Sloma’s client bank is unique. Around 90% are either professional sportspeople or successful young entrepreneurs. He started with a client bank of sportspeople, predominantly footballers of Premier League and Championship level.
‘Having empathy and understanding of what clients go through is a big thing,’ he says. ‘From an outsider’s perspective, it’s a very easy lifestyle: you get lots of money, some fame and status.
‘But inside, it is a super competitive industry, and it doesn’t wait for you. You could suffer injuries and mental strains; there’s a lot more to it that people on the outside don’t necessarily understand,’ he says.
Soon Sloma was approached by members of his social network who were young entrepreneurs with substantial sums of money to manage.
‘We are going through similar things: having children, buying houses, looking at insurance or mortgage rates. So it’s a similar situation across a number of different clients,’ he says.
‘I am a chartered financial planner by trade. But, for those guys, I help with business decisions, property purchases, and other life decisions. It is far reaching. We are looking to do more on the psychological aspect as well.’
Owing to the firm’s level of involvement with its clients, Sloma intends to keep a more limited client base with plenty of longevity. He also wants to keep the business ‘small and nimble’ to provide value in those relationships.
‘We’re not a “see you once a year and touch base” kind of company. We are involved in people’s day-to-day lives, and I’m happy with that,’ he says.
Because of the nature of the service, Engage charges flat fees based on time. It discloses its charges in their entirety on its website.
Sloma explains: ‘I didn’t want to have fees based on assets, because subconsciously you’re then thinking about what assets a client has that you can manage. Having looked at my client bank objectively prior to starting the business, I could see how much time clients took.
‘A fixed annual fee based on what we do for the client and how much time we spend is fair for both parties.’
Sloma became a father for the third time in January. He now has girls aged six, three and six months to attend to.
Fittingly, Engage is somewhat unique in that the firm has no set hours or holiday allocations. Sloma places a significant emphasis on granting his colleagues the same freedom he requires to juggle his own work and family life.
‘We designed the business around us and around our lifestyles,’ he explains. ‘I drop the kids off at school. Because their school is about 600 yards from our North London office, I’m in at 8.20am, but I’m home relatively early.’
He helps his wife out if one of the kids is ill and needs picking up. ‘I’m generally home for bath and bedtime, and then I’ll go back to work if I need to.
‘Our working hours are really flexible, and we make it flexible for clients so they can see us and speak to us whenever they want.’