John Manley, an equity strategist who was renowned on Wall Street for his sharp wit as his takes on the market, has died. He died at the age of68.
According to an obituary written by his family, Manley died of natural causes at his home in La Quinta, California, on May 2.
After starting out at Smith Barney in 1979 as a market analyst, Manley went on to work at Wells Fargo Funds Management Group as a chief equity strategist, which is now Allspring Global Investments. His career included stops at two investment firms.
A graduate of Boston College Law School and a veteran of the Street, the graduate was tapped for media appearances to discuss financial markets and investment strategy. He was a fixture on CNBC.
He is the smartest and most thoughtful person I have ever met, according to his son Jack. He was an encyclopedia.
In an industry where personal anecdotes are often traded as much as financial assets, Manley built up a rich portfolio. Jack told a story about how his father once impersonated a television anchor when he phoned a colleague at Smith Barney. Even though he conducted an outrageous faux interview, he stayed in character.
Jack said that it was always in good fun. It was always lighthearted.
The reporters who covered Wall Street often asked for strategic advice on issues other than what to buy and sell, because of Manley's good humor. In a 2016 story about how business was suffering at steak houses near Wall Street during a rough spell in the markets, Manley explained why there were so many empty tables.
He joked that he didn't want to be the guy who was out to lunch when the boss went through trying to figure out who he didn't really need.
It was level-headed takes on the market that kept the reporters calling and allowed the native of Pennsylvania to advance through the stock-market crash of 1987.
John Dorfman was a money manager for Dreman Value Management and wrote a column for Bloomberg when he heard about Manley's take on the market. It is likely that the quote will appeal to investors dealing with this year's volatile markets.
High valuations may not cause problems, but markets with high valuations are very susceptible to downdrafts based on seemingly minor fundamental problems.
According to his obituary, Manley was a mentor to many young people, an avid reader and a history buff.
Amy George, who was at Wells Fargo from 2011 to 2016 and managed the strategist, admits that he didn't need much help in getting his message out.
George, who now runs her own public-relations firm, By George Communications, said that John was a great storyteller, which is probably why they became fast friends.
She says she will never work with another like him.
John will be buried with his parents in Pennsylvania. Email remembrances to firstname.lastname@example.org are accepted by the family.(Updates with details from obituary in 13th paragraph. An earlier version of the story corrected the spelling of a university name in the fourth paragraph.)