Former Pittsburgh-based banker Maurice “Mossie” Murphy Jr. moved on from the public finance business more than decade ago but he left his mark on colleagues who said his big personality, camaraderie, and support stood out in their competitive field.
Murphy died in December after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 58.
Murphy joined the Merrill Lynch banking team in the early 2000s — before it was purchased by Bank of America — after working as a banker at Raymond James. He left the bank before the decade was out to work on solar power development but left a deep impression on former colleagues.
Most recently he worked in money management at Pittsburgh-based CIM Investment Management Inc., according to former colleagues.
“We lost a wonderful person who gave his heart and soul to the business,” Philip Rooney Jr., a banker at Barclays in Chicago, said of Murphy with whom he worked at Merrill Lynch. “Everyone enjoyed working with Mossie, his colleagues and clients. He was such a positive guy who was always there to motivate you with good advice and to offer an ear and he was so great at strategizing to come up with new business.”
A life-long Pittsburgher, Murphy’s political ties ran deep in the city and beyond, which opened some doors as Merrill Lynch sought to resurrect its dormant general municipal effort.
The firm had undergone a massive restructuring in 2001 when it cut several dozen bankers and limited its sector presence to health care, transportation, higher education, and housing.
Government borrowers had lingering ill will as the firm had shut down its business with various deals in the works. “We had some doors shut in our face, but nothing fazed Mossie and he just kept going. He was just absolutely wonderful to work with,” said Marty Hanby, a quantitative public finance banking specialist at the time who is now an assistant professor of finance at Texas A&M University.
Murphy’s passion for football ran as deep as his political affiliations. As an offensive lineman at Lehigh University, he threw a goal line block to help the team beat Army at West Point in the closing minutes of a game his senior year. It was a story he had related to colleagues more than once.
Murphy is survived by his wife, Abby, sons Jack and Mickey, who he coached in youth football games, his mother Carol Anton Murphy, brothers and sisters, and extended family. Services were held.