American Savings Investment Services increased wallet share by $41M with Nitrogen

Find out how Nitrogen has supported record growth in assets and revenue for Senior VP Phil Pomella's team.

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“We have captured over $41 million in outside assets in 2021 as a direct result of our advisors using Nitrogen in their very first year!”
— Phil Pomella

The set up

As Senior Vice President and Director of Investment Services located at American Savings Bank, Phil Pomella heads up the bank’s team of advisors whose role it is to provide wealth management and financial advice to the firm’s thousands of customers across Hawaii.

And part of his responsibility is to always be on the lookout for how the bank can upgrade its customer experience.

Pomella knew, based on consumer preferences and his own experience, that his team would need to invest in new technology to enhance their client interactions and give themselves the opportunity to build deeper trust and gain additional wallet share.

He discovered what he was looking for at the 2019 Cetera conference in Denver, Colorado.

“I first heard about and saw Nitrogen at the 2019 conference. Immediately, I knew that it could give us a simpler way to communicate with our customers about their investments.”

Enter Nitrogen

While Pomella would not be a daily user of Nitrogen in his role as the program’s Director of Investments, he did have a clear vision of how American Savings could implement it into their processes and dramatically improve their customer experience across the firm.

“I felt that Nitrogen was the missing piece we needed to deepen wallet share. We were missing the technology necessary to take a customer’s portfolio and do a thorough analysis of it, then propose a new portfolio more in line with their risk tolerance and investment objectives,” Pomella said.

Pomella knew that he would need buy-in from advisors first, so he demoed Nitrogen to his top producers first – and received positive reviews all around.

From there, Pomella paired his top producers’ feedback with his conviction about the product to convince the bank as a whole to invest in adding Nitrogen to its technology stack.

They said yes.

“I wanted Nitrogen Elite for everyone because I wanted my advisors to have the tools they needed to increase engagement and really impress our customers,” Pomella said. “I thought that pairing Nitrogen with our financial planning app from Cetera would give us the foundation to bring in more assets and revenue.”

In short order, Pomella’s gut instinct would prove to be correct.

Problems & solutions

Almost from the very beginning, American Savings Investment Services began to experience a positive ROI from its implementation of Nitrogen into its risk tolerance, proposal generation, and portfolio management processes.

“We’ve had a tremendous year, and a lot of it is due to Nitrogen,” Pomella said. “I spoke at the Cetera conference, where they wanted me to discuss how our bank program has captured more wallet share per customer, and I said our secret weapon was Nitrogen.”

“We have captured over $41 million in outside assets in 2021 as a direct result of our advisors using Nitrogen in their very first year!”

As Pomella and his team look ahead to the future, he sees additional ways Nitrogen can support the bank’s future growth plans.

“This year, we are doing a marketing campaign to clients with at least $1 million net worth and an annual income of $150,000. Based on our research, offering a complimentary risk review of the assets they hold elsewhere can be a real value-add for our customers and an opportunity for our advisors to capture more market share from brand new customers and additional wallet share from our existing customers,” he said.

With the Nitrogen Advisor Marketing Kit at his team’s fingers, Pomella already has a foundation for how to put Nitrogen in front of more customers and prospects who can benefit from a risk-centric approach to their investing.

“Our advisors are our stars, and we’re going to continue giving them the tools they need to serve our customers well. And Nitrogen will continue to be a major part of that. My team experienced record growth in assets and revenue so far as a result of Nitrogen. They have built better relationships too.”

An advantage in unprecedented times

Right now, inflation is the highest it has been in over 40 years. With the Fed changing their monetary policy from a quantitative easing to a quantitative tightening regime, Pomella believes that using Nitrogen to show customers exactly how much risk and volatility is embedded in their investment portfolios and the ability to frame discussions around an understanding of risk has never been so timely.

“We have never before in history seen this much easing on a global scale and the trillions of dollars on bonds on the Fed’s balance sheets. The Fed tightening and this recent soaring inflation are likely to impact many investment portfolios. In these times, Nitrogen is the best friend to advisory firms who have it, but the enemy of advisory firms who don’t,” Pomella said. “Firms without Nitrogen are likely to lose clients and assets to competitors with Nitrogen who show clients how much risk is in their portfolios during a rising rate environment with soaring inflation.”

Pomella considers Nitrogen a mission-critical choice amid extraordinary market volatility.

“We have seen so much uncertainty and record market volatility led by soaring inflation and rising interest rates this year so far,” Pomella said. “With Nitrogen you can propose changes to a client’s portfolio more in line with the customer’s risk tolerance where their portfolios are likely to be better positioned for the new inflationary world and the economic regime we are in!”

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