Leadership of Equity Trust
Founder and Chairman of the Board
Richard Desich has been involved in the securities industry for over 35 years. In addition to being the founder and chairman of the Board of Equity Trust, a leading self-directed IRA custodian, he also founded Retirement Education Group. He is nationally recognized as a pre-eminent authority on commercial and residential real estate, and oil and gas investing as well as on non-traditional investing in IRAs and qualified plans.
Mr. Desich is the author of the informative book, “Proven Wealth Building Secrets for You and Your Children” and the former host of Accelerated Wealth Building, a three-day intensive boot camp.
Mr. Desich has published numerous articles regarding the use of self-directed IRAs to invest in real estate, notes, and mortgages, and he has spoken to thousands of investors throughout the country on these topics.
Jeff Desich, Vice Chair at Equity Trust Company, has worked in the financial services industry for his entire career. Since joining Equity Trust Company, he has helped guide the firm through a period of rapid change – incorporating multiple acquisitions as well as organic growth. During his tenure, he has served as Director of Operations and Clients Services, Vice President of Operations and Client Services and President of Equity Administrative Services before being named CEO in 2008.
Mr. Desich holds Series 7 and 27 licenses with FINRA. Additionally, he serves as a director for a number of private companies.
He is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance & marketing.
Richard A. Desich
Co-Founder, Executive Director
Richard Desich, Jr., Executive Director, is a co-founder of Equity Trust Company and served as its former Chief Information Officer, Director of Compliance/Risk Mitigation and Director of Marketing. He is the past President of the Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA), the trade organization representing the self-directed retirement industry.
Mr. Desich is also an active real estate investor and has traveled across the country educating investors on the advantages of self-directed IRAs and other retirement strategies. He has co-authored numerous articles, books and educational materials on the topic of retirement planning. He holds Series 7, 24, 55, and 63 licenses with FINRA.
He is a graduate of Culver Military Academy, and The Ohio State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree.
George E. Sullivan
Chief Executive Officer
George Sullivan was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Equity Trust Company in March of 2019.
Mr. Sullivan brings more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He was formerly the Executive Vice President, Global Head of State Street Corporation’s Alternative Investment Solutions group, where he was a member of the firm’s management committee – the senior strategy and policy making body of the bank. In this role, George oversaw strategic direction, global sales, client relationship management, product structuring and operations of State Street’s hedge, private equity, and real estate fund administration businesses worldwide.
George earned his B.A. in economics from Boston College in 1982.
Mike Dea is President of Equity Trust Company and served as Chief Financial Officer for the last 7 years.
Mr. Dea has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has held multiple leadership positions at a number of banking institutions, most notably at Key Bank, where he was Commercial Real Estate Group Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer of the Corporate and Investment Banking Group, and Senior Vice President of Corporate and Investment Banking.
Mike earned a BS in Accounting and an MBA from Kent State University.
David R. Allen
Chief Operating Officer
David R. Allen joined Equity Trust Company in May 2017 as Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for operations and client service functions.
He brings nearly 20 years of financial industry experience to the role, most recently serving as Vice President, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, where he worked with institutional and retail clients on pooled investment vehicles. His expertise also includes back-office operations and control functions.
Mr. Allen’s undergraduate degree is from Miami University (Ohio) and he received an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Gardner collaborates with the business’ leaders to drive current and future financial results, providing strategic insights to improve business profitability and performance.
Prior to joining Equity Trust, he spent the last 23 years of his career at Key Bank, with roles of increasing responsibility in Finance, Corporate Treasury, and Investor Relations. His most recent role was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Key’s Corporate Bank, a full-service corporate and investment bank focused principally on serving the needs of middle market clients in seven industry sectors.
Mr. Gardner is a graduate of Miami University, where he earned both a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Economics.
Chief Information Officer
Bringing over 20 years of IT leadership experience from OfficeMax and JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores, Mr. Flanagan will lead the company’s information technology organization into the next phase of product innovation and company growth
His most recent role was Director, Enterprise Systems for Flynn Restaurant Group.
Mr. Flanagan is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration specializing in Management Information Systems.