CNL Financial Group, a private real estate investment and finance company, has hired Florida International University’s Randy I. Anderson as chief economist. Anderson most recently served as the Ryder Eminent Scholar Chair and professor of real estate finance at Florida International University (FIU).

As chief economist and researcher at Orlando, Fla.-based CNL, Anderson will manage the firm’s real estate and macroeconomics research team. He will also oversee due diligence on investment opportunities and contribute to the company’s strategy and new product development efforts.

“Market and trend analysis has always been integral to the success of our company, but bringing Randy aboard takes our research capabilities to a whole new level. He’ll become an invaluable addition to our executive team,” says CNL Financial Group chairman and CEO James Seneff.

Anderson, who holds a doctorate in finance from the University of Alabama, was previously chief economist at investment sales brokerage Marcus & Millichap.