From inception, the Diversify vision has remained unwavering, driving our commitment to innovation and excellence. We strive to cultivate a family-like culture, an institutional platform and an immersive experience that enables advisors and wealth management firms to differentiate themselves, retain their entrepreneurial autonomy, and, most importantly, protect and serve investors effectively.
Founded and operated by seasoned advisors, the Diversify leadership team identified notable inefficiencies in the financial services and wealth management industry. Diversify was carefully crafted to address these inefficiencies and facilitate transformative growth for our valued advisor partners.
We firmly believe that the opportunities within the wealth management industry have never been greater, and we intend to pursue those opportunities alongside our advisor partners in improving the outcomes and experience of our valued investors.
For nearly two decades, the leadership team at Diversify has been at the forefront of the alternative investment industry. In 2011, the Diversify founders launched DFPG Investments (“DFPG”), a broker dealer with a specialization in alternative investment solutions. These solutions encompass real estate, private equity, private credit, structured notes, and more. DFPG’s CEO, Mike Bendix, served as the President of the Alternative & Direct Investment and Securities Association (“ADISA”), one of the nation’s largest trade associations dedicated to alternative investments. ADISA awarded DFPG, and certain members of its leadership, prestigious accolades such as the ACE Award, President’s Award, and Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of their leadership within the alternative investment industry.
Alternative investments can play a crucial role in building well-rounded investment portfolios. While they may offer strategic advantages, they also come with inherent risks. To effectively participate in the offering of alternative investments, advisors must have access to top-tier education, resources, and expertise. They must understand the intricacies of the products they offer, grasp the potential risks associated with these offerings, and be able to assess how these products may align with an investor’s portfolio. Drawing from their extensive experience, educational initiatives, and industry leadership, Diversify have built a team and a culture that is dedicated to delivering this critical level of support.
Meet the Team
Ryan Smith, CRCP®
Ryan brings extensive leadership experience to the finance and wealth management industry, with a career spanning over 20 years. Ryan is responsible for the strategy and vision of the Diversify Advisor Network, which has evolved into an expansive network that serves hundreds of advisors across the nation, with over $7 billion of assets.
Prior to launching the Diversify Advisor Network, he co-founded DFPG Investments, LLC (“DFPG”) in 2011, where he served as President. DFPG is the broker-dealer arm of the Diversify Advisor Network and a leader in the alternative investment industry. Ryan served on the investment committee of DFPG for over a decade, responsible for analyzing and reviewing hundreds of investment opportunities in private equity, private credit, real estate and venture capital. Ryan was also responsible for building the regulatory and compliance infrastructure of DFPG, having served as Chief Compliance Officer for seven years.
In 2004, Ryan co-founded Diversify, Inc., a wealth management firm currently based in Sandy, Utah. He served as President and oversaw the firm’s strategy and business development initiatives. Diversify was acquired by the Diversify Advisor Network in January 2024.
In 2016, Ryan co-founded Creek Capital Dental Holdings, a dental acquisition group that was later acquired by Specialty Dental Brands, one of the nation’s largest specialty dental businesses.
Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Utah. He has also earned the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP®) designation through The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Ryan maintains the series 6, 7, 63, 66, 99, and 24 securities registrations. He serves on the board of the Especially For Athletes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring student athletes to utilize their talents and social influence for the betterment of others.
Mike has over 30 years of experience in the finance and wealth management industry. Prior to co-founding the Diversify Advisor Network, Mike co-founded DFPG Investments, LLC, a broker-dealer for which he continues to serve as Chief Executive Officer. He is also the President at Bridge Equities, Inc., a branch office of DFPG located in Encinitas, California.
In 2016, Mike was named the President of the Alternative & Direct Investment Securities Association (ADISA), a prominent national trade association with approximately 5,000 members, representing over 220,000 professionals engaged in offering and managing alternative investments. He previously held the chairmanship of both ADISA’s Broker-Dealer Advisory Council and its Due Diligence Forum. Additionally, Mike has actively served on various committees within ADISA, including Membership, Education, Conference Planning, and Legislative & Regulatory Committees. In recognition of those who have reached the pinnacle of their careers through community contributions, and industry advancement, Mike received the prestigious “A Champion of Excellence” (ACE) award in 2014 from ADISA.
Mr. Bendix holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information and Computer Science from the University of California at Irvine. He maintains the series 7, 63, 65, 99, and 24 securities registrations and is a licensed real estate broker.
Dave brings extensive expertise to the finance and wealth management industry, with a career spanning close to 20 years and recognized as a leader in the alternative investment due diligence industry. Dave is a co-founder of the Diversify Advisor Network (“Diversify”) and currently serves as President. He also serves as CFO for DFPG Investments, LLC (“DFPG”), the broker-dealer arm of Diversify.
Prior to his role as President, Dave was responsible for the establishment and development of the firms alternative investment research and due diligence division. He also held the role of Chief Operating Officer at FR Risk Management, LLC, a division of FactRight, LLC. In this role, he oversaw due diligence and risk management services for multiple broker dealers and registered investment advisors. Additionally, as the Director of Due Diligence for Orchard Securities, he played a direct role in coordinating, structuring, and overseeing the due diligence process for their managed alternative investment offerings.
In 2016, he was chosen as the Chairman of the Due Diligence Forum within the Alternative and Direct Investment Association (“ADISA”). ADISA is a national trade association that represents more than 220,000 professionals engaged in offering and managing alternative investments.
Dave earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Utah. He maintains the series 7, 63, 65, 27, 51, 99, and 24 securities registrations.
Stuart brings over 15 years of experience to the Diversify Advisor Network, having served clients in financial services, estate and business planning, as well as wealth management, first as a lawyer and more recently as a senior wealth advisor. Stuart has worked at large global and small local law firms as well as a boutique multi-family-office Registered Investment Advisor, where he helped ultra-high-net worth families navigate the significant blessings and potential pitfalls that come with wealth.
Along the way, he focused on curating an excellent client experience, paired with an efficient internal process to ensure that clients’ best interests are served seamlessly and profitably. He spent considerable time evaluating and implementing cutting-edge technologies, industry best practices, and novel innovations. In doing so, he learned to consider the regulatory, profitability, practical, and human implications that come with adopting change in client-service companies. He finds great joy in listening to ideas, asking questions, and finding elegant solutions, oftentimes where no one thought improvement was possible.
Stuart holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, with a minor in Business Management, from Brigham Young University. He maintains a series 65 securities registration.
David Wrigley, CFA®, CAIA®
David brings over 20 years of investment management experience to the Diversify Advisor Network. He serves as the firm’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO). As CIO, David assumes responsibility for leading Diversify’s in-house asset management team, shaping the firm’s multi-asset class investment philosophy, and overseeing Diversify’s research, portfolio management, and trading processes.
Prior to joining Diversify, David held the position of CIO at a private wealth management firm, where he also chaired the Investment Committee. Prior to that, David served as Senior Portfolio Manager at DMBA, a large pension fund, where he specialized in multi-asset class portfolio construction, manager selection, due diligence, and asset allocation. David previously excelled in other institutional investment management roles at Ivy Funds / Waddell & Reed, American Century Investments, and J.P. Morgan.
David holds an MBA with distinction from Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business and a BS in Finance from Brigham Young University. He has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Salt Lake. Furthermore, he holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA®) designation.
Janice brings an extensive background in compliance to the Diversify Advisor Network. She has more than 23 years of experience in the financial services industry, having worked in operations, supervision, compliance, and fiduciary services in the home offices of independent firms, bank holding companies and independent wealth management firms. She has spent time as a financial representative, compliance consultant, and has held many senior leadership roles throughout her career. As the Chief Compliance Officer, Janice brings a unique perspective, expertise, and a strong commitment to furthering the culture of compliance and implementing industry best practices through collaboration with firm associates.
Through her dynamic approach and experience she has become a sought-after resource in the compliance community. Janice is a published thought leader and is actively engaged in the industry holding positions within the National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP), participating in local and national compliance round tables and is an educator of the next generation of compliance officers by speaking in various industry conferences, webinars, and forums.
Janice earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, maintains the series 7, 24, 63, and 65 securities registrations and the Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) Designation offered through the Investment Adviser Association.
Brad Anderson, CRCP®
Brad is a highly accomplished compliance and business operations professional with over a decade of experience in the financial services industry. Brad currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Diversify Advisor Network (“Diversify”) and Chief Compliance Officer of DFPG Investments, LLC, the broker-dealer arm of Diversify. Brad brings a wealth of expertise and a strong dedication to upholding regulatory compliance and implementing best practices within the organization.
Brad actively participates in professional associations such as the National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP) and holds an elected position as a representative to FINRA’s West Region District 3. In these roles, he plays a crucial part in shaping compliance standards and regulations. Furthermore, Brad is a co-founder of the Salt Lake City Compliance Roundtable, a collaborative forum where compliance professionals come together to exchange ideas and insights, ultimately improving legal, regulatory, and compliance practices in the industry.
Having served in the United States Marine Corps, Brad has a solid foundation rooted in his military background. He seamlessly transitioned into the financial sector, holding various compliance and supervision positions at esteemed firms like Fidelity Investments.
Brad received a Master’s of Business Administration from Westminster College. Additionally, he has earned the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP®) designation through Georgetown University. Brad maintains the series 7, 9, 10, 14, 24, 52, 53, 63, 66, 79 and 99 securities registrations.
Kevin brings a wealth of leadership and legal expertise to Diversify Advisor Network as a former partner at the international law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the largest law firm in the world by revenue and profits. Kevin’s private practice focused on developing large-scale defense strategies for his clients in high-stakes business disputes, often leading teams defending against billions of dollars in alleged damages. He also advised clients on matters involving contractual and licensing issues and commercial legal strategy. Kevin represented industry-leading clients, including technology companies such as Intel, Cisco, Samsung, and Lenovo. He was also a specialist advisor on deals for a number of the country’s leading private equity firms and their portfolio companies, including those within financial services.
Kevin is also a lecturer at UCLA School of Law, teaching a skills-based class focused on the practical aspects of litigating intellectual property cases. Kevin holds a Juris Doctor degree from UC Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from UC San Diego. He also maintains a Series 7 securities registration.
Cassie is a seasoned Human Resources (HR) executive with over two decades of experience in creating exceptional work environments, driving organizational growth, and optimizing employee experiences. She specializes in people-centric strategies across the employee life cycle to attract and retain top-tier talent. Cassie leads the Diversify initiatives in creating a collaborative and resilient culture for the entire Diversify family.
Prior to joining the Diversify team, Cassie focused her expertise in the SaaS industry, building and refining HR functions, honing her subject matter mastery in areas ranging from employer branding and talent acquisition to benefits and total rewards, leadership development, and compliance. Notably, her role leading HR at BambooHR for an impressive 11 years, where she built an exemplary team and brand presence within the HR software domain.
Her academic journey ignited a fervent commitment to the betterment of others through education. As a sought-after speaker, she collaborates with esteemed organizations like UACPA, SHRM, DWS, USU Rural Online Initiative, and more. Her contributions have garnered multiple accolades, including her most recent distinction in HRD’s Global 100 – HR 2022. Additionally, she is honored to be an Adjunct Professor within USU’s Executive Master of Human Resources program, furthering her commitment to elevating individual potential through the power of learning and education.
Cassie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Accounting from Utah Valley University, and a Masters in Human Resources from Utah State University’s nationally ranked program.
Bryant has over 30 years of experience providing financial and accounting services. Before joining Diversify Advisor Network he served as CEO and CFO of both FirstPurpose Wealth and FirstPurpose Tax Strategies.
He began his career at Squire & Company where he spent 22 years gaining valuable experience in tax, audit, and outsourced CFO services. He was a partner there for 13 years and built the firm’s technology practice. He also worked for Private Capital Group where he helped build their first fund that specialized in Real Estate bridge financing and he also provided CFO services for some of their portfolio companies.
Over the years, Bryant has been active in his community. Activities include serving on the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial board including one year as President and participating in his local Rotary chapter including one year as President.
Bryant earned a MACC (Masters of Accountancy) from Brigham Young University and maintains his CPA license.
Daniel Luke, CFP®
Dan has nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, specializing in wealth management, financial planning, insurance, mortgage, and retail banking. He is a co-founder of the Diversify Advisor Network. In 2004, he co-founded Diversify, Inc., a wealth management firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah where he served as Chief Executive Officer. Diversify was acquired by the Diversify Advisor Network in 2024. In 2011, Dan co-founded DFPG Investments, LLC (“DFPG”), the broker-dealer arm of the Diversify Advisor Network.
Dan is an active member of the Utah Financial Planning Association, having served as Chairman, President, and Vice President. He continues to work closely with investors across the country and frequently presents at industry events. Additionally, Dan is a valued member of DFPG’s Investment Committee, contributing to the review and capital raise of numerous alternative investment offerings in private equity, private credit, real estate, and venture capital.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the University of Utah, and he is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional (CFP®). He maintains the series 6, 7, 63, 66, 99, and 24 securities registrations and possesses life, property, casualty, accident, health, and variable insurance licenses. Furthermore, he holds a real estate mortgage license (NMLS 300613).
Todd has been involved in the financial services industry for over a decade. Prior to financial services, Todd served as Chief Executive Office of a leading provider of online education and professional consulting. In 2013, he co-founded Caliber Wealth Management (“Caliber”), an RIA located in Orem, Utah. Todd has been integral in the development and implementation of Caliber’s operational and compliance infrastructure and is an active member of the investment committee. Todd played a pivotal leadership role in the partnership of Caliber with the Diversify Advisor Network, where he currently serves as Partner and Board Member.
Outside the financial realm, Todd is an active member of the entrepreneurship community. As a current member of the Entrepreneur Association (EA), a 501(c)(3) organization comprising influential business owners, he channels his knowledge and passion into teaching entrepreneurs valuable leadership skills, corporate finance insights, and strategies for business growth.
Beyond the professional sphere, Todd finds his greatest joy in active outdoor pursuits and has completed two Ironman triathlons.
Todd holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Utah Valley University, and holds the Series 7, 63, and 65 securities registrations.
Tim Whipple CFP®, CPWA®, EA
Tim has been in the wealth management industry for over 20 years. Prior to the Diversify, he co-founded FirstPurpose Wealth (formerly known as LJCooper Wealth Advisors) in 1999. As FirstPurpose Wealth’s chief financial strategist, Tim thrives on solving complex financial situations for clients by devising strategies that require a holistic approach and blur the lines between financial disciplines.
Soon after starting FirstPurpose Wealth, Tim created LJCooper Tax Strategies (now FirstPurpose Tax). He saw an opportunity to not only provide the best tax compliance for client’s returns but to also help clients do simple to complex tax planning and charitable giving strategies to maximize their tax savings in the future.
Tim now leverages his extensive expertise and knowledge in tax and wealth management to collaborate closely with advisors. In this capacity, he delivers training, mentoring and hands-on support, enriching the Diversify Advisor Network with his wealth of experience.
Tim holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Brigham Young University. He has also earned a number of designations including the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Enrolled Agent (EA), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), and the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®). Tim maintains the series 6, 7, 63, 65, 24, and 26 securities registrations.
Dave Gardner, AIF®
Dave has nearly two decades of experience in the financial services sector, with a specialized focus on wealth management, financial planning, investment management, retirement plans, and charitable giving. His career commenced in 2004 at Merrill Lynch. In 2010, Dave transitioned his practice to the independent RIA space and in 2013, he co-founded Caliber Wealth Management, an RIA located in Orem, Utah. Caliber Wealth Management became a part of the Diversify Advisor Network in 2023 and Dave currently serves as Partner and an Advisory Board Member overseeing corporate retirement plan solutions..
Dave is deeply involved with Utah’s entrepreneurial community. In 2005, he played a pivotal role as a founding member of the BYU Center for Entrepreneurship Young Founders group, an initiative dedicated to mentoring and educating the next generation of entrepreneurs. His commitment to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit is further exemplified by his decade-long service as a nominator and sponsor for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Continuing to champion Utah’s burgeoning ecosystem of business leaders and entrepreneurs, Dave actively collaborates with them. He also co-founded and serves as a board member of the Entrepreneur Association (EA), a 501(c)(3) organization comprising influential business owners. EA is dedicated to imparting valuable leadership skills, corporate finance insights, and guidance on business growth to budding entrepreneurs.
Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Brigham Young University and is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®). Furthermore, he maintains the series 7, 66, and 31, securities registrations.
Ken Bown, CFP®, MBA, CPWA®
Ken has extensive expertise in wealth management and family office services, with a career spanning close to 20 years. He’s a member of the Diversify Advisor Network Family Office Advisory Board.
Ken’s wealth management journey began in 2004. After working in senior marketing and product management roles for several tech startups, he made a career shift to pursue a longstanding interest in personal finance. He completed the Certified Financial Planner™ coursework in retirement planning, investments, tax, and risk management. Subsequently, he joined FirstPurpose Wealth, where he held leadership roles in all the major functions of an investment advisory firm.
Today, Ken focuses on serving the unique needs of ultra-high net worth clientele, where he enjoys evaluating complex private equity, venture capital, real estate, and private credit investment opportunities. He also coordinates the advisory activities of a network of experts – from CPAs specializing in private aviation tax planning to attorneys crafting sophisticated estate planning strategies to transfer assets to the next generation. A central objective is to shield these family office clients from the never-ending demands on their time and attention. As an Advisory Board member of the Diversify Advisor Network, he leverages that experience to collaborate with advisors in supporting the unique needs of family offices.
Ken is a distinguished alumnus of the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, holding an MBA degree. He also earned a B.A. in Management Information Systems from Utah State University. His impressive list of credentials includes the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® designation, administered by the Investments & Wealth Institute and taught in conjunction with The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is also a Certified Financial Planner™ certificant and maintains the series 7, 24, and 66 securities registrations.
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