2021 Best Undergraduate Professors: Kevin R. Mirabile, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University

Kevin R. Mirabile

Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University

“Professor Mirabile had a profound impact on my deciding to enter the hedge fund industry directly post college. He married academic lessons with real life experiences. He helped me network through his professional contacts and guided me through my interview processes. He was hands down the most impactful professor at Fordham and is the reason I am in the hedge fund industry today.” – Anthony Ciena, student

Kevin R. Mirabile, 60, is Clinical Associate Professor of Finance and Business Economics and Director of the Alternative Investments Program at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. He’s been with Fordham since 2011.

He has a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Finance and Economics from Pace University, an MS in International Banking and Financial Services from Boston University, and a BS in accounting from State University of N.Y. at Albany. He currently teaches Financial Management; Investments and Securities Analysis; Futures, Options and other Derivatives; Hedge Fund Investing; and Alternative Investments.

He has more than 30 years of experience in business development, financing, and trading. He is a former CEO of Larch Lane Advisors and former COO of Orca Asset Management, a startup hedge fund.  He’s also had senior positions at Morgan Stanley, Dalway Securities, and Barclays Capital. He is the author of “Hedge Fund Investing: A Practical Guide to Investor Motivation.”

At Fordham, he brings real-world experience and network into his classroom. He is a trusted mentor, academic advisor, and career counselor, as well as an engaging instructor, according to his multiple student nominations.

“I owe Professor Mirabile for my career in finance today, four years out of graduation. He is an expert on everything from alternatives to derivatives, and he takes these complex concepts and synthesizes them into digestible ideas for his students,” says Mario Stefanidis who now works in fixed income at BlackRock. “His classes are very hands-on, and from early on you learn to use real-world applications like Bloomberg to do research.”


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… My initial experience giving lectures at various business schools while still working professionally motivated me to seek a full-time opportunity. As soon as I gave my first lecture, taught my first class and engaged with my first students, I knew this was something I wanted to do for a career. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I have been researching the role of various exotic investments like eSports, gaming, crypto, collectables and specialized credit investing on portfolio diversification. So far, it appears that many complex and difficult to trade asset classes have positive portfolio effects and improve diversification. I have also been researching the role of diversity in portfolio management and trying to understand the “why” behind the observed outperformance of certain sub sectators, such as women-managed private equity and hedge funds. 

If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… Managing money and working in the not-for-profit industry helping those in need. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? My business experience, the enthusiasm and passion I bring to the classroom, my high standards, and an unwavering commitment to my students during their undergraduate, graduate, and professional journey.

One word that describes my first-time teaching: Exhilarating! 

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: I wish someone told me how enjoyable it would be so that I could have transitioned from industry to academia sooner! 

Professor I most admire and why: Harry Markowitz. I admire his being a pioneer in finance in the 1950s, his thinking-out-of-the-box mentality, and his staying active in academia and industry well into his 90s.  


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? I like both the rigor and diversity of teaching business students. I like teaching business school students because success requires students to integrate principles of accounting, math, sociology, and economics all at once. Teaching business students is also enjoyable because it allows for teaching methods based on cases and real-world experience. 

What is most challenging? Staying current and up-to-speed on rapidly changes markets and trends. Fortunately, I am able to leverage my business contacts and our alumni network to stay engaged and current so that my teaching is relevant and timely. 

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Engaged!  

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Unmotivated.

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Demanding yet fair, with high standards and a willingness to help those who need it to do well – and to help those who will to excel. 


What are your hobbies? Golf, fishing, movies and travel. 

How will you spend your summer? Vacationing and relaxing with my family. 

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Adirondack mountains in upstate New York and the beaches of Montauk, Long Island.

Favorite book(s): “Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk,” by Peter L. Bernstein

“I am Pilgrim,” by Terry Hayes

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? My favorite show of all time is Seinfeld. It is a comedy based in NYC that simply defies time and remains a great way to laugh and relax no matter how many times I have seen an episode. 

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I have always loved Jersey Shore favorites like, Bruce Springsteen, South Side Johnnie and the Beaver Brown band. I grew up in New York but lived not far from where these bands started. I grew up going to their live performances, often before they were famous. It has been great watching how their music has evolved and changed over the years. 


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… In the future, I would hope that business schools can embrace more job training and skill-set development, more remote learning options, and offer more courses that reflect today’s world and realities. I would hope to see business education evolve alongside the needs of the business community to remain relevant, engaging and add value. I would also like to see continued creativity and promotion of dynamic course development and content. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… Being transparent about accomplishing their goals. Not just “talk the talk,” but also “walk the walk.” It is great to be aspirational, but even better to get things done!  

I’m grateful for… My health and my family and all those who have supported me over the years. 

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