Sunday 18 August 2019

Ex-Department of Finance boss John Moran picked up by Uber

John Moran, ex-Secretary General of the Department of Finance
John Moran, ex-Secretary General of the Department of Finance

Donal O'Donovan and Colm Kelpie

A global online car booking service and one of Japan's biggest banks have both tapped John Moran to work as a consultant, the Irish Independent has learned.

The former Secretary General of the Department of Finance stood down from his top civil service post in May last year, after just two years in the role, to pursue other interests.

The Limerick man confirmed this weekend that he is now acting as a consultant to online taxi service Uber, which is targetting a major push into Europe; and to Nomura, the Japanese banking giant that took control of the remains of Lehman Brothers' European and Asian units following the infamous collapse of the one-time global investment bank.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Moran confirmed that he is working with both companies, though not as an employee.

He is also involved in Limerick's campaign to become European City of Culture 2020 and is a director of the European Investment Bank (EIB), a position he was first appointed to while still at the Department of Finance.

The board appointment at the EIB is at discretion of the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Mr Moran, a former corporate lawyer and banker, is seen as close to the minister.

He was selected in 2012, in the aftermath of the banking and financial crisis, by fellow Limerick-man Mr Noonan as the first outsider to take the reins at the Department of Finance. He had previously worked as head of the banking unit at the Department, which he joined after a stint at the Central Bank. Before that Mr Moran's background was in the private sector, as a senior banker and corporate lawyer working mostly outside Ireland.

US-based Uber is in the process of hiring to fill 300 jobs in Limerick, after taking the decision to set up a European service centre in the city over the summer.

Winning Uber is seen as a major coup for the city, given the tendency of most big digital economy investment to flow to Dublin.

However, the US company, which charges taxi operators for helping customers book trips but does not employ drivers, has hit expansion hurdles, including blockades in some European cities by traditional taxi drivers' associations that say the business, is weakening sustainable jobs in the taxi industry.

Nomura is one of Japan's biggest financial institutions, its European headquarters in London, where Mr Moran is now consulting, is focused on wholesale banking and financing and includes the remains of the former Lehman Brothers, whose non US businesses were bought by Nomura in 2008 for just $2.

Before joining the civil service Mr Moran worked at Zurich Capital Markets in Dublin, Sydney, London and New York, law firm McCann FitzGerald, GE Capital Aviation/GPA and US law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

Irish Independent

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