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[GRTV] Highly aspirational – an adviser’s take on the Million Dollar Round Table

Financial adviser Aaron Baker gives his take on the financial adviser’s version of visiting Mecca - a trip to the Million Dollar Round Table conference in the US.

Wednesday, September 27th 2023, 9:18AM 2 Comments

by Andrea Malcolm

Baker, a financial adviser with Share, focuses on insurance with some mortgage work. Having been back in the business a year, he had heard lots of good things about the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) get-together and after four months qualified on revenue to attend.

“It’s not cheap but if you can make a couple of extra sales, talk to a few extra clients or expand your business just a little bit as a result it’s worth it. It helps to talk to others who have been on the same journey.”

Advisers overseas tended to be more generalist than their Kiwi counterparts and because the mega-event is global there was an absence of insurers. Meanwhile lifetime members and presidents in the organisation were quick to talk to delegates and share words of wisdom, he says.

“The messages were about sales, drivers, and understanding your own resilience,” he told GRTV.

Baker is now working his way through ideas, mainly around expanding his customer service offering, and thinking more about how the client views their discussions.

“I suppose when you look at legislation and what that has done to us as an industry we’ve become, almost, too factual. Most clients don’t really understand the nuances of the industry, so how can we bring in more of a client-centric way of communicating and talking to them in their language.

“How can I bring that more into my statement of advice and how I present solutions. There was a session around changing your wording so it’s not a discovery appointment. I don’t even like the word fact-find.”

There were other sessions on having fun, a lot on work-life balance.

“It can be quite a lonely occupation if you’re not surrounding yourself with good people. MDRT has given me some people I can work alongside and learn from through monthly calls with peers. It’s highly aspirational. If you come away with three ideas that you can implement in your business it’s been worth it.”

Tags: GRTV

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Comments from our readers

On 22 September 2023 at 2:46 pm John Milner said:
Having a father who was Top of The Table and Life Member of MDRT, I got to see how powerful MDRT was to the adviser business. Networking with some of the very best in the world is a great opportunity and aspiration for any adviser.
Sadly, Financial Advice NZ appears disinterested in this organisation. In past years we would have a panel of members who attended the MDRT and give us their experience of this biggest show in financial services globally.
On 25 September 2023 at 5:09 pm RickWillis said:
Great to hear the experiences from your first Annual MDRT meeting. I am sure it will be one of many. If anyone wishes to know more about the MDRT Membership, or the upcoming Road show October 17th Auckland and 18th Christchurch, you can contact either Tony Gribble North Island Chair on or Travis Hamiliton South Island Chair on

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