Heavyweights Sam Zell, Thomas Friedman, Jim Grant, David Rosenberg and Byron Wien Among Speakers at High-Net-Worth Group's Gathering
TIGER 21, the premier peer-to-peer learning group for high-net-worth wealth creators, has concluded its 2017 Annual Conference in Boca Raton, FL. The event, which invited TIGER 21's Members and their families to hear from and engage with leading experts in diverse disciplines, this year attracted over 650 attendees from across the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.
"A combination of globally venerated panelists, topical conversations, and an extraordinary breadth of expertise from our Membership created a dynamic that is difficult to replicate," said Michael Sonnenfeldt, TIGER 21's Founder and Chairman. "This was the largest TIGER 21 conference in our organization's 18-year history and, in many ways, the most successful."
Renowned real estate investor Sam Zell spoke on stage with Sonnenfeldt, sharing his thoughts on the opportunities presented by real estate investments in today's economic climate and his outlook for various segments of the market in the coming years. Zell remarked that real estate is a relatively stable and secure investment in an increasingly unpredictable world. This corroborates TIGER 21 Members' assessment; real estate is the most significant asset class across their portfolios representing almost 30% of their total wealth, which is tracked by TIGER 21 quarterly.
New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist Thomas Friedman detailed overarching themes from his latest book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations. He described the "Three Ms" that are reshaping our work life, geopolitics, ethics, and communities: Market and its shift towards digitalization; Mother Nature and the environmental threats we increasingly face; and Moore's Law, which pertains to the rapidly escalating speed and power of computing and related technologies.
Byron Wien, Vice Chairman of Multi-Asset Investing at Blackstone, sat down with David Rosenberg, Chief Economist and Strategist at Toronto's Gluskin Sheff + Associates, to weigh the challenges facing the new administration as it attempts to emerge from a low-growth period. Wien indicated that policies concerning deregulation, tax cuts, and infrastructure spending offer the opportunity for the economy to expand; however, immigration should be liberalized and not restricted in order to support growth. Rosenberg added that the potential economic impact of upcoming geopolitical events in the U.S. and Europe is largely underestimated, and he cautioned that the slow growth of recent years can be misunderstood when not placed in the context of the worst credit and asset implosion since the Great Recession in 2008. Those who claim it reflects poor policies and expect growth to dramatically pick up in the Trump administration may be in for a shock if such growth is accompanied by high deficits driven by reduced taxes and expanded infrastructure spending.
Continuing on the theme of market analysis, a session entitled "Making Dollars and Cents of Today's Markets" included Grant's Interest Rate Observer editor, James Grant, and esteemed Trump economic policy analyst, Stephen Moore, reflecting on the underlying structural factors that have precipitated slow economic development and productivity growth since the last recession. They opined on the potential impact of pending regulatory and tax reform initiatives, as well as the role of the Federal Reserve.
A panel entitled "A Brave New World: Geopolitics and the War on Terror" commented on emerging global concerns and was comprised of United States Marine Corps four-star general John Allen (ret.), the former Head of NATO Forces in Afghanistan and Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL; Kenneth Pollack, Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; and Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor of The Economist. The three provided a detailed assessment of how various factors such as global warming, advancing technology, a burgeoning skills deficit, income inequality, and an aging population correlate with increasing geopolitical instability – and how these issues might best be addressed. They also identified which ongoing and upcoming political events present the potential to disrupt the geopolitical status quo.
TIGER 21 Members and their families heard from presidential historians, Doris Kearns-Goodwin and Doug Brinkley, as they examined the tenure of various U.S. presidents and identified the consistent characteristics that define outstanding leaders. They stated that, in each case, the presidents' character evolved over time when tested. The traits they observed that were common among past presidents were resilience, ambition, and strong communication skills. Both speakers referenced Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as exemplary leaders and discussed the various qualities that defined their legacies.
In a separate session, Yale University psychology professor, Paul Bloom, explored the role of short-term pleasure and how it fundamentally differs from sustained fulfillment and happiness; he also addressed how context and presentation influence our perception of value.
A panel on philanthropy convened three top leaders in the non-profit space – Gerald Chertavian, Founder and CEO of Year Up; William Foster, Partner and Head of Consulting at The Bridgespan Group; and Yotam Polizer, Global Partnership and Development Director of IsraAID – to identify nascent trends, innovations, and challenges in the philanthropy sector. Among other topics, the panelists considered the value that traditional business skills can bring when applied to the non-profit realm, as well as how budding philanthropists might best conceptualize solutions to societal issues and effectively execute upon them to maximize positive change.
In the Health and Wellness Session, TIGER 21 Members heard insights from three leading visionaries in the medical field: Daniel Kraft, M.D., Faculty Chair for Medicine and Neuroscience for Singularity University; Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director of Neuroscape; and Esther Perel, acclaimed psychotherapist, author, and executive leadership coach. Their respective discussions focused on the ways in which a proliferation of technological developments and the ability to amass critical data have significantly advanced medical diagnoses and treatments; how technology and neuroscience can converge to manage a range of neurological conditions; and how couples can balance the need for emotional security and the need for autonomy to form rewarding personal relationships.
"During a time of great uncertainty, our Annual Conference is a meaningful way for Members to explore the range of issues we are confronting as a community," said Barbara Goodstein, CEO of TIGER 21. "High-level learning and networking are integral elements of our membership experience, and our Annual Conference represents the confluence of both. Each year, we assemble some of the most distinguished minds in their respective fields to offer timely and relevant commentaries, while providing an unparalleled opportunity for Members to share ideas in a confidential yet welcoming environment. While many of the presentations are tied to managing and preserving wealth, a greater number of them allow participants to explore a breadth of interests that extend far beyond the confines of financial strategy."
About TIGER 21
TIGER 21 (The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century) is North America's premier peer-to-peer learning network for high-net-worth wealth creators. TIGER 21's 500+ Members collectively manage personal assets of approximately $50 billion, and over $115 billion in assets when assets managed for others are included. Members are entrepreneurs, investment managers and top executives. TIGER 21 focuses on improving investment acumen as well as exploring common issues of wealth preservation, estate planning and family dynamics in the context of a unique community of peers. Founded in 1999, TIGER 21 is headquartered in New York City and has groups in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Newport Beach, Palm Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington, DC as well as international groups in, Calgary, Edmonton, London (UK), Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. More information can be found at www.TIGER21.com.