Moran brings strong academic and professional credentials
PARACHUTED in from the Central Bank just nine months ago, John Moran is the favourite to become the head mandarin of the Department of Finance.
Mr Moran is a trusted aide of Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who put him in charge of bank restructuring when he took over on Merrion Street.
The headhunting of someone so senior to become the new head of the Banking Policy Division was viewed as a signal of intent from the new minister.
Mr Moran is viewed as the frontrunner to replace Kevin Cardiff as secretary general of the department.
The Government is keen for a changing of the guard within the senior ranks of the department and Mr Moran fits the bill.
The former chief executive at Zurich Bank is technically on secondment from the Central Bank.
He was brought into the Central Bank by the governor Patrick Honohan a year earlier, who was impressed by his work and asked him to head up the supervision of the wholesale banking division.
He is also held in high regard within the coalition.
Mr Moran is also among the select number of officials who are occasionally invited to attend the unofficial war cabinet of the economic crisis, the Economic Management Council, made up of Mr Noonan, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin.
Like Mr Noonan, he comes from Limerick. His parents still live in Patrickswell, which is near the city.
Neighbours describe them as a hardworking family with a 30-acre farm and high-achieving children, three sons and a daughter.
After national school and the CBS in Limerick, he graduated with an honours law degree from UCD in 1987, did his New York bar exam in 1987.
He followed that with an honours degree in law and taxation from the University of Pennsylvania.
After qualifying as a solicitor from the Incorporated Law Society in 1994, he became an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell tax group and went on to be vice-president legal at aircraft leaser GPA for three years.
Mr Moran headed up top Dublin solicitors McCann FitzGerald's office in New York for nearly three years and switched careers to join Zurich Capital Markets as CEO.
As head of business development for Zurich, he took charge of the bank's largest-ever deal, the €41m refinancing of an Italian hotel group, before leaving in 2005.
Mr Moran took time off after he left Zurich to move around Europe.
He then returned to Ireland and the Central Bank.