NAIFA’s Advisor Today is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Four Under Forty Awards designed to recognize outstanding NAIFA members who achieve excellence in their profession before or by the age of 40.
“Advisor Today’s Four Under Forty Award recipients reflect the bright future of our strong industry,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux, CAE. “Each of them has already reached an exceptional level of career and personal success, and we will look to them as leaders among their advisor peers and in NAIFA for years to come.”
Echoing these sentiments is Advisor Today’s Editor-in-Chief Ayo Mseka, who added: “Each of these advisors has a unique way of helping clients achieve their financial goals and dreams. In the process, they have taken their practices to new heights of success.”
The 2016 Four Under Forty winners are:
Barjes Angulo, LUTCF
Founder and CEO, Angulo Strategies
NAIFA-New York State
Barjes Angulo, 38, is the son of Ecuadorian immigrants and was raised in Queens, New York, by his single mother. In 2007, he realized his dream of being the first person in his family to graduate from college when he received his degree from Pace University. He soon began building his business in New York City. He has qualified for MDRT seven times and has achieved the NAIFA Quality Award three times. New York Life has presented Angulo with more than 25 awards, including Chairman’s Council status in 2015, which is one of the highest honors given by the company. He also received the prestigious El Award from El Dario La Prensa in 2012, which recognizes Hispanic professionals who serve as community role models. In 2016, he was honored in his local community by Queens QNS as one of the top 40 professionals under the age of 40. “Barjes Angulo’s path to success has been anything but typical,” said his nominator, Elizabeth Dipp Metzger, CFP, AEP, MSFS, “but he is living proof of the power of staying committed to your dreams and stopping at nothing to achieve them.”
Samantha Clark, CLF, CLTC
Vice President and Managing Director, National Financial Network, LLC
NAIFA-New York State
Samantha Clark, 36, began her career in the life insurance industry in 2011, immediately upon her graduation from the University of Buffalo. She soon qualified for MDRT, Court of the Table and Guardian’s Leader’s Club. Clark founded the first Buffalo-Niagara chapter of Women in Insurance and Financial Services, grew the chapter’s member ship to more than 50 and won the WIFS New Chapter of the Year award in 2008.She also streamlined the agent training and development systems for her office, growing the retention rate of new advisors from 30 percent to over 65 percent. Clark was awarded Guardian’s prestigious Presidential Citation Award, recognizing her as one of the company’s top 5 percent of managing directors in the country. When Clark was 33 years old, her husband, Jim, died suddenly and she “was left alone to raise her two children, who were six and three years old at the time,” said her nominator, Anthony T. Mazzei, Jr. “After taking some time to grieve and reflect, Samantha came back to her business with a stronger dedication and eagerness to help. She recognized, first-hand, what it felt like to be the beneficiary of the valuable work our industry bestows upon its clients.”
Justin B. Curtis, LUTCF, CLU, ChFC
Co-Owner, Curtis Financial Group
Justin Curtis, 36, joined New York Life in December 2007and was named Rookie of the Year and New Associate of the Year in the company’s Nashville office in 2008. Along with his father, Dan Curtis, he founded Curtis Financial Group in 2010. Curtis was recognized in 2014 as a Chairman’s Cabinet Agent, the highest level an agent can attain at New York Life, and was one of the company’s top 50 agents that year. In 2010, Curtis was one of 18 agents elected by his peers to the New York Life Agents’ Advisory Council. On the Council, he worked with senior executives on improvements for the company and field force. Curtis and his father host an annual charity golf tournament, the Curtis Financial Invitational, to benefit the Second Base Foundation. According to his nominator, Harriet A. Spear, MBA, CPCU, LUTCF, LTCP, FSCP, “I have the highest regard for this highly intelligent, focused young man … who has achieved in a short amount of time what many of us can only aspire to.”
Financial Advisor, Running Wealth Management Group
Tyler Hirth, 31, started his practice in June 2007 after he graduated with a degree in small business entrepreneurship and a minor in political science from Bemidji State University. He has qualified for MDRT for three consecutive years, with one Court of the Table achievement. Hirth is the vice president of the NAIFA-Minneapolis Board, having previously served as treasurer and secretary. He has developed a professional mentorship program for NAIFA-Minnesota and serves as a mentor to several advisors who are new to the business. “Tyler is loud and proud about this industry, NAIFA, MDRT and helping others,” noted Corey Lee Anderson, Executive Consultant, Secura Consultants. “Our future is looking bright as an industry and as NAIFA, with this great friend of mine working on our behalf.”
Look for the cover story on these outstanding advisors in the September/October issue of Advisor Today.
About NAIFA: Founded in 1890 as The National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU), NAIFA is one of the nation’s oldest and largest associations representing the interests of insurance professionals from every Congressional district in the United States. NAIFA members assist consumers by focusing their practices on one or more of the following: life insurance and annuities, health insurance and employee benefits, multiline, and financial advising and investments. NAIFA’s mission is to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members.