Planning for Individuals & Families

Company Overview

 

Here at Syndicus Financial, we help individuals and families grow, manage, and protect their assets through comprehensive financial planning. We take pride in helping people understand their financial opportunities so they can make wise decisions that are in alignment with their goals and tolerance to risk.

Our goal is to provide excellent service to our clients, so we're proud to align ourselves with professional resources such as New York Life Insurance Company, Eagle Strategies LLC, and The Nautilus Group®. These relationships allow us to offer a complete suite of solutions that are catered to each person’s unique needs.

When you work with us, you can rest assured that your best interests will always be our top priority, and we’ll stop at nothing to give you the exceptional service and attention you deserve. If you’re looking for a partner to help you understand your financial big picture and make the best possible decisions through every season of life, we’d love to talk.

Meet Our Team

 
Nicolas Baker headshot

Nicolas Baker

Founder

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Karen Timm headshot

Karen Timm

Agent

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Financial Team

Amy Lucero

Amy Lucero

Retirement Specialist

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Justin L. Berger

Justin L. Berger

Financial Services Professional

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Jamie headshot

Jamie Padilla

Licensed Service Assistant

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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 individuals and families at all ages and stages of life. Some of our areas of expertise include:

  • Retirement Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Income Tax Minimization
  • Asset Protection
  • Debt Management
  • Estate & Legacy Planning
  • Charitable Planning
  • 401(k) and IRA Rollovers
  • Disability & Extended Care Needs

Educational Videos

 
 

White Papers

 
 

Financial News

 

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Nicolas Baker's Headshot

Nicolas Baker

Founder

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

Administrative Assistant

Janis came to work for 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 38 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

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.

Justin L. Berger Headshot

Justin L. Berger

Financial Services Professional

Justin is the youngest of four children raised on a farm by Dickinson, North Dakota. Justin's first jobs included selling produce at the local farmers market and picking the grain fields clean of rocks...many, many rocks. The rocks were more plentiful than the grain in those days, so with his hard earned money, he was able to help pay for new clothes and his first car. In addition to farming, Justin's dad stocked grocery shelves at night and his mom cooked at the livestock sales barn just to keep food on the table. During the drought of the late 1980s, they almost lost the farm. In 1995, Justin's mother tragically passed away from cancer. Justin and his dad were forced to move off of the farm. The physical labor and "never give up attitude" were the cornerstone of Justin's early values. This prepared him for wrestling, where Justin achieved state runner-up in high school, and a career in the military.

Justin enlisted to serve in the Army and was stationed at Fort Hood, TX for four years until moving back to North Dakota and Joining the North Dakota Army National Guard (NDARNG). In 2003 Justin was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Justin's unit was tasked with searching out and destroying roadside bombs. His ingenuity, problem solving skills and pressure under fire awarded Justin two Army Commendation Medals and multiple campaign medals. Post deployment, Justin attended Dickinson State University and earned his bachelor's degree in biology. Justin started his first business while in college performing tree cutting/trimming, landscaping and snow removal services to the local community. As it turned out, North Dakota saw record low snowfall those years, money was extremely tight and Raman noodles became his saving grace. During that period, Justin also attended Officer Candidate School and earned his commission as Second Lieutenant. During Officer Candidate School, Justin's entire paradigm shifted. He became a leader in both rank and mindset. In 2009, after serving the people of North Dakota during the devastating floods and tornado recovery, Justin accepted a federal position as the Supply Systems Analyst for the NDARNG. In 2010 Justin graduated with honors from Engineer Basic Officer Leadership Course. In 2013, Justin graduated from Multi-functional Logistics Captain's Career Course and was promoted to Captain. Drawing from his leadership, farming, engineer and logistics experience, Justin was given the honor of company command and overall responsibility for over 70 Soldiers, twice.

In 2014, Justin gave his heart to Liv Fetterman from Philadelphia, PA and they were married in 2016. In 2017, Justin deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel and the newlyweds were blessed with the birth of their first daughter Amalie. During that deployment, Justin was Officer in Charge of the 300+ American contingent on a multinational, joint military base. Justin was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Meritorious Service Medal and multiple campaign medals. In 2018, Justin, Liv and Amalie were blessed with the birth of Clara. In 2019, after 20 years of military service, Justin retired from the North Dakota National Guard and started his second career in the North Dakota General Office of the New York Life Insurance Company. Justin's first 18 months as an agent with New York Life he achieved multiple recognitions from the North Dakota General Office for sales productivity, including: Rookie and New Org of the Month Awards, Career Life Success Award, Career Life Producer Award, Rookie of the Year runner-up (2x), and New Org Lifetime Income Annuity Leader. He also achieved Executive Council at New York Life, which is a recognition of high-level sales performance.

In 2020, Liv accepted a promotion with the United States Forest Service with a duty station of Albuquerque, NM. Justin is excited to be part of the Syndicus Financial Team and is currently enhancing his knowledge and training with graduate level coursework. Justin is continually seeking out ways to better serve clients in building, growing, protecting, and sustaining their financial castles.

Jamie Headshot

Jamie Padilla

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.

Brenda Iglesias Headshot

Karen Timm

Agent

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.

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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