Firm History

Scott Kays, CFA, CFP®, the founder of the firm, graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a 4.0 GPA in 1980. Immediately after graduation, he went to work for Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin) in their Finance department. It did not take him long to realize that he was not cut out for the big corporate environment. He began searching for a new career that not only required his education, but was also very people-oriented. Financial planning presented a natural fit.

In February, 1984, Scott began a one-year apprenticeship for a financial planner in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. Scott continued working his full-time position for Lockheed Martin from 8:00 to 4:45 and worked evenings and weekends developing his financial planning skills. That same year he also enrolled in the Certified Financial Planner™ course through the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado.

In March, 1985, Scott completed his apprenticeship and founded Kays Financial Advisory Corporation. In September of 1986, Scott left Lockheed Martin and began pursuing his new career on a full-time basis. Later that year he completed the requirements for earning the Certified Financial Planner™ designation. He also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2008.

Initially, Scott operated as a fee-plus-commission financial planner, meaning he prepared financial plans for a fee, and then sold investments on a commission basis. As his practice expanded, Scott grew disenchanted with selling securities for a commission. He became convinced that he could serve clients better by managing their assets on a fee basis, which he began doing in May of 1990.

Alan McKnight, MBA, CFP®, joined the firm in January, 1999 after spending a few years managing his own financial planning practice. Previously, Alan spent approximately 10 years as Engineering Manager for the Southeast's largest HVAC contracting and engineering firm. In 1992, Alan earned his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Financial Services from Kennesaw State University (KSU). During his studies at KSU, Alan was heavily influenced by two of his finance professors who consulted in the financial services industry. Soon after graduating, he switched careers into financial planning and enrolled in the College for Financial Planning's CFP® (Certified Financial Planner™) Program.

We are acutely aware that our growth and success depends on our clients' success. The philosophy that has made KFAC successful is simple. First, take the time to develop a personal relationship with each new client, learning what their unique needs are, as well as discussing any fears they may have regarding their money. Second, make recommendations to each client that are appropriate for them based on their goals and temperament. Finally, provide a level of service that is among the highest in the profession.