Jan Rogers Kniffen

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Jan Rogers Kniffen (born 1948) is a consultant to investors in retail companies and a former retail executive.

Early life[edit]

Born in Cairo, Illinois, Kniffen majored in English at the University of Illinois and received his B. S. in Journalism from Southern Illinois University. Kniffen received his MBA in Finance from Lindenwood University. Kniffen did his doctoral work in Finance at St. Louis University.


After serving as an Air Force Officer during the Vietnam War, Kniffen joined ACF Industries in St. Louis, Missouri,[1] a Fortune 300 Company at the time. After Carl Icahn acquired ACF in 1982, Kniffen became Assistant Treasurer of ACF reporting to the Treasurer of Icahn and Co. In 1984, Kniffen was responsible for issuing the largest junk bond ever issued at the time, $460 million with a yield of 1623%.[2]

In 1985, Kniffen joined May Department Stores Company,[3] became vice president and treasurer in 1986 [4] and SVP Finance and Treasurer in 1991.[5] Kniffen was responsible for Treasury, Tax, Risk Management, Investor Relations and Public relations, and managed the pension, profit sharing, and foundation portfolio; he also chartered and was president of the three May National Banks, and president of the Leadville and Snowdin insurance subsidiaries of May. Kniffen was named the best Investor Relations Officer in American Retailing by Institutional Investor Magazine in 1991 [6] The following year Kniffen was named one of the three most responsive Investor Relations Officers in public companies in the U. S.[7] In 1996 Kniffen surprised Wall Street with a $200 million, 30-year debt issue "to take advantage of recent retail sales momentum...to issue debt before rates go up," [8] Kniffen was responsible for May's acquisition of Associated Dry Goods, Foley's, Filene's, Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, Strawbridge's, and the divestitures of Venture, Caldor, and Payless ShoeSource, now Collective Brands.

In 2005, Kniffen founded J. Rogers Kniffen WWE, "a New York-based equity research and financial management firm."[9]


  1. ^ St. Louis Post Dispatch, January 8, 1980
  2. ^ Annual Report, ACF Industries, Inc. 1984
  3. ^ St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 6, 1985
  4. ^ The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 1986
  5. ^ The New York Times, May 8, 1991
  6. ^ Institutional Investor Magazine, August 1991, page 90
  7. ^ Institutional Investor Magazine, August 1992, page 120
  8. ^ "Investors Grab Surprise Deals from two Department Stores," The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 1996.
  9. ^ Shapiro, Lila (12 October 2011). "Walmart Employees Take Case Of Company's 'Vicious Circle' To Wall St.". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  • Political Perceptions of Black and White Teenagers in a 'Racist' Community," Chu, Atwood, Kniffen, Journalism Quarterly, Association of Educational Journalists, Fall 1972.
  • The USS Cairo – Symbol of a Nation's Unity, Jan Rogers Kniffen, Illinois Historical Society Magazine, Spring 1965. Reprinted in "A Compilation of Alexander County History", Jane Qualls, Women's Club and Library Association, 1968