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Tiger 21 Adds Estate Planning to Peer-to-Peer Feedback Program

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Tiger 21 has expanded its core curriculum for high net-worth members, building on its highly successful peer review and assessment Portfolio Defense model.

Last week, the organization introduced new defenses for estate planning, philanthropy, business evaluation and risk management, based on the same principles that informed the original investment Portfolio Defense — that candid feedback from peers can provide insights and understanding they rarely, if ever, receive from paid advisors.

Tiger 21 comprises some 200 investors across North America who pay a hefty $30,000 in annual dues. The group’s members have investable assets totaling more than $18 billion.

In a statement, the group said its Portfolio Defense had become a major part of the membership experience, prompting it to register “Portfolio Defense” as a trademark in 2009. 

During the Portfolio Defense session, one member presents his or her personal balance sheet, income statement and financial goals in context with larger life events for review and analysis by the group’s members. The group gives advice based on their knowledge of the presenting member’s likes and propensities, which is built through regular contact and discussion of issues with one another.

While the Portfolio Defense on investments is mandatory, the new defenses are being phased in and are elective, the statement said. They were established as a result of expressed member interest.

“Discussions on estate planning, philanthropy, the assessment of business plans and protecting members from risks have frequently been a part of Tiger 21 meetings, whether through a specific presentation by an outside speaker or through general discussion among our members,” Michael Sonnenfeldt, the group’s founder and chairman, said in the statement.

Tiger 21 said each new defense consists of a multi-page preparation document for the participating member to fill out.

  • The Estate Planning document includes questions ranging from “Projection of Estate Taxes upon Death” to ”Disposition of Assets” and queries whether potential complications from business interests exist or whether the member has specific instructions for individual bequeaths.
  • The Philanthropy Defense templates and process were created to help members organize and articulate their philanthropic goals and strategies in discussion with their peer group
  • The Business Evaluation Defense is intended to provide members with unbiased feedback and ideas from their peers on marketing, revenue enhancement, product design and other business strategies.

In addition, Tiger 21 is currently collaborating with risk management experts at Frank Crystal & Co. to create and beta test a new Risk Management Defense, according to the statement.  The process will take the member through a 360-degree assessment of his or her personal, family and organizational risk exposure and discuss costs and benefits of available risk reduction strategies for each. 

“As with the original Portfolio Defense, the process with the new defenses can be extremely personal, but ultimately very rewarding,” Sonnenfeldt said. “Members are encouraged to be as candid as possible about all the issues — whether family-related or financial — that could impact the decisions that go into their planning.

“Early feedback indicates that the new defenses are having a profound influence on how our members approach their estate planning, philanthropic, risk management and business assessment goals.”

For more on estate planning, see:

Cornering the High-Net Worth Market

Blood & Money: Why Families Fight Over Inheritance

Advisors, Use This Wealth Transfer Strategy While You Can


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