FALLS CHURCH – The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) announced Guy E. Baker, Ph.D., MSFS, MBA, CLU, ChFC, CFP, RHU, managing director of BTA Advisory Group in Irvine, Calif., is the recipient of the 78th annual John Newton Russell Memorial Award. The award is the highest honor accorded by the insurance industry to a living individual who has rendered outstanding services to the institution of life insurance.
Baker will receive the award Sept. 14, 2019, at NAIFA’s Performance + Purpose conference in Orlando.
“It is my pleasure on behalf of the selection committee to honor Guy Baker with this year’s John Newton Russell Memorial Award,” said Jules Gaudreau, chair of the 2019 award committee. “The committee considered many deserving candidates, but ultimately Guy’s professional accomplishments stood out. His decades of success and his willingness to share his insights and expertise through his speaking engagements, writing, teaching, volunteer service, leadership and mentoring activities exemplify the dedication to the life insurance and financial services industry that the John Newton Russell Award was created to recognize.”
Baker has more than 50 years of experience as a life insurance and wealth consultant and as a frequent and highly regarded writer and speaker has established himself as a thought leader in the industry. He has published five books, including The Great Wealth Erosion, his most recent work detailing factors that form the essence of market-based investing, and The Box, a best-selling, easily understood guide to the mathematics of life insurance.
After graduating from McKenna College with a BS in economics and the University of Southern California with an MBA in Finance, Baker was the manager of Pacific Mutual’s USC campus office for two years before becoming a full-time agent in 1970. Baker was a leading producer for Pacific Life, serving as chair of the company’s Agent Advisory Board for 10 years.
He also holds MS degrees in financial services and management. Baker completed a PhD in March 2018 from the American College in the field of Financial Planning and Investments in the first cohort. He currently serves on the American College Alumni Board. He has taught continuing education classes in the financial planning program at the University of California–Irvine.
A Life and Qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) since 1970, he has also been a continuing qualifying member of the Top of the Table since 1977, one of only 25 agents to achieve this distinction. Baker was most recently President of MDRT in 2010. A 25-year volunteer with MDRT, he has served as chairman of several committees and task forces, as well as Divisional Vice President. He has spoken at the annual meeting more than 18 times. Baker is an Excalibur Knight of the MDRT Foundation and served as its President in 2000.
Since joining the AALU in 1977, Baker was elected to the Board of Directors and has served as Regional Chairman for the AALU Political Contacts Committee as well as providing service on many committees and taskforces.
He served as President of the Orange County Life Underwriter's Association and as a regional LUPAC Trustee. Baker helped form the National Association of Stewardship Advisors and served as President twice. He went on to found the Stewardship Alliance, an organization dedicated to providing charitable giving counseling to philanthropic entities.
“I send my sincere congratulations to Guy Baker for receiving this year’s John Newton Russell Award,” said NAIFA President Jill Judd, LUTCF, FSS. “Guy’s career accomplishments serve as an inspiration to every financial professional and an example of how to achieve success while serving your industry and your clients.”
John Henry Russell created the John Newton Russell Memorial Award in 1942 as a tribute to his father, an influential leader in the life insurance industry and an early advocate of agent education. John Newton Russell served as NAIFA (then NALU) president from 1916 to 1917 and was a contributing founder of LIMRA International, The American College and the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation.