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
equality gap?


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.