Tiger21, Where the Wealthy Seek Out Kindred Spirits
May 11, 2013 | Gérard Bérubé | Finances personnelles
John Koloda has set himself the goal of doubling Tiger21’s Montreal membership. Potential members be warned: you need a minimum $10 million in investible assets to join this highly confidential learning group.
John Koloda is introduced as a consultant with more than 30 years’ experience in financial services. He has just been
named co-chair of Tiger21’s Montreal chapter, which serves Quebec and Eastern Ontario. He plans to add two or three new names to the eight people who currently comprise the Montreal
membership, with the goal of reaching 20. Candidates are recruited all over Quebec and in the Ottawa region. The main eligibility factor: a minimum $10 million in
investible assets, which excludes the primary residence, and a commitment to attend meetings for two years. “There is a deep pool of wealthy individuals from Trois-Rivières to Drummondville and in the Beauce, passing through Quebec City, Montreal, Gatineau and Ottawa. I see at least two groups of 20 people within the next couple of years,” predicts John Koloda.
Created in the United States in 1999, Tiger21 has been in Canada for one year. The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century has chapters in 12 North American cities, including four in Canada, and boasts 208 members who collectively manage $19 billion in assets.
Giving Back to Society
Some cities have two or three chapters of approximately 20 people each. Members include entrepreneurs, retirees, people active in financial services or real estate investors. Potential members are invited to a preliminary interview, if just to discuss affinities, to identify traits in common and how they give back to society.
The purpose of Tiger21? To create a community of interests allowing wealthy individuals to share with each other, to
access a confidential group in which multimillionaires can discuss with their peers, with others who understand what they are going through. “They can talk about divorce, vacation,
donations, family matters and other personal concerns in complete confidentiality, in an
open, but safe-harbour environment,” explains John Koloda.
A typical monthly meeting begins with the introduction of a personal subject. It starts with a round table where each
person shares their point of view on the state of the world. “Each person has their own network, their own sphere of influence. Their contribution is unique.” This is followed by an address by
one or two speakers, a Nobel Prize winner or a specialist discussing a unique investment subject. In the second part, members will present their portfolios and open up
their investment strategy for comment and the objective criticism of their peers, each one emphasizing their own experience or vision.
99 vs. 1%
And how does the Tiger21 membership experience the divide between activists and the 1%?
How do they respond to the grievances of the 99% denouncing the widening
What do they think of tax havens and other tax evasion methods?
As a general rule, these wealthy individuals “will feel they are misunderstood. They too can experience problems or go
through rough times,” argues John Koloda. They are in the highest taxation bracket. They believe they pay too many taxes, that they contribute more than anyone else, even on a
relative basis. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with looking for ways to pay less,
like any other taxpayer would do. “These people are more average than we believe. They do not just live in a bubble and do not believe they are above anyone else. They understand and are sensitive to what is going on, the trouble that everyone faces. They do not feel excluded, but rather poorly understand. Their attitude is not one of ‘poor me’, but rather, ‘how can we work better,
John Koloda also observes that these wealthy individuals give a lot back to society.
“Most of the time, they give back to society anonymously,” he adds.
***According to Tiger21 founder, Michael Sonnenfeldt, members currently prefer private
investments and the equity markets, although there is no run on equities.
Therefore, equities investments (25%) and private investments (19%) make up the
lion’s share of the average portfolio, where liquidity remains high. They are
shunning bond securities over fears of rising interest rates and their main
concern is a massive monetary easing that raises fears that soaring stock
prices are inflated, with no basis in the real economy.