Amid a crisis in the wealth work industry, a former tech consultant and a personal trainer to the rich and famous have pioneered a solution that works for everyone.
Mohamed Elzomor and Jacco de Bruijn
In the past decade, an explosion in the so-called “wealth work” industry—service providers that cater to the ultrawealthy—vastly outpaced the nation’s job growth. But just like many other workers in the gig economy, they were the first to lose their jobs as the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic set in.
Mohamed Elzomor, a high-profile personal trainer who had worked in some of the world’s best hotels, and privately for Fortune 500 CEOs, royal families and celebrities, himself became a statistic of the pandemic. “Suddenly, my own high-profile position, which I had always considered to be stable, was in jeopardy,” he says. “I saw households turning inward, or moving to their vacation homes, and I thought, ‘I wonder how many people will ultimately be affected by this?’” Spotting the potential breadth of the industry crisis, Elzomor turned to tech startup entrepreneur Jacco de Bruijn. Both saw the opportunity to disrupt an antiquated industry on behalf of the people who worked for it and for the households that benefit from private service.
Both have experience in the hospitality industry, and, says de Bruijn, “We realized that the household staffing industry needs to be modernized in the same way as hospitality.”
Enter Nines, the duo’s New York City-based household staffing company, which operates via a luxury membership program that is quickly expanding into affluent areas like the Hamptons, Connecticut, Los Angeles and South Florida. Nines searches out childcare professionals, drivers, housekeepers, event staff, personal chefs and other positions and hires them as its own employees, paying their benefits, guaranteeing vacation time and giving them ongoing training. Nines works with its members as an active partner in recruiting and retaining service experts.
Nines has already attracted the attention of bold-face names. One new member, Sherry P. Witter, managing partner, co-founder and chief investment officer of the Witter Family Office, says she believes the company is on to a groundbreaking idea. “My membership with Nines doesn’t end the moment a service professional walks into my home,” Witter says. “It’s an ongoing relationship that begins and ends with trust and constantly reassures me that my household and family are taken care of.”
De Bruijn notes, “We’re an accelerator for change, and when that works for everyone, it’s so rewarding.”
Photography by: PHOTO BY JONATHAN SCHOONOVER/COURTESY OF THE NINES