Nitrogen supports firm acquisition scaling AUM to $330M
Bolstering his team's efficiency, process, client trust, and AUM, Nitrogen is a tool that Cory Allen wouldn't practice without.Download PDF
Meet Cory Allen
Based in Dayton, Ohio, Cory Allen has been a financial advisor for 14 years. He started on the insurance side and became an independent financial advisor 12 years ago. Cory’s team is going through an acquisition that will put them at approximately $330 million in AUM. His business is 80% focused on advisory and money management, and 20% focused on annuities.
Before becoming a financial advisor, Cory’s first career was coaching baseball. He’s always had a knack for acquiring knowledge and using that knowledge to help others get better.
“Seeing the people around me improve gets me out of bed in the morning. When you do that, you can’t help but improve yourself,” Cory said.
Cory is exceptionally skilled at building and growing things, whether working with clients to improve their financial situation or growing his firm. He knows that the only way to grow and attract clients is by looking at the bigger picture and creating value.
“How you create value as an advisor is changing because today, you can invest money if you have a smartphone,” Cory said. “Advice is my value play, not access.”
Cory first heard about Nitrogen through his network: a colleague explained how Nitrogen impacted business success. Shortly after, Cory became one of the first advisors at Cetera to use the software, and he’s never looked back.
“Nitrogen had everything I was looking for, and I signed up the first day it was on the Cetera platform. It’s mission-critical for me, and I wouldn’t practice without it. Nitrogen is that valuable to me and what I do,” Cory said.
Cory believes that presenting information through a streamlined process in an organized and professional manner is the cost of admission in the growing financial wealth industry. Nitrogen has helped Cory distinguish his firm’s process to clients and elevate deliverables.
“In this industry, you must be able to illustrate why you are recommending what you’re recommending, and why it’s in the client’s interest. If you can’t do that, you’re going to get left behind.
That’s a big reason we brought in Nitrogen, and it’s paid off,” Cory said. “Other reports I’ve used in the past still need to be deciphered and look like hieroglyphics to the client. Nitrogen presents information in a way that clients can understand immediately.”
Cory believes that Nitrogen is set apart by its unique ability to synthesize all background data and break information down into basic elements. Clients with limited investment knowledge can understand Nitrogen’s reports and glean relevant data, as the information is presented in a visually pleasing way that’s easy to follow.
“Nitrogen’s data visualization is the most impressive part of the software. It’s easy to understand and doesn’t get cluttered. Nitrogen was clearly built by someone who could understand the perspective of a client with no investment knowledge and provide what they need to know. Our clients have been responding to Nitrogen very well,” Cory said.
Efficiencies and acquisitions
As Cory’s team goes through a major acquisition that will bring the firm to $330M AUM, Nitrogen is the secret weapon, ensuring efficiency and stability for incoming customers. By integrating with Cory’s tech stack, including Albridge, Nitrogen will enable Cory to analyze new client portfolios from Day 1.
“I don’t know how an advisor would function without those two tools. The minute the new clients come under my purview, they automatically feed into Albridge and Nitrogen. That’s going to create value immediately as I’m able to knowledgeably talk about the new clients’ investments in my first conversations with them,” Cory said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to go through an acquisition with Nitrogen because it will instill confidence in new customers, and I’ll be able to make a great first impression.”
As he’s become more familiar with Nitrogen, Cory has increased his efficiency and now has the ability to analyze a client’s portfolio within 30 minutes. His team’s efficiency with Nitrogen has opened the door for Cory to scale his practice.
“From risk variants to projected outcomes to efficiencies of the GPA score, I can develop a 30-minute presentation in about 10 minutes from just a statement,” Cory said. “Surprise meeting? No problem. Once, I had forgotten about an evening appointment I had scheduled. I got the 15-minute reminder and easily created a presentation for the client before our meeting started. It looked like I’d been preparing for an hour because of Nitrogen’s efficiency.”
Without Nitrogen, analyzing a client’s portfolio took much longer. The previous software Cory used had more steps, and the information was not flexible.
“You can’t play with the deliverables very much in other software the same way you can with Nitrogen, and you can’t get instant feedback by making quick adjustments. Nitrogen is the starting point and the core of our reporting and client presentations,” Cory said.
The process that wins
For Cory, the Risk Number® is only the beginning. Cory uses Nitrogen throughout his process with every client. When he brings on new clients, he goes through the risk assessment with each client individually. Meeting with clients one-on-one to go through their risk assessment has been critical for developing client trust and understanding client psychology.
“You really get a feel for who a client is as an investor by going through the risk assessment with them. It’s very valuable to be with clients when they’re going through it because you learn a lot about their comfort level with volatility,” Cory said. “It helps to see a client’s emotional reaction to different scenarios.”
Cory uses the portfolio assessment with all clients and prospects. He uses Retirement Maps to help clients understand the correlation between actions and outcomes, even in the early stages of talking with a prospective client. With Retirement Maps, Cory can adjust a sliding scale to show the client how their investment outcomes change based on their Risk Number and portfolio.
“That tool is better than anything I’ve come across to help clients understand the real-world implication of their risk choices, and it’s been extremely impactful,” Cory said.
It’s critical for Cory to advise clients based on their individual financial goals and to tie their portfolio’s risk to those goals. Nitrogen supports this goals-based approach to financial advising and planning.
“Different investments may have different numbers depending on the purpose of each investment. Nitrogen supports my process and aligns with my philosophy extremely well,” Cory said.
The Risk Number frames risk for clients and helps them better understand the story Cory tells them about investing. Cory will adjust the risk for each of their investments according to their goals, leveraging Nitrogen to document his fiduciary duty and eliminate client confusion.
“I have one client right now who’s a risk 35. But her long-term money is at a risk 72, because she wants to give as much money to her kids as possible. Because of Nitrogen, she understands how that part of her portfolio aligns with her desired outcome instead of her risk number, and Nitrogen helps translate the difference,” Cory said.
Because of Nitrogen Retirement Maps and the Risk Number, Cory’s clients know what to expect from their portfolios. Clients can easily see the difference between conservative assets and more growth-oriented assets. When their investments perform differently, Cory’s clients already have aligned expectations.
“Nitrogen is key to managing clients’ expectations and has increased our transparency,” Cory said.
With Nitrogen, Cory sets client expectations up front. If clients know what’s expected, they’re not calling their advisor to discover what’s happening.
“With so much going on in the world and the market down, my phone isn’t ringing,” Cory said. “The only calls I get are from people calling about opportunistic investing. Nobody is calling panicked or nervous, because we’ve already talked through the potential outcomes of their portfolio. Even if we’re in a bit of a black swan event, like Russia invading Ukraine, they’re still not panicking,” Cory said.
Securing prospects with Nitrogen
Cory has not lost a prospective client deal since using Nitrogen.
“Since I started with Nitrogen, I have either won prospects, or the deal is still in the works. Any prospective client I’ve met with active money that’s been in proposal status, I’ve won,” Cory said.
With Cory’s process supported by Nitrogen, onboarding prospective clients has become smooth and easy.
“The biggest difference Nitrogen has made for our firm is elevating our delivery. We’ve won prospects because we can demonstrate our full process with transparency and professionalism,” said Cory. “Nitrogen has made results easily visual and tangible and has drastically upgraded how we present what we do.”
It has also become increasingly important to keep clear communication with clients virtually, especially after the COVID pandemic began.
“Nitrogen has helped us maintain client relationships remotely and has been great for virtual meetings because of the clean visuals and ease of use,” Cory said.
“It has helped us enhance virtual meetings 100% by making them visual and efficient.”
Cory has been able to work with seven-figure clients based in other states by using Nitrogen. Recently, Cory began working with a $2 million prospect in Arizona whom he’s never sat in a room with. Despite being miles away, the client knows what will happen with their portfolio and can feel confident before they ever say yes to working with Cory’s firm.
“It’s been very powerful to plug in precise details and see outcomes and how everything works over Zoom,” Cory said. “I can create the same amount of value for clients virtually.”
Nitrogen has also allowed Cory to add more consulting clients that are “HENRYS,” High Earners, Not Rich Yet, who want an advisor and are willing to pay a flat fee or retainer.
“It’s a precious tool to deliver consulting work and meet all the compliance guidelines,” Cory said. Every month, Cory sends in IPSs, Retirement Maps, and portfolio reviews for compliance through Nitrogen. Nitrogen has streamlined his process and made it very simple for Cory to complete promptly.
The asset level of clients has gone up for Cory’s team after they started using Nitrogen. Cory’s team has also increased the number of referrals they’ve received as centers of influence are willing to introduce more prospects.
“My last two referrals came from accountants and were multimillion-dollar accounts. They’re introducing us to their best clients because they trust our deliverables and have confidence in what we’re doing and our process. We’re receiving more and more seven-figure referrals,” Cory said.
Not only has Nitrogen helped Cory’s team have a transparent and branded process for clients, but also, importantly, for centers of influence where they have gained bigger opportunities. Recently, Cory walked an insurance professional through their process using Nitrogen.
“We’ve branded our process, and I want to show people how we do what we do in the financial industry. I did a mock-up with a fake client to show the insurance agent the due diligence that goes into our work,” Cory said.
A few weeks later, that insurance agent referred a client north of $2 million that he wanted to partner with Cory’s firm–him on the insurance side and Cory on the financial investment side. “We created a partnership because of our elevated process, and we strive to do this with other professionals across the legal, accounting, and insurance fields,” Cory said. “Nitrogen has been instrumental in making these connections happen.”
Special thanks to Cory Allen and his team for their candor and commitment to empowering the world to invest fearlessly.