Social networking group for the world's wealthiest hits UK

October 21, 2016

Forbes magazine called it the “wealthiest, most powerful social networking group in the world”. Others have called it a “top secret club for millionaires”. And from this weekend, the UK’s wealthiest will have the chance to join TIGER 21, rubbing shoulders with 450 of the world’s richest people.

Launched in New York in 1999, membership fees start at $30,000 for those with a minimum of $10m of investable assets, allowing access to a network of peers that ranges from chief executives and entrepreneurs to government officials. The collective net worth of the group is estimated at more than $40bn.

“We call it a peer-to-peer learning organisation for CEOs,” said Michael Sonnenfeldt, founder and owner of TIGER 21. “It’s a sort of graduate school for the finer colleges.”

TIGER 21 — which stands for The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century — organises monthly meetings and social events, with Members sharing details of their financial operations, as well as seeking advice on issues ranging from the personal to the professional.

In the US, members have previously travelled to Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s private Caribbean island, for a “group meeting experience”.

Common topics of conversation include succession planning, how not to ruin the children by giving them too much money, and wealth preservation, said Mr Sonnenfeldt.

But will the British — who traditionally refrain from talking about money — want to join? “Wealth can be incredibly isolating,” Mr Sonnenfeldt said. “You cannot discuss the challenges or benefits that wealth creates — whether that is to fly private or buy a piece of jewellery. Within TIGER 21, you can explore these issues in a discrete, confidential way.”

Richard Ross, philanthropist and chairman of the Rosetrees Trust, which funds medical research, said he was intrigued, but questioned whether this was “a new way of presenting an old story”.

“What [it] is offering, every wealthy person is looking for — a source of advice that is visionary, entrepreneurial, from the best minds in the world, to preserve wealth, manage family-related challenges, provide estate planning options, assist philanthropy and ensure a legacy impact.

“If I had known about them 50 years ago I might have saved a lifetime of hard work, with many mistakes before I got more right than wrong.”

https://www.ft.com/content/353bf6d4-9776-11e6-a80e-bcd69f323a8b
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