John Michael “Mike” Kane, 60, a longtime senior executive at Ally Financial, died Jan. 5. in Southlake, Texas.
Kane rose to vice president of consumer operations at Ally, spending nearly a dozen years at the company, after a 10-year stint at Citigroup.
“Many heavy hearts these days at Ally with the loss of Mike,” Dan Antonelli, a senior vice president at Ally, wrote about Kane on LinkedIn. “He was a great colleague, mentor to many and exceptional family man. I will miss those conversations — he did most of the talking — and debates we had over the years. A friend that battled, never complained, [and] was positive to the end.”
Doug Timmerman, president of Ally’s auto unit, said that Kane, during his tenure, played a significant role in Ally’s transformation.
“Over the decade-plus … he built an industry-leading credit team that not only helped the company bounce back stronger following the 2008 recession, but culminated with a historic year in 2021,” Timmerman said. “Mike was also one of the driving forces of our transition from a captive lender to the market competitive force that we are today. He was a visionary who created a roadmap for Ally that will continue to define us for the years to come.”
Kane was heavily involved in industry initiatives, especially at the American Financial Services Association and the Consumer Bankers Association. In 2019 he was named chair of AFSA’s Risk Committee, “in a time marked by rapid change and digitization,” according to AFSA.
“Mike energetically led the Risk Committee, ensuring a full slate of relevant topics were explored for the Committee’s members,” an AFSA spokesman said. “Mike’s years of experience and his focus on the work of the committee were integral to informing our industry through this period.”
A tall, stately man with a quick smile, Kane was a frequent attendee and speaker at Auto Finance News’ industry events, always ready to share his insights and intellect. In 2012, for example, he spoke on a panel entitled, “How to Make the Auto Finance Experience Better for Joe Consumer” – and he meant it.
“I will remember Mike’s positive attitude toward life, family and work, and his willingness to share his knowledge and expertise,” said Tim Russi, former vice chairman and president of auto finance at Ally, who hired Kane in 2010 and worked with him until 2018. “He loved our industry and his passion for it made him an outstanding leader who inspired many.”
Kane is survived by his wife, four children, mother and two sisters.
A memorial service will be held on Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. CT at Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home, in Colleyville, Texas. See details here. Kane’s family welcomes donations in his memory to the Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation Research Fellowship or to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.