Meet the Team
Chairman and CEO
Chairman and CEO
Michael and the late Glen O. Kirsch founded International Financial Consultants, Inc.—now known as Asset Strategies International (ASI)—a corporation specializing in precious metals, foreign currency, rare coins, and international wealth protection in 1982.
Michael began his career in 1965 working as one of the first foreign exchange traders in Washington, D.C.’s largest bank. Michael then joined Deak-Perera, and as Senior Vice President and SE Regional Manager, was instrumental in the development of one of the first precious metals certificate programs in the United States.
Michael's views about his areas of expertise are often times quoted by the financial press. In particular, his opinions on how best to diversify assets globally are widely sought after. He travels extensively, speaking at domestic and international investment conferences.
In 1997, Michael Checkan, the late Glen O. Kirsch, and Rich Checkan created, developed, and refined a Precious Metals Certificate Program for the Perth Mint. They became one of only eight Approved Dealers in the world to sell Perth Mint Certificates.
Michael is the editor of ASI’s Information Line monthly newsletter, and twice a week Always Something Interesting alerts with worldwide readership. Michael also is a frequent contributor to numerous newsletters, is an international conference lecturer, and a Pillar One Partner of The Oxford Club.
Glen O. Kirsch (02/02/47 - 06/05/10)
Executive Vice President
Glen O. Kirsch
Executive Vice President
Glen O. Kirsch, the Executive Vice President at Asset Strategies International, passed away on June 5, 2010. Glen was “Mr. Inside” and ASI’s President, Michael Checkan, was “Mr. Outside” It was Michael’s responsibility to travel the world and meet with clients and vendors, while Glen stayed at our offices in Rockville, Maryland and made sure everything ran smoothly and most importantly, “ran right.”
By “ran right,” Glen saw to it that each and every customer was treated honestly and fairly. He would never execute a trade if he didn’t think it was in the clients’ best interest. In fact, on more than one occasion, he talked a client out of a transaction—even though it meant we would not make a profit that time.
When clients called ASI for the first time to place an order, they were surprised when Glen asked them, “Why do you want to buy precious metals?” He wanted to make certain every potential client understood the pros and the cons of what he was about to do. He insisted that every person who called to inquire of and make investments be an informed consumer, not an impulse buyer.
As a result, Glen quickly developed a level of trust with his clients that was legendary in the industry. Time after time, people would call him, saying they wanted to discuss a precious metals investment. But in fact, they often had a family issue or personal problem they wanted to share with him. Glen always took the time to hear them out and to offer his sage advice.
Glen O’Neal Kirsch graduated with a degree in economics and history from Penn State University. He was fiercely loyal to his alma mater and to the Sigma Chi fraternity, Alpha Chi Chapter.
Glen would have made one of the world’s great high school teachers but instead decided to enter the business world. Glen and Michael first became acquainted when Glen joined Michael at the Washington, D.C. offices of Deak-Perera—at the time, the world’s largest precious-metals broker.
While serving as Chief Executive Officer at Deak-Perera, Glen helped develop one of the very first precious-metals certificate programs in the United States. Two decades later, working together we improved on that concept even more, when we partnered with the Perth Mint in Western Australia to develop the Perth Mint Certificate Program. Under Glen’s leadership, Deak-Perera also pioneered in the marketing of platinum and palladium to individual investors.
Glen and Michael really got to know each other in 1975, when the U.S. State Department asked us to travel to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. During our time at Eglin, they assisted Vietnamese refugees arriving there to exchange their gold and foreign currencies for U.S. dollars, which could give them a new start in this country. You really get to know someone when you spend 6 months with them working 12 hours a day in 100-degree heat in a tent in the Florida panhandle, trying to help some of the world’s most desperate refugees.
Even under the most trying of circumstances, Glen never became abrupt or dismissive. He was always kind, patient, thoughtful, and considerate, whether dealing with a former official who escaped with a million dollars’ worth of gold or a penniless peasant who had nothing but a handful of now-worthless South Vietnamese script.
Glen and Michael decided to leave Deak-Perera and form their own foreign currencies and precious-metals company. In 1982 they founded International Financial Consultants.
During the past 28 years, Glen had two families, one at home and one at the office. He dearly loved his wife Patty and their two sons, Ryan and Dylan. But he also loved his office family. The staff knew he could be firm. Glen was a big guy, in size and in spirit. And let me tell you from experience, you didn’t want an angry Glen coming across the desk at you!
But everyone also knew Glen had a heart as big as the Grand Canyon. If he ever chewed out a staffer, the next day, by way of apology, he’d bring in lunch for everyone at the office.
Glen was an avid numismatist who began collecting coins at the age of 10. It was a hobby and a passion that he never outgrew. He loved talking with a client about the history of a coin, how its age, condition, and rarity determined its value, and everything else he thought the client should know. He was an enthusiastic investor in rare coins, for himself and for our company. Hearing a delighted outburst when he found another gem for his collection will be just one of many things we’ll miss about him.
Glen was an enthusiastic hunter, who started hunting as a child in Erie, Pennsylvania, when his dad taught him the basics. Later he exchanged a rifle for a bow and arrow. But every deer season would still find him traipsing through the woods, eager to bring some venison home to his family. He bragged about his skill by saying, “If it’s brown, it’s down.” He had a freezer full of meat almost every year.
Glen would tell you that the memorial he would most appreciate would be for you to take care of your family and to treat everyone fairly as he did. Glen has left us an unforgettable and lasting legacy of kindness and compassion that is indelibly written on our hearts and minds.
President and COO
President and COO
As the President and COO of ASI, Rich has knowledge of every facet of ASI’s operations. He has been an integral part of ASI's maturation from a precious metals and foreign exchange dealer to a full service tangible and rare tangible asset provider—to include rare U.S., world, and ancient coins. Rich oversees the operations, administrative, sales, and marketing departments, as well as serving as ASI’s Compliance Officer.
Rich graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1987, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer. He then served tours of duty at Fort Benning, Georgia, Schofield Barraks, Hawaii, and on the Demilitarized Zone in the Republic of South Korea. He held various leadership and staff positions at every level from platoon through battalion sized organizations. While at West Point, he played varsity soccer. He left military service in 1993 at the rank of Captain.
After a brief stint of direct sales in Macon and Atlanta, Georgia with telecommunications and multinational service corporations, Rich joined ASI (then International Financial Consultants, Inc.), in the spring of 1996.
In 1997, Michael Checkan, Glen O. Kirsch, and Rich Checkan created, developed and refined a Precious Metals Certificate Program for the Perth Mint. They became the first of only eight Approved Dealers in the world to sell Perth Mint Certificates, the only government guaranteed precious metals certificate program in the world.
Rich is a regular contributor to ASI’s own monthly newsletter, Information Line. He also is a regular writer for ASI’s news alert, Always Something Interesting, twice a week.
When Rich isn't in the office, he is speaking at a conference or leading a workshop at a seminar. He has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars worldwide and had been quoted in myriad financial newsletters and the NY Times.
Rich has three children, two girls and a boy, and says the smartest thing he ever did was to say "I do" to his wife, Helen.
Manager, Preferred Client Relations
Manager, Preferred Client Relations
Brian joined the ASI team in November 2016 with over 10 years of management experience.
He is a Washingtonian native who graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2002.
Brian was recognized for his leadership in business development and commitment to customer service. From his previous experience, Brian’s dedication and leadership led him to gain a broad range of experience including sales, marketing and advertising, and management. He enjoys connecting with his clients and providing them with excellent service. He has a passion for mentoring and teaching, that results in a collaborative consulting and leadership style.
He is married with two children and loves sports. He plays hockey and is an avid fan of the Redskins, Capitals, Wizards, and Nationals.
Assistant Manager, Preferred Client Relations
Preferred Client Relations
Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ryan has worked with precious metals, foreign currencies, and offshore wealth protection strategies at ASI. A life-long advocate of hard assets, he specializes in asset diversification and alternative allocation options.
Ryan currently lives outside of Austin, Texas. When not working or attending conferences, he enjoys leisure travel, military history, and discovering more of America’s craft brewing scene.