McCann FitzGerald  in New York.

Just a few years earlier he was running a juice bar in a picturesque town in the south of France - an unlikely prior role for most civil servants.

He cut a dapper and colourful character in a world dominated by conservative men in grey suits.

He wasn't afraid to speak his mind and no doubt there were times when press handlers sat through speeches wondering what he would say when he went off message.

Mr Moran, who will remain in the department until his successor is found, told staff today that he saw his time at the Department as "a mission with a fixed purpose" and not a long term proposition.

He added that he believed that now was the right time to hand over to a successor who can continue the job which is already under way.

He's right of course, that the economy is turning a corner.

But there could well be some bumps along the road in the banking sector which has yet to pass the up-coming stress tests.

Some banks still remain in State hands and will have to be sold off in some way or other over the next couple of years.

And we still are still none the wiser as to whether Europe will deal us that elusive deal on our bank debt.

Still, no one will begrudge the man a few weeks in sun if heads to the Mediterranean for a break.

He has seen off some of the economic crisis as well as the troika.

A nice cool drink at the JusSú in Cordes-sur-Ciel's medieval square is well deserved.

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