Planning for Attorneys & Their Clients

Company Overview


Financial planning for attorneys is more complex than most other professionals. It takes a lot of time to build a successful law practice, and that means your own needs are often left on the back burner. Add to that the ebbs and flows of inconsistent cash flow and the competing demands on your earnings, and you can see why having an expert in your corner who understands your situation can be a great benefit to you, your firm, and your family.

Here at Syndicus Financial, we have extensive knowledge and experience helping attorneys maximize and protect their assets and accomplish their short- and long-term financial goals. We work with attorneys at every stage of their career who specialize in personal injury, criminal defense, business and estate planning, and more, and we understand the unique challenges and opportunities you face.

In addition to helping you, we can also help your clients with out-of-the-box settlement solutions. Whether you need an expert in UTMA’s, investments, life insurance, or structured settlement annuities, our innovative approach will help them maximize and protect every penny they receive. By structuring attorney fees we can assist you in maximizing what you receive as well. If you’re looking for a partner to help you, your firm, and your clients make wise financial decisions with clarity and confidence, we’d love to talk.

Meet Our Team

Nicolas Baker headshot

Nicolas Baker


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Eric Kronk

Eric Kronk

Specializing in Structured Annuities

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Financial Team

Darlene Eastman headshot

Darlene "Maddy" Eastman

Administrative Assistant

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Strategic Alliances


Effective financial strategies often require a team of experts working together to serve your best interests. In such situations, we act as the quarterback who makes sure everyone is working together to achieve the best possible results. If you have existing team members you trust, such as your CPA or attorney, we are happy to work with them, and we can also bring in our subject-matter experts as needed. Some of our strategic alliances are detailed below.

How We Help


We offer a wide array of services to help attorneys and their clients with a variety of innovative financial solutions. Some of our areas of expertise include:

  • Structured Settlements
  • UTMA’s
  • Income Normalization
  • Asset Protection
  • Investment Management
  • Income Tax Minimization
  • Debt Management
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Business Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Executive Benefits

Educational Videos


White Papers


Financial News


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Nicolas Baker's Headshot

Nicolas Baker


Nic specializes in working with attorneys and their clients, owners of closely held businesses, and families in the areas of insurance planning, investment management, and estate & legacy planning. Always keeping risk management and asset protection in mind, Nic helps his clients focus on the accumulation, protection, distribution and transfer of their wealth and assets.

With this narrow focus, Nic is able to understand the issues, goals and concerns of his clients and help them determine what they would like to accomplish from both a business and personal financial planning perspective. He then helps his clients to take action so that the job gets done.

Nic entered the financial industry after many years of running small businesses in a variety of industries including medical, janitorial, and marital arts. After juggling business operations, a family, and a grandmother with Alzheimer’s, he discovered he had a passion for helping other business owners and successful professionals accomplish their financial goals through proactive planning. His calling ever since has been to serve his clients with a truly integrated practice rooted in an understanding of their unique needs and how to serve them.

Nic lives in Albuquerque, NM with his wife, April, and three rambunctious kids. Bring up wine, martial arts, or travel and you will have a conversation on your hands.

Nic’s Rules for a Successful Life

  1. Take the time to enjoy what you have.
  2. Align yourself with those who have your best interests at heart.
  3. Make your own decisions; don’t hand them over to someone else.
  4. Travel solo at least once.
  5. Drink Italian wine—it has the most soul.

CA Insurance Lic. #0M17579

 Janis Harkleroad's Headshot

Janis Harkleroad

Director of Client Services/
Settlement Division

Janis was hired by Nic in November 2017 after being retired for 7 years. She has a wealth of business experience after working with government accounts for a Fortune 500 company for over 23 years. Janis has a son, daughter and 4 grandchildren who keep her very busy with all their activities. She belongs to a travel group called Las Amigas de Nuevo Mexico and travels every year both internationally and within the United States. Janis is an avid gardener and is well known for her beautiful yard and garden.

Eric Kronk Headshot

Eric Kronk, LUTCF®

Specializing in Structured Annuities

Eric Kronk has worked in the Financial Services Industry since 1990. He is a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow, and is a past and current member of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association, The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table*. Eric received his B.A. Honors degree from McGill University and his Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School.

*The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), the Premier Association of Financial Professionals, is recognized globally as the standard of excellence in life insurance sales performance.

Amy Lucero Headshot

Amy Lucero

Retirement Specialist

Amy is a native New Mexican and one of six children. She has been an agent with New York Life for 37 years. She is a second generation as her father, Sabino Lucero, spent 55 fabulous years with the company. They worked together for 30 of those years helping their clients near and far with their comprehensive strategy to protect their families and businesses. She has a heart for people and gets energized by their goodness and creativity.

Amy is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with Business and Education degrees with a minor in Special Education. She has been a competitive runner and tri-athlete since she was eight and loves anything to do with the great outdoors.

Her family is the true love of her life. Her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters bring her never-ending love, laughter, and light.

Jamie Headshot

Jamie Padilla

Office Manager/
Licensed Service Assistant

Jamie is a native New Mexican, born and raised. She has two children and loves to spend time with her kids outdoors fishing, camping, and four wheeling. She loves to travel and try to see at least one new place each year. Jamie lived in South Carolina for two years and Goodyear/Buckeye, AZ for two and a half years, before returning to Albuquerque.

Jamie has over 8 years of experience in the financial industry, with experience as both an assistant as well as an agent. She is bi-lingual in English and Spanish. Her experience spans almost all areas of the insurance/finance world from individual insurance and employee benefits to investments.

Besides the financial industry Jamie has played an extra in five movies and local favorite Breaking Bad, worked in modeling for local agencies, had leadership roles in multiple non-financial office environments, and was a licensed cosmetologist. Her vast array of experiences in multiple fields is a huge asset to Syndicus Financial.

Darlene Headshot

Darlene "Maddy" Eastman

Administrative Assistant

Maddy’s passion has always been to help people. Her work experience is 100% customer service related. Currently, she is finishing her degree and is a mother to two amazing children who are her greatest accomplishments. As part of the Syndicus Financial team, she maintains optimal client satisfaction and guides clients though the onboarding process. Since day one she has been genuinely excited about learning everything she can about life insurance and the financial industry!

Brenda Iglesias Headshot

Karen Timm

Administrative Assistant

Karen entered the financial industry to help others protect and accumulate wealth. She primarily works with businesses to develop strategies and deliver solutions tailored to each individual client’s needs and goals.

Karen has deep roots in New Mexico. Speaking nothing but Italian, Karen’s family immigrated to Albuquerque when Wyoming boulevard was today’s Tramway. These humble beginnings fostered a passion for the local community and left a lasting legacy. From owning the Paris shoe store and Andrews’ electric, to careers in public service and carrying on the storied Albuquerque Dukes trademark, Karen’s family has always put New Mexico first. While she graduated with honors in biochemistry from UNM and spent ten years researching and developing tests in a laboratory setting, Karen found her true passion for helping others through her volunteer efforts, which lent themselves to a short but successful career in the nonprofit sector. As a member of the Syndicus Financial team, Karen’s ultimate goal is to carry on her family’s legacy of service by improving New Mexico’s financial future and making it the best place to do business.

Karen is also a proud wife and mother. She loves nothing more than arguing law with her husband, Michael (a federal judicial law clerk) and hiking the foothills with her husband, daughter and three dogs.

The Nautilus Group®

As a Member Agent of The Nautilus Group®, a service of New York Life Insurance Company, Nic Baker works hand-in-hand with Nautilus specialists experienced in taxes, estate law, life insurance, accounting, and charitable giving. This relationship helps ensure you benefit from some of the most sound thinking when it comes to your estate.

The Nautilus Group® is an exclusive resource accessible to Member Agents working with affluent, high net worth and business owner clients. Nautilus provides a range of consultative services and technical case design to support its Member Agents in presenting estate, business, charitable, insurance and retirement strategies to their clients and their clients' advisors in these key areas: Family Protection, Estate and Legacy Planning, Business Succession and Exit Planning, Executive Benefits, and Philanthropy.

Since every client has unique requirements, The Nautilus Group® staff and its Member Agents employ an individualized case development strategy, working on a team basis with the clients' professional advisors.

Member Agents of The Nautilus Group®, through their expertise and commitment to this team approach, can provide resources, services and solutions that help their clients work with their own professional advisors to attain clarity on their financial situation and also help achieve their business and estate planning objectives.

This consultative process fosters an understanding between the client, the Nautilus Member Agent, and the client's circle of advisors. Working hand in hand with the Nautilus staff, Member Agents present their clients with state-of-the-art planning strategies and customized case analyses designed to meet the clients' complex objectives. The one-on-one case design process used by Nautilus is tailored to the unique requirements of each client, achieving a better understanding of the complex needs and goals of each individual.

The Nautilus Group® is located in Dallas, TX and is staffed by an elite team of professionals experienced in law, taxation, accounting, business, insurance, finance and philanthropic planning. This team provides dedicated support for Nautilus Member Agents, an elite group of experienced insurance and financial industry leaders, firmly committed to a team planning concept.

The Nautilus Group® is a service of New York Life Insurance Company. Neither The Nautilus Group®, its member agents, nor its staff provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Clients are urged to seek the advice of their own professional advisors before implementing any planning strategies.


Eagle Strategies LLC

Through Eagle Strategies, Nic Baker provides fee-based financial planning, investment advisory services, and access to investment management programs. Eagle Strategies LLC is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an "Investment Adviser" and is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company.


New York Life

Nic Baker and his fellow financial professionals are proud to be affiliated with New York Life Insurance Company. New York Life and its wholly owned subsidiaries provide life insurance, fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance. A mutual insurance company, New York Life is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States, and holds the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any U.S. life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody's Investor Service (Aaa), and Standard & Poor's (AA+). (Source: Third-Party Ratings Reports as of 9/30/2021.)

Ash Brokerage

Ash Brokerage is an unaffiliated privately owned, family-operated insurance brokerage general agency. Ash provides us with a multitude of products and support for life insurance, long-term care, disability income, and annuities, not available through New York Life or its subsidiaries. Our partnership with Ash complements our mission to provide our clients with objective solutions to suit their individual needs.

Structured Settlements

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