Team Archive - GHPIA
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  • Brian J. Friedman CFA, CBE

    President, Co-Founder, Chief Investment Officer

    The mouse pad in Brian Friedman’s office bears the image of the figure who first interested Brian in investing when he was 12: Mickey Mouse. Brian had already been learning about business throughout his childhood from his commercial real estate developer father, who furthered his financial education by buying the boy his first share of stock, in Disney, and showing him the shareholder report that bore Mickey’s smiling face.

    Brian, who grew up in Denver, earned a BA in Economics at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He also studied for a year in Israel at Tel-Aviv University, learning about the history, politics, and economics of the Middle East. He continued to learn about economics and politics as a research assistant at D.C.’s Brookings Institution and then as an Economic Analyst at the Law and Economics Consulting Group. It was in those years, which included his earning an MBA in Finance and Accounting at the University of Chicago, when he began to develop the economist mindset and theories about global finance that inform his investment philosophy to this day.

    Brian brought these ideas to his work as an International Equity Analyst at mutual fund company Founders Funds back in his hometown of Denver, then as a Portfolio Manager at Owen-Joseph Asset Management in San Diego. Seeking a more client-focused approach, Brian returned to Denver and connected with Bob Hochstadt and Steve Levey of Gelfond Hochstadt Pangburn (GHP), which was then becoming one of the first accounting firms in America to expand into wealth management and financial planning. Finding in Brian’s asset management expertise a complement to their own proficiency at tax advising and estate planning, they brought Brian aboard as President and Chief Investment Officer of GHP Investment Advisors.

    Since 1999, Brian has overseen GHPIA’s growth from $10 million in assets under management (AUM) to $2.3 billion today. The firm remains guided by investment benchmarks Brian developed in the 1990s, guidelines by which the firm has successfully navigated the extreme market volatility of the last two decades, including the 2000 and 2008 financial crises. Brian has lectured at various local educational institutions, including the University of Colorado at Denver. He has been a frequent radio guest on KOA, offering financial commentary. He’s a board member at the World Trade Center Denver and a former Co-Chair of the Financial Roundtable of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), as well as a member of the planning committee of NABE’s annual International Symposium in Europe. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and NABE’s Certified Business Economist (CBE) designations.

    Brian and his wife live in Denver and have three college- and high-school-aged children. He’s well-known in the community for his philanthropy, his support for education, and his advocacy for Israel. (Brian is also the founder of GHPIA adjunct Israel Investment Advisors, which caters to clients who want to support Israel by investing in Israeli companies.) He enjoys mountain sports and golf.

  • Carin Wagner CFP®

    Senior Vice President of Wealth Management

    Carin Wagner has been giving financial advice since her days at Ohio University, where she warned her friends about taking on too much credit card debt. She comes by it naturally; her mother is an economist, her father is an estate planning attorney, and her grandfather was a doctor who used to monitor his investments on a paper stock ticker.

    Born in Denver, Carin was going to be a teacher, but she found business classes more interesting than education classes. After she earned a BA in Finance and Marketing at Ohio, Carin spent three years working as an Assistant Supervisor at Oppenheimer Funds and five years as a Financial Planner at TIAA-CREF, a $1 trillion AUM firm focused on higher education. Along the way, she earned an MBA at the University of Denver and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. In 2005, Bob Hochstadt recruited her to join GHPIA.

    Over the years Carin worked her way up to Senior Partner and developed and refined our financial planning techniques related to Financial Modeling, Income Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Risk Management, and Education Planning. Here, she gets to be a teacher after all, developing close relationships with clients, understanding their needs, and educating them on the financial planning options that best suit those needs.

    Carin and her husband and two children live in Denver. They’re fond of skiing at Winter Park and attending Rockies games. When she’s not cheering on her kids at swim meets or baseball games, Carin enjoys bringing to vivid life the drawings in grown-up coloring books.

  • Mike Sullivan CFP®

    Vice President of Wealth Management

    After 9/11, Mike Sullivan briefly considered a career in Naval intelligence. Instead, he applied his keen eye for detail and fine print to the intricacies of financial planning. At GHPIA, where he’s worked his way into a senior partnership over 12 years, Mike has guided our portfolio management software development, our investment research and selection process, and our clients’ retirement planning models and portfolio allocation strategies.

    Mike’s BA degree in political science from Colorado State University led him to the financial side of politics, supporting municipal bond underwriting as an investment banking analyst at George K. Baum & Company. He counseled customers on investments at US Bank and BBVA Compass, but he sought wealth management work that was more focused on comprehensive financial planning.

    To that end, he earned his Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation and came to work at GHPIA in 2008. At GHPIA, Mike has relished the opportunities to earn clients’ trust, explain financial complexities in simple ways (a storytelling technique he picked up studying Hemingway in college), and celebrate their successes.

    Mike lives in the heart of Denver but finds nature calming and loves spending time in the mountains backpacking or skiing with his wife and two children. (His favorite ski trail is Cannonball at Mary Jane, and his favorite hike is Lone Eagle Peak in Indian Peaks Wilderness.) His other interests include wilderness conservation, live music and astronomy.

  • Robert Hochstadt CPA/PFS™

    Principal Emeritus

    Bob Hochstadt, the H in GHPIA, is a pioneer of the independent registered investment advisor industry who’s worked in the accounting field for more than 60 years. As a principal of Gelfond Hochstadt Pangburn, P.C. in the 1990s, Bob helped make his accounting firm one of the first in the country to offer clients a more comprehensive approach to wealth management by adding a financial planning division. As Bob puts it, he was helping to build the industry before the industry had a name.

    A Denver native, Bob was a student at East High School when he first discovered a knack for bookkeeping and started working for Sid Milzer’s accounting firm. After earning his BS in Accounting from the University of Denver, he spent the next several decades building up his own accounting practice. His career was interrupted by a stint in the Air Force, serving in South Korea from 1968 to 1970.

    By 1996, Hochstadt and then-partner Steve Levey recognized the opportunity to serve clients better by adding financial planning to Gelfond Hochstadt Pangburn’s offerings. To that end, they founded GHP Investment Advisors, bringing in Brian Friedman to run the new company in 1999. As GHPIA grew, Bob mentored much of the current staff, guiding them in the principles of financial prudence and client service that have been the firm’s pillars since day one.

    Bob holds both the Certified Public Accountant and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designations. He and Diane, his wife of more than half a century, live in Denver. They have three grown children and eight grandchildren. He is happy to have the time and resources to devote to various local philanthropies.

  • Brad Engle

    Director of Research, Trading, and Portfolio Analytics

    Brad Engle loves sports. Sports gives him opportunities to spend quality time with his three kids, whom he’s coached in soccer, basketball, baseball, and flag football. It’s also taught him lessons about teamwork that he brings to his work at GHPIA. Your success is my success – a principle that extends to our clients, for whom Brad helps choose investments and keep portfolios balanced.

    Brad’s math skills led him to earn a BA in Finance and Economics from Mesa State College and an MBA from Regis University. He spent two years as a Senior Fund Analyst at Oppenheimer Funds and another seven at the trading desk at Denver-based Marsico Capital Management. Having joined GHPIA in 2012, Brad built and leads the team that helps select the firm’s investments, analyzes client portfolios, and executes trades. He enjoys simplifying tough problems for clients and putting them on a path toward reaching their financial goals.

    An Aurora native, Brad is still close with and loyal to his childhood buddies. He enjoys skiing with his wife and kids, golfing, and playing adult-league baseball.

  • Sebrina Ivey CPA/PFS™

    CIA, CCO/Director of Wealth Management

    Originally, Sebrina Ivey was going to be an FBI agent. To that end, she earned both a BA in Accounting and a BS in Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Northern Colorado. Today, her eye for detail, knack for numbers, understanding of behavior, and knowledge of statutes and regulations inform her work at GHPIA. As she puts it, it’s as important to understand people as it is to understand the numbers.

    Charged initially with supervising GHPIA’s regulatory compliance and operations, Sebrina expanded her responsibilities to roles on our Management Committee and Financial Concierge team. Sebrina routinely reviews financial plans with clients annually through our financial update process, walks them through financial documents and benefit distributions, coordinates their tax planning with their CPAs, and allays clients’ anxieties. For excelling in financial planning, the American Institute of CPAs has awarded her with the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential and the Personal Financial Planning Standing Ovation award, a 2019 citation given to just seven CPAs nationwide under age 40.

    Before she came to GHPIA in 2012, Sebrina served as a Staff Accountant at accounting firm Buchanan Clarke Schlader, a Senior Auditor at the University of Virginia, a Senior Accountant at Great-West Life and at First Data Corporation, and a Controller at Developmental Pathways. Besides the PFS™, her professional certifications include Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.

    Raised in Brighton, Colorado, Sebrina lives in Highlands Ranch with her husband and two sons. She serves as treasurer at Developmental FX, which provides pediatric clinical services worldwide. She also is a member of the CFO Leadership Council, Arapahoe Community College Accounting Accountability, and the Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Council. She enjoys reading, crocheting, cross stitch, and cheering on her sons at soccer. She also knows the lyrics to every pop song recorded between 1950 and 2000.

  • Deirdre McGuire

    Wealth Advisor and Director of Business Development

    Born in Colorado to Irish parents, Deirdre grew up in both Ireland and Denver and ultimately earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Denver. That education, along with the Irish gift of the gab, taught her how to read people and appreciate their stories. She also enjoyed living near her grandparents and, inspired by the care they were receiving, briefly considered becoming a nurse once she returned here from Ireland. Instead, she found work in 2010 at GHPIA through her sister, who was then the firm’s marketing manager. She ultimately found a way to do what she loves – taking care of people during trying times -- by making management of their finances less burdensome.

    By 2015, thanks to her ability to assist clients with complex financial situations, she'd earned a promotion to Financial Planning Associate. In fact, she has transformed the Client Relations operation here into the unique suite of services we call Financial Concierge. Deirdre is adept at performing a broad spectrum of tasks that take anxiety and stress off our clients' shoulders and at training others on the team to do the same. She has also cultivated a network of outside professionals to whom clients can turn for other crucial and complex tasks.

    Outside the office, Deirdre’s many interests include rugby, international travel (70 countries so far), book clubs, and Denver’s dining scene. She sits on the Board of Denver Film and is an active member of Junior League of Denver and World Denver. She also believes service starts with individual relationships and has closely mentored a young mother and her family for ten years.

  • Reed McCoy CFP®, CRPS®

    Wealth Advisor

    Reed McCoy thinks of himself as a teacher, as well as a student who never stops learning. After earning his BA in both Spanish and Business Management at the University of Minnesota, Reed served with Teach for America, taught grade school at AXL Academy in Aurora and SOAR Academy in Green Valley Ranch, and advocated for education reform in low-income communities. He transitioned to educating adults about how to plan for retirement, first at CAPTRUST in Denver and, since 2017, at GHPIA.

    Born in Milwaukee, Reed found in his own educational journey the inspiration to give back to others. He understands how emotional money-related decisions are, and he likes helping clients address their own emotional issues surrounding their finances, helping them find solutions, and explaining those solutions in easily digestible ways. An expert on the retirement industry, he’s furthered his own financial education by earning the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS®) designations, as well as the Series 65 securities license for investment advisors.

    Reed came to Colorado because, he says, the mountains were calling. He’s an avid rock climber, backcountry snowboarder, and mountain biker, pursuits that have cultivated the discipline, attention to detail, and grit that also inform his work at GHPIA. He enjoys listening to podcasts and meeting with the book club he’s belonged to for a decade.

  • Barbara Terrazas CFP®

    Wealth Advisor

    Barbara Terrazas joined GHPIA in 2013 as a member of the Client Relations Department. A Southern California native, Barbara graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010 with a BA in Economics and Psychology. She also has a Certificate in the Business of Sports from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado.

    In her spare time, Barbara enjoys running the trails around Colorado, playing soccer and spending time with her family and friends. She is also an avid fan of the Colorado Buffaloes.

  • Angela Kennedy Lee CPA, PFS™, CEP®

    Director of Tax Planning

    Angie has been interested in taxes ever since college, spending evenings preparing individual tax returns for friends and family at her kitchen table. Today, she helps GHPIA clients with accounting services related to tax planning, small businesses, and estates and trusts.

    Having grown up in a small town in Nebraska, she moved to Denver after graduating from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a BS in Accounting. She held accountant positions at Walker & Associates and McClanahan, Kirkpatrick & Bertrand before landing at Gelfond Hochstadt Pangburn, the accounting firm whose principals founded GHP Investment Advisors (GHPIA).

    Angie rose over her 23 years at Gelfond Hochstadt Pangburn (which was purchased by Crowe in 2017)  to become a managing director, specializing in private client services.  She began her relationship with GHPIA by working on tax preparation and planning with many of our clients, and in 2020, she joined GHPIA full-time to add her experience and expertise in estate and tax planning to our growing practice. She holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), and Certified Estate Planner (CEP) professional designations.

    Angie has served on the board of the Ray of Hope Cancer Foundation for the past ten years, including terms as Treasurer and Board Chair. She is also a board member of The Lowry Foundation. Angie and her husband, who is also a CPA, live in Denver.

  • Kathryn Heet

    Special Projects Associate

  • Michelle Mills

    Financial Concierge

    Michelle Mills strives for what she calls those “aha” moments, when she’s able to bring clarity, understanding, and relief to a client overwhelmed by a complex financial issue. Her drive to educate and help others stems from her own upbringing.

    Michelle was born in Thornton but moved as a young girl when her parents, who both worked for the BNSF railroad, were transferred to Weatherford, Texas. After their marriage ended, Michelle was determined to avoid the economic challenges that divorced families often face. At Texas State University, she considered majoring in education but ultimately graduated with a BBA in Finance. Working at Fidelity Investments in Westlake, Texas, she found herself educating novice investors over the phone about asset allocation. Seeking work where she could interact with clients face to face, she found it at a Fidelity branch in Denver, at Mariner Wealth Advisors in Highlands Ranch, and since 2017, at GHPIA. Along the way, she acquired the Series 63 and 66 securities certifications.

    As part of GHPIA’s client relations team, Michelle is always eager to go above and beyond for clients, to alleviate their concerns, to take advantage of her strong mastery of details, and to cheer on their successes. She also enjoys working alongside her husband, Race, a common practice among spouses in the Mills family.

    Michelle and Race and their new baby Truman live in Wheat Ridge, along with two dogs. Michelle is also a fiercely competitive basketball player, once nicknamed “Sister Hoops.”

  • Ernesto Montes CFP®

    Senior Client Relations Specialist

    Maybe Ernesto Montes gets his drive for helpfulness and client satisfaction from his parents – his father is a bartender, and his mother works in a school cafeteria. At GHPIA, Ernesto finds fulfillment in providing clients the level of service to which they’ve become accustomed and helping them achieve their goals.

    A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in economics, Ernesto worked as an intern at Charles Schwab and spent three years as an Associate Investment Advisor at a registered investment advisor firm in Savannah before coming to GHPIA in 2019. He holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation.

    Ernesto grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta. The Georgia native has quickly assimilated into the outdoorsy, athletic lifestyle of Colorado; he’s joined a soccer league and enjoys hiking and snow sports. He still hasn’t learned to ride a bicycle, but give him time.

  • Jenny Merges

    Client Relations Manager

    Every job Jenny has ever had has involved helping people. Besides assisting investors, she has also worked extensively in library science and teaching, experience that assists her in educating clients and directing them toward helpful resources.

    Raised in Aurora, Jenny holds a BA in English from the University of Northern Colorado. Her career in finance began at Oppenheimer Funds, where she first met future GHPIA colleague Carin Wagner. She also served high net worth clients at Fidelity Investments before joining GHPIA in 2020. She is excited to help GHPIA clients by solving problems, explaining confusing issues, clearing obstacles from clients’ paths. She holds the Series 66 securities license.

    Jenny enjoys hiking, camping, and is passionate about literacy and books.

  • Sean Tully

    Client Relations Specialist

    Sean graduated from DePauw University with a BA in Economics and played for the DePauw Men’s Baseball Team. Along with his education, Sean interned with two Registered Investment Advisors of similar comparison to GHP, obtained the Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, and has begun studying for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Examination. Throughout his life, sports have played an important role and made him into the person he is today.

    Sean hails from the northern suburbs of Chicago, but has always had interest in moving West. He had the opportunity to spend two winters volunteering for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, an adaptability program along with living in Breckenridge the first semester of his Senior year. He loves everything his new home has to offer including the countless outdoor activities and the variety of music venues.

  • Jackson Brown

    Client Relations Specialist

    With a degree in finance from The University of Colorado, Jackson has a passion for the stock market and investment management. His interests extend far beyond the world of finance; he is a lover of nature and spends much of his free time skiing, camping, and exploring the great outdoors. Jackson's true calling, though, is helping others. He is a natural communicator, which is why he enjoys talking to people and working with them to solve problems. His dedication to teamwork is unwavering, and he believes that the best solutions come from collaborative efforts. Whether he's helping a client make wise investment decisions or working with his team to solve a complex problem, Jackson is always committed to achieving success.

  • Mathon Parker

    Client Relations Specialist

  • David Power

    Client Relations Specialist

  • Jake Davis

    Client Relations Specialist

  • Christian Lewton

    Chief Investment Analyst

    Christian describes himself as the most competitive person he knows.  He believes his competitive nature, forged during countless hours at the hockey rink and on the playing field back in West Virginia, gives him the dedication and worth ethic needed to build portfolios that fit each client.

    As math was always his favorite subject, Christian earned a B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of West Virginia. He worked at BNY Mellon in Pittsburgh, but he soon followed the advice of a Colorado-based uncle, moved to Denver, and took a job at Janus Henderson Investors.  At Janus Christian worked in operations but wanted to shift to the investment side.  He got to do so when he first joined GHPIA in 2017, where, as a portfolio trading and research associate, he participated on the investment committee and absorbed GHPIA’s investment philosophy. He took that knowledge with him during his year-long stint at East Daley Capital Advisors, where he specialized in analyzing the energy sector. He returned to GHPIA in 2020 to head the firm’s research efforts.

    At GHPIA, Christian devises tools that provide the trading team with the research it needs to select investments. He enjoys the day-to-day tasks of making sure portfolios are adequately diverse, as well as taking the deep dives that help the team thoroughly understand individual companies. Christian holds the Series 65 license for investment advisors and has passed Level 1 (out of 3) of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. 

    Christian spends much of his downtime on the golf course. He and his wife enjoy hiking, camping, and travel. They live in Arvada with their two St. Bernard mix dogs.