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July 18, 2024
PI Global Investments
Alternative Investments

Diversify Expands Investment Management Capabilities

Diversify Advisor Network, a $7 billion Utah-based wealth management firm consisting of two corporate RIAs and an alternatives-focused asset management shop, has expanded the investment management capabilities available to its growing ecosystem of advisors. 

Late last year, Diversify rolled out a new organizational model and branding to expand its affiliation options. Formerly DFPG Investments, a name retained by its subsidiary broker/dealer, Diversify now includes a platform for affiliated RIAs called Diversify Advisory Services and a new W-2 model operating as Diversify Wealth Management.   

DFPG represents about $2.8 billion in assets, while DAS and DWM account for $2.2 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively. 

The expansion of the investment platform began more than a year before, when the firm started to bring traditional investments in-house, according to Chief Investment Officer David Wrigley, who joined Diversify in 2022 to lead the effort. 

“Part of that is an internal, institutional-quality trade desk, which you need to implement, monitor, trade and make continuous changes to strategies that are managed in-house,” Wrigley said. “Part of it was also expanding the team to make sure we have all of our bases covered as it relates to the strategies we’re looking at, while also helping advisors with questions their clients might have. We’re even happy to jump on a direct call or meet those clients in person if it makes sense.

“It’s really been about getting all of the resources in place that we need to say we’re an in-house, institutional-quality investment platform that’s really customized for each advisor.” 

The expanded platform includes more than a dozen fee-based alternative strategies, including structured notes, interval funds and private placements. It offers a comparable number of globally diversified passive strategies and five internal separately managed accounts—three equity and two fixed-income strategies. There are also 23 third-party SMAs, traded in-house, and nine unified managed accounts built from the various SMAs. 

“We think we found that sweet spot,” Wrigley said. “We don’t want a supermarket approach where there are a hundred or more strategies and seven large caps, and advisors are trying to pick through what’s the best. Yet, we want it to be robust, diversified and flexible enough so advisors can use it according to their practice.” 

Employed and affiliated advisors are not required to use the strategies and models developed by the Diversify investment team, Wrigley noted; the technology platform can support other options and service providers.  

“That’s just the nature of the industry,” he said. “We want to provide that flexibility to advisors to be able to manage the practice as they see fit.” 

The investment team has grown to nine, an increase of 125% over the last 12 months. It now includes a trio of traders, a portfolio management group, compliance support and a data analyst, and other job postings are imminent.  

More additions to both RIAs are also expected in the coming months. 

“A couple of groups will be joining Diversify Wealth Management within the next 60 days,” said Wrigley. “And on the Diversify Advisory Services side, that’s kind of continuous. We’re always trying to find the right fit and keep a full pipeline of advisors that we deem the top quality across the industry and across the nation, and who would be complementary from a geographic standpoint or in terms of niche services or how they run their practices.” 

Conceived as a kind of antithesis to private equity ownership in the RIA space, Wrigley and CEO Ryan Smith have both expressed confidence that Diversify Advisor Network is well-capitalized to provide advisors with a destination that won’t change ownership anytime soon.  

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