TIGER 21 SETS ITS EYES ON LATIN AMERICA
TIGER 21 SETS ITS EYES ON LATIN AMERICA TO FUEL GROWTH IN FLORIDA
TIGER 21, the peer-to-peer network for high net worth investors, is in expansion mode in Florida after unveiling a second groupin Miami in September and currently preparing for the launch of a third in Palm Beach next month.
But besides tapping the expertise of wealthy individuals and families locally, the New York-headquartered organization islooking to deepen its footprint in the Sunshine State by drawing on the strong ties it has with Latin America, Charles Garcia,chair of the Florida group, told Family Wealth Report.
One of the main factors linking Florida – which has for a while been regarded as a wealth management “hotspot” – to LatinAmerica is the fact that 23 per cent of the state’s 19.3 million inhabitants are of Hispanic or Latino origin, compared to a USaverage of 16.9 per cent (source: 2012 US Census data). The US also exports 2.6 times as much to Latin America as it does toChina, with the continent being Florida’s largest trading partner.
At the same time, some 15,000 Latin Americans are ultra high net worth individuals representing at least $2.3 trillion in wealth,according to recent estimates. Indeed, last week Garcia met with Guillermo Romo, a TIGER 21 member in San Diego, CA, whois recommending Latin American individuals to Garcia he thinks would be good members.
“Romo confirmed that a lot of Mexican UHNW families are choosing Miami over Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, San Diego, CA, andLos Angeles, CA,” Garcia said.
And, in what Garcia views as an early sign that the economy in Florida is getting stronger – fueled in part by LatAm investors -the real estate market has improved considerably in recent time.
He said: “While in 2008/9 there were 68,000 empty apartments, all of that inventory has now gone and people are progressivelybuilding again. Some of that is because there are a lot of very wealthy Latin Americans ‚Äì from countries like Brazil, Peru,Columbia, Venezuela ‚Äì that have invested heavily into real estate in Miami.”
LATAM FOCUSHaving recently added several new Miami members from Latin America, Garcia said he has now decided to open the doors toLatAm families. TIGER’s Miami group includes seven Hispanics, representing about 33 per cent of these individuals (these arenot Latin Americans, but US citizens of Hispanic descent or “Hispanic Americans.”)
“If you talk to the large wealth managers in South Florida, some of them are 100 per cent managing wealth from LatAmfamilies. Others are managing money from South Florida families mostly, while others have more of a national practice,” Garciasaid.
“I’m starting to invite people from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru; I have someone from Venezuelaand the Caribbean. It gives us a better outlook as to what is going on in those countries,” he said. (Likewise, part of the reasonLatin Americans want to join TIGER is because they want insights as to what’s going on in the US.)
However, the type of peer-to-peer experience offered by TIGER is “very unusual” for Latin Americans, Garcia said, as they’reculturally not as open about their finances as other members are perhaps used to.
“People often joke that everyone has three books: the book you show the government, the book you show your wife, and thebook with the real numbers. Disclosing information to other TIGER members ‚Äì even though it’s confidential ‚Äì is very tough.”Garcia added that he’s thinking of creating a Miami-based group comprised primarily of Latin Americans, or at least half LatinAmericans and half US members. (The idea would be to have around six meetings in Miami, and then have about six in LatAm.)”I’m also trying to recruit women, as there are some very prominent LatAm business women I’ve already spoken to whom Ithink would make excellent members,” he said.
ABOUT TIGERBy way of background, TIGER 21 is an acronym for The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century and itsmembers collectively manage over $20 billion in total assets.
The organization has 225 members overall, 85 of which are based in New York; 40 in Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary andMontreal), and then there are around 100 across Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, San Diego, CA, Miami, FL, Washington,DC, and Dallas, TX.
Members are typically entrepreneurs, chief executives, inventors and other senior executives with backgrounds in financialservices, real estate, industrial and consumer goods, legal services, entertainment and medicine.
The groups meet monthly to share investment ideas and experiences on a range of wealth-related issues (Garcia said 50 per centof the meetings are focused on investments and the other half are focused on business, personal or family issues). Members alsohave access to investment opportunities including private equity, real estate and hedge funds.
“I think it’s interesting that when people accumulate a lot of wealth, they have a certain feeling of isolation,” Garcia said.”When you have sold a business, for example, you might have a lot of money, but that doesn’t necessarily make you a goodinvestor. The same skills that made you a good business person actually can be counter-productive in terms of managing yourwealth.”
GROWTHGarcia believes that, in order for TIGER to grow, the organization needs to recruit strong chairs that know enough about thefinancial markets, how to facilitate meetings and, above all, how to recruit.
Even though most of TIGER’s growth comes from member referrals, a lot of time goes into bringing new members on board,with the ultimate decision resting in the hands of the group in question.
“There is interest in opening groups in Atlanta, GA, and Chicago, IL, but you need to find the right person first,” Garcia said.”One of the things I’ve been doing is interfacing with money managers and talking to them about TIGER ‚Äì I met one earlier thisweek and they have already made three referrals to me. They have to understand that TIGER doesn’t compete with them; anaverage TIGER member already has three wealth advisors.”
Garcia said he aims to take the number South Florida members from 21 to between 40 and 50 by the end of next year.