Value Through Knowledge & Innovative Thinking 

Partners at FIF

Rainford M. Knight, Ph.D.  
Dr. Knight’s experience spans both academia and industry. His academic career started as an Assistant Professor of Finance at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in  Madison, New Jersey and then as a mergers and acquisitions analyst in the financial services industry.

Dr. Knight has over 15 years practical experience in financial/investment analysis including: portfolio construction and analytics, mortgage analytics, asset allocation model development, Investment management education and  mergers and acquisitions.

Internationally, Dr. Knight was part of the consulting team advising a sovereign government on the restructuring of its financial sector after a financial crisis. He helped to manage the sale of a $1billion non-performing loan portfolio.  Dr. Knight has also made presentations regarding financial sector restructuring to central banks and state owned banks in Latin America and the Caribbean including world organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

Dr. Knight is a co-founder of the Florida institute of Finance (FIF).  Over the years, FIF has developed and delivered a number of customized educational and training programs in finance to individuals and corporations – both publicly traded and private firms. In partnership with FAU’s Executive Education programs, FIF’s seminar attendees have come from some of the world largest corporations.

With respect to hedge funds, Dr. Knight has acted as a consultant Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for a fund of managed accounts hedge fund; he has also been the chief investment officer for a fund of hedge funds.  In both of these roles, Dr. Knight was responsible for portfolio construction, manager selection and due diligence.  He developed an approach to hedge fund due diligence and manager selection called the “Due Diligence DNA process.”

As a consultant, Dr. Knight provides advice to funds of funds and hedge funds in the areas of operational risk assessment, infrastructure institutionalization and investment risk management.  In the hedge fund industry, Dr. Knight has been a speaker or moderator at a number of industry conferences covering a wide range of topics from institutional due diligence to counterparty risk. He has been quoted in finance publications such as Institutional Investor.

In related work, Dr. Knight was selected as an adviser to a major publicly traded investment bank regarding their VAR risk models. And, in the banking sector, Dr. Knight has been a consultant to commercial banks on asset-liability risk model analysis.

Academically, Dr.  Knight is a member of the finance faculty at both the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University. He has also been an instructor for the chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Dr. Knight holds a Ph.D. in Finance from Florida Atlantic University with a doctoral thesis in the area of initial public offerings (IPOs). He is a member of the Financial Management Association International and a board member of the Florida Alternative Investment Association.

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Joel M. DiCicco, Ph.D., CPA
has over 20 years of practitioner experience in the areas of finance, taxation and accounting.  He earned his PhD at Florida Atlantic University with a concentration in public finance and a special emphasis on tax policy and structured financial products. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Manhattan College and a Master of Science in Taxation from Florida International University. Dr. DiCicco is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the states of Florida and New York. He has previously worked at the National Futures Association, Republic National Bank and Security Pacific Merchant Bank.

Dr. DiCicco has extensive experience in the valuation of sophisticated financial products and their applicable tax treatment as a result of his work for the U.S. Treasury.  He has conducted seminars on financial topics, including monetizations, financial synthetics, hedge funds and fair value accounting.  Dr. DiCicco was twice invited to speak before Senate Finance Committee staffers on hedge funds and other emerging financial product issues.

As an adjunct professor at FAU, Dr. DiCicco has taught numerous finance and accounting courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the simulated trading floor at Florida Atlantic University.  Dr. DiCicco currently delivers executive education certificate courses on Investment Management, Corporate Finance, Financial Accounting, Business Valuation, and will be presenting a certificate course on Hedge Fund Strategy and Analysis.

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