Remembering John Shanley

Remembering John Shanley
John Shanley

NEW YORK — John Shanley, the footwear industry’s go-to analyst, died at home on Feb. 15 after a four-year fight with bladder cancer. He was 65.

Shanley, a senior equity analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, developed a reputation for fair and insightful coverage of the business after years of experience in the footwear and retail sectors.

“John always had a special feeling for the shoe industry,” Steven Nichols, chairman and CEO of K-Swiss, told Footwear News. “He fully understood our industry, and he was 100 percent fair and impartial.”

At Susquehanna, Shanley covered some of the biggest companies in the business, including Foot Locker, Collective Brands, Brown Shoe, K-Swiss and Genesco. Before joining the firm in 2004, Shanley served as managing director and senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC and as managing director at JW Genesis Capital Markets.

Before that, he had been director of research and strategic planning at Woolworth Corp. (now Foot Locker) and held a similar position at Allied Stores Corp. (now Macy’s Inc.). He was remembered by fellow analyst Christopher Svezia as a consummate professional.

“He had a strong attention to detail, dedication and knowledge,” Svezia said. “He was definitely a leader in his thought process, and I think people knew that.”

FN recognized Shanley’s industry significance in both 2007 and 2008 on the magazine’s annual Power 100 list of the most influential people in the footwear business.

“John was a true professional in his field,” said Matt Serra, president, CEO and chairman of Foot Locker Inc. “His extensive work experience in the retail industry often gave him a competitive edge, allowing him to better understand and evaluate the business strategies developed and implemented by the companies he covered.”

“John truly became personally involved not only with the companies he represented but more importantly with the people who managed them,” added Joe Wood, president of Brown Shoe Retail. “I always looked forward to the time we spent together and respected the knowledge he brought from the industry he was so passionate about. I, along with so many others, will miss him dearly.”

Matt Rubel, CEO of Collective Brands Inc., who worked with Shanley over the past decade, said, “John was an independent thinker who had a tremendous grasp of the people and key drivers in our industry. His knowledge on the operations and financial sides gave him unique insights that are hard to replicate. He had a unique view on things, and he’ll be missed, as he was a positive catalyst in our industry.”

“He was a credit to his profession and a pleasure to know,” added Hal Pennington, chairman of Genesco. “There was never anyone who worked harder to understand the companies he worked with, and through this work ethic, he earned the respect of the industry. John will be missed by our industry and by each of us individually.”

Shanley is survived by his wife, Patricia; two sons; three grandchildren; and two sisters.

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