By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Alexander Smith
ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland’s super rich will soon be able to discuss their financial problems and questions from estate planning to how to start an art collection with wealthy peers in an exclusive club where U.S. membership costs $30,000 a year.
An outpost of the TIGER 21 peer network, founded in the United States in the 1990s, will help Switzerland’s rich run their affairs, said Eric Sarasin, an ex-private banker whose forebears ran the family’s namesake bank for over a century.
A dozen individuals will gather once a month to discuss investment strategies and trade advice on issues ranging from wealth preservation and estate planning to family dynamics, tax and philanthropy, Sarasin said.
These sessions would address “simple questions” such as: ‘I would like to build up an art collection and have no clue how to do that’, Sarasin said, adding that bank clients may be getting short-changed due to stricter regulation and a tax clampdown.
“Account officers in a bank used to spend 80 percent of their time advising clients, 20 percent on administration. Today it’s the other way around”, Sarasin, who resigned as deputy CEO of J. Safra Sarasin in 2014 and now sits on a family office board and manages technology assets and private equity, said.
Founded by a real estate investor looking for neutral investment advice following a “major liquidity event”, TIGER 21 counts 600 members, most of them based in the United States, who manage a combined $60 billion in personal assets, or around $100 million each.
The Swiss chapter marks the group’s second foray outside North America after one opened in 2016 in London, and its first push onto continental Europe.
“Americans are much more open about their business activities, about their financials, than the Swiss are. But it is changing”, Sarasin said.
He hopes to recruit a group ranging in age from 30 to 70 or older, and has so far met with individuals working in real estate, asset management, hedge funds and industry.