Kerry Severn joined Ashton Thomas in 2020 as a Wealth Advisor in the Draper, Utah, office. “Throughout my career, I’ve learned that client needs must come first and must be at the core of every financial solution you put together for them,” he says. “Financial planning can be complex. Ashton Thomas is well-positioned to assist me in providing the distinct level of service and advice my clients require.”
A native of Thousand Oaks, California and a former competitive ballroom dancer for Brigham Young University, Kerry’s paternal relatives are a mix of showbiz success and entrepreneurs. His father’s family emigrated to the U.S. from South Africa and the children became successful actors in Hollywood films. However, a hit-and-run accident resulted in his grandfather breaking his back, forcing the family to leave Hollywood and rebuild. This resulted in Kerry’s father learning to work outside the entertainment world, eventually setting him on a successful career path within Adidas.
Kerry’s father, who never attended college, encouraged Kerry to pursue both athletic and academic achievement. After competing internationally as part of BYU’s ballroom dance team, Kerry graduated with a degree in organizational psychology. “I wanted to work in public service and help people,” he says. “But, I was also an entrepreneur at heart.” As a result, Kerry took a position with Fidelity Investments in Salt Lake City at the behest of a friend, working his way from entry-level support to trader to financial advisor.
When an opportunity arose to relocate his young and growing family from Utah back to southern California in 2001, Kerry jumped at it. “I had kept in touch with the Fidelity branch manager in Irvine,” he recalls. “The role in Orange County allowed me to meet people from varying backgrounds and really grow as a person…and as an advisor.”
As part of that growth, Kerry enrolled in and completed Pepperdine’s MBA program. After that, he studied for and passed the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) Professional examination. “I went back to something I was taught at BYU: make sure you do business the right way for the right reasons. The CFP® code of ethics was so closely aligned with my view of what a fiduciary is supposed to be.”
In 2014, with aging in-laws and a desire to explore other career avenues, Kerry and the family decided to move back to Utah. Kerry was offered and accepted a role with Edelman Financial in the Salt Lake City area. Edelman subsequently merged with Financial Engines. Kerry remained with the firm until 2019.
Kerry and his wife, Malinda, have three boys and three girls, ages 12 to 24. They are all active within the Bluffdale arts scene, and both Kerry and Malinda continue to help choreograph local musical performances. The family loves gardening together, going on outdoor adventures and helping in the community through volunteerism. Their faith is very important to them, and they remain avid readers and dedicated local sports fans.