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Vice Chairman, Partner & Alternate Governor

Douglas A. Cifu is the Vice Chairman, Partner and Alternate Governor of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, BB&T Center, and SSE’s additional operating entities.

Cifu, and Owner Vincent J. Viola, purchased the Panthers enterprise on Sept. 27, 2013.

A native of Syosset, N.Y., Cifu graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1987 where he was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and completed his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1990.

Cifu is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Virtu Financial, LLC a global electronic market making firm and was one of the company’s co-founders with Vincent Viola in 2008. Mr. Cifu also serves on the board of Independent Bank of Texas (NASDAQ: IBTX), a community banking chain based in Mckinney, Texas and Eastern Airlines, inc.
Prior to joining Virtu, Cifu practiced law for 18 years and was a partner at the international law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. While there, Cifu served as a member of the Management Committee, was Deputy Chair of the Corporate Department, and co-head of the Private Equity Group. Highly regarded by his peers, Cifu was recognized in Chambers USA and Legal 500 as a leading mergers and acquisitions lawyer for buyouts and private equity transactions.

Cifu has a residence in Mirasol, Fla. with his wife, Melissa Lautenberg Cifu, their daughter, Rachel, and son, Daniel.




Executive Chairman

Peter Luukko was appointed Executive Chairman of The Florida Panthers Hockey Club and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment on February 6, 2015. Under Luukko's leadership, the franchise hosted the 2015 National Hockey League Draft, the Panthers have had a significant increase in ticket and corporate partnership revenue and the BB&T Center has attracted a variety of prominent shows.


Prior to coming to South Florida, Luukko served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Comcast-Spectacor, L.P. for more than 25 years, overseeing the Philadelphia Flyers, while serving as a member of the National Hockey League Board of Governors. He oversaw Comcast-Spectacor's facility-management business, which runs more than 125 sports arenas, stadiums and convention centers. He was also responsible for the expansion of Comcast-Spectacor’s broad range of businesses. 

Under Luukko’s leadership, Comcast-Spectacor helped Philadelphia garner national attention and awareness by attracting several high-profile events to the city of Philadelphia, including the 2000 Republican National Convention, the 2000 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2001 NCAA Men’s East Regionals, the 2001 and 2002 X-Games, the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend, the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Gymnastics, the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four and numerous other sports and entertainment events. As President of the Flyers, he played an instrumental role in his club participating in two Winter Classics (2010 and 2012), while also hosting the 2014 NHL Draft. 

A recognized leader in the facility management industry, Luukko was the 2000 recipient of the City of Hope’s Tri-State Labor Award. He also received the 2002 prestigious Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Sports Management Program of the University of Massachusetts for his accomplishments in the field of sports management. He received the 2013 Police Athletic League PAL Award for his contributions to the Philadelphia community. 

In 2013, Mr. Luukko and Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider ranked 43rd on Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal’s prestigious list of the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Sports Business. The two are also two-time winners of Venues Today’s Hall of Headlines. He also was named one of Billboard Magazine’s Power 100 (2012 and 2013). 

Mr. Luukko, 55, serves as an active member of the Board of Directors of Pointstreak Sports Technologies Inc., a Toronto company that develops sports-related software, including 50/50 raffle technology increasingly used at sports facilities across North America. 

He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Philly Sports Holdings, an Exton, Pa.- based holding company that operates Sports Vault and Strategic Sports Marketing. Luukko is a hockey player, hockey coach and hockey parent. 

He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts. Luukko and his wife, Casey, have three children Nick, Dana and Max. His son Nick was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Draft. 

President and CEO

Matthew Caldwell is the President and CEO of the Florida Panthers and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment. Caldwell joined the Panthers when Vincent Viola and Doug Cifu purchased the team in 2013. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer for the Panthers.

Caldwell has worked with Panthers ownership for a number of years and has helped with a number of their operating companies including Eastern Air Lines Group and VersaMe. Prior to joining the Panthers, Caldwell was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in their Investment Management Division where he helped families and institutions invest their capital.

Before working in the finance industry, Caldwell served five years in the U.S. Army as a military officer. During his time in the Army, he conducted combat operations in Iraq, peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, and spent the rest of this time in Germany training soldiers as they prepared to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Caldwell received his JD from Northwestern University School of Law, his MBA from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, and his Bachelor of Science from West Point.


Special Advisor to Ownership

Rory A. Babich, a long-time international business executive, serves as special Advisor to Ownership for the Florida Panthers.

Since his appointment, Babich has helped develop new strategies that are targeted at, among other things, the team’s marketing, international brand awareness exposure, ticket pricing, corporate partnerships, digital media, web content and community outreach. Among his early achievements are enhancing commercial broadcasts, simplified ticket plans, an expanded community outreach program that features closer collaboration with local schools on different initiatives, an upcoming expansion of youth hockey programs in South Florida and the relaunch of Panthers Fan Fest.

Before joining the Panthers, Babich served as a consultant to Messrs. Viola and Cifu in connection with their purchase of the Florida Panthers in September 2013. Previously, Babich worked as an executive with the liquid markets funds business of Fortress Investment Group, a publicly traded company, where he helped lead the business through the financial crisis, restructure the business, expand its product offerings to investors and increase its geographical scope through international expansion, eventually becoming its Chief Operating Officer responsible for running the day-to- day business.

Babich joined Fortress Investment Group after working as an executive with Swiss Re Group, one of the world’s largest reinsurers where Mr. Babich was a member of the leadership team responsible for managing a large portion of the Group’s global public and private investment portfolio and helped lead the international expansion of its alternative investments business. Babich began his career as an international corporate attorney at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison where he worked in their New York, Hong Kong (which office he helped open) and Tokyo offices working on a wide range on global transactions for a number of different clients in a variety of industries before being recruited by his client Swiss Re to join them. An avid sports fan and long-time hockey follower, Babich was born in New York, New York and grew up in New Jersey. He graduated with a B.A. In Economics from Rutgers University and earned his J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School.