Tiger 21, the peer-to-peer network for ultrawealthy investors, in mid-February rolled out the red carpet at its fifth annual members conference for some of the world’s leading thinkers on finance, investment and family relationships.
Speakers included real estate mogul Stephen Ross and Goldman Sachs’s Jeffrey Currie, and they were joined by prominent executives in the philanthropy and technology sectors, among them Patty Stonesifer, former chief executive at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and currently president of Martha’s Table, and Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab and founder of One Laptop Per Child.
Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush participated in a Q&A, moderated by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News.
“Each year we are able to attract world-class presenters to the conference and this year’s lineup was especially outstanding,” Tiger 21’s founder and chairman, Michael Sonnenfeldt, said in a statement. “Whether the topic was related to finance or lifestyle, the speakers were compelling and thought-provoking.”
Following are the comments of six presenters, as summarized by Tiger 21.
James Grubman, wealth psychologist
Grubman spoke on the importance of understanding family wealth across generations. “Adjusting to wealth represents a major cultural change for a family whose roots are in the middle class,” he said.
Grubman said intrafamily communication was basic to the adaptation of the family and the adjustment of its members. “Family meetings may be the most important vehicle for accomplishing the myriad things needed in that adjustment process.”
(Check out Research magazine’s interview with Grubman: Mind Over Money.)
Jeffrey Currie, global head of commodity research at Goldman Sachs & Co.
Currie said arguments that shale would not be an integral part of the energy sector at least for the next 10 to 15 years underestimated what engineers had already accomplished and what they were capable of doing in the future.
“Shale has fundamentally changed the market,” Currie said. “The lead time between when you put money in the ground and when you get production has collapsed from anywhere from three to four years all the way down to 30 days.”
Stephen Ross, chairman and founder of Related Cos.
Related Cos. has offices and major real estate developments in New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, southern Florida, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and São Paulo. “You have to be on the ground and understanding the markets,” Ross said.
He stressed that the cities where Related develops properties show the most promise, but are also the most difficult ones in which to develop. “The best opportunities are where it is difficult to develop.”