Planning for Business Owners

Company Overview


At Syndicus Financial, we provide innovative, comprehensive planning strategies to help business owners grow, manage, and protect what they’ve worked so hard to create. Our educational approach is designed to empower you with the information you need to make wise financial decisions, and our partnership with several strategically-chosen alliances allows us to offer a complete suite of solutions that are catered to your unique needs.

Our founder, Nic Baker, has started and sold many different small businesses, so he knows firsthand the complexities of running a business and balancing your personal financial needs with the current and future needs of your company. Taking into account your values, goals, and tolerance to risk, our team will work together to help you create and execute customized strategies to meet your objectives at every stage of the business life cycle.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you look at your financial big picture and make the best possible decisions every step of the way, we’d love to talk.

Meet Our Team

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Nicolas Baker


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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 business owners at every stage of the business life cycle. Some of our areas of expertise include:

  • Business Planning
  • Executive Benefits
  • Succession Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Income Tax Minimization
  • Asset Protection
  • Debt Management
  • Buy-Sell Agreements

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 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

Licensed Service Assistant

Janis was hired by Nic New York Life 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.

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.

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


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 one of the best places 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.

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.


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 10/15/2020.)

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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