By Faye Brookman
Stephanie Wissink, one of the most respected—and quoted—financial analysts in the retail and beauty industry, has jumped from Wall Street to Walmart as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations.
“Today was bittersweet,” Stephanie posted on October 25 via LinkedIn. “After 20-plus years on Wall Street I am excited to join Walmart. It’s the best of both worlds—staying connected to the investment funds clients that have become longtime friends and working for a company fighting every day for value for the consumer.”
In a statement, Walmart noted its plans to leverage Stephanie’s experience.
“With more than two decades of equity research experience, we’re excited about the leadership and knowledge Steph will bring to our Investor Relations team as well as to our global finance team.”
As Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at Jefferies, Stephanie covered broadline retail, including Walmart, as well as consumer products.
Her keen analysis and assessment of the beauty sector stood out in the industry. The beauty brands on her roster included the Estée Lauder Cos., E.l.f Beauty, Olaplex, Revlon, Coty, and Sally Beauty, among others. Many looked forward to her email newsletter, Beauty Secrets: Buzzworthy Beauty Industry Insights, which summarized the most notable beauty industry events, highlighted important quotes, talked about store visits, and listed brand analysis.
She often pinpointed trends ahead of industry prognosticators and was typically a reporter’s first call after an acquisition or merger. For example, she was among the first to sound the bell that skin care was slowing down after back-to-back years of robust growth; she was an early fan of E.l.f.’s value, yet innovative, positioning.
Rather than taking brands’ statements verbatim, Stephanie is known for her reports from the field. Her boots-on-the-ground approach gave a bird’s eye view of the launch of the Ulta Beauty/Target and Kohl’s/Sephora partnerships. She has taken investors, who are mostly men, to experience HydraFacials. She has a built-in market research group: she hits stores with her daughter and her friends to know what’s driving spending patterns of Gen Z.
Stephanie fills the role formerly held by Dan Binder, who transitioned to a new position, Senior Vice President, Global Treasurer. She will report directly to John David Rainey, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Prior to joining Jefferies, Stephanie served as a Senior Research Analyst with investment bank and institutional securities firm Piper Jaffray, where she spent nearly 16 years authoring company and industry reports focused on beauty, retail, entertainment, toys and games, as well as health and wellness.