Accountants want to add a little excitement to their lives. For Dan Kane, co-founder and CEO of Tiger Group, one of the country’s four largest appraisal and liquidation companies, creating the company provided the missing ingredient in his career.
Kane spent 10 years as a CPA in New York, including a seven-year stint at accounting
firm Grant Thornton. “At some point, you need to make the push to become a partner,
and that just wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Kane says. “But I
learned a tremendous amount at Grant Thornton.”
Although Kane had never been involved with liquidations, like many baby boomers,
he remembered the going-out-of-business sales of retail giants like Korvette’s and
Gimbels in the 1980s. In the 1990s, at a pivotal time in Kane’s life — not only had he
reached a professional crossroads, but his wife was expecting their first child — he met a
partner at one of the few companies managing liquidations at the time.
“Their CFO in California was retiring, and they offered me the position,” he recalls.
“The timing was perfect for us. If you’re going to move across country like that, you want
to do it before the baby arrives. Everything seemed lined up, I spoke to my wife and we
came out. I became the CFO.”
After a few years, the partners at that company split up, and Kane partnered with
Albert Nassi, a leader in the industry since 1976 who remains a principal at Tiger. They
began working with restructuring and liquidation veteran Alan Cohen, a renowned figure
in the ABL community.
“Somewhere around 2000 to 2001, we really were at a point where we wanted a
stronger infrastructure,” says Kane. “We were working on the Montgomery Ward’s liquidation with an experienced senior retail executive named Steve Goldberger, who wasn’t
happy where he was working. Alan, Albert and I invited him to join us and we formed the
Tiger Group. Michael was the first person we hired. Our current CFO Christopher Huber
also was one of those two or three original employees.” (Goldberger remained a partner
until his death in 2013 at the age of 70.)
McGrail, like Kane, was an accountant looking for a more exciting line of work. “I came
out of school, landed a job at Gordon Brothers and learned the [appraisal and liquida-tion] business. Then, I decided I wanted to get out of it for a little while. But I missed the
industry. I missed the excitement of the transactions. So, when they came knocking as
they were forming Tiger and asked if I wanted to help, I was ready,” McGrail recalls. > >
The Tiger Never Sleeps:
As Retail Distress Continues,
Tiger Group Provides More
BY NADINE BONNER
The liquidation business has made great strides since Tiger
Group opened its doors in 2001. ABF Journal editor Nadine Bonner
speaks with Tiger Co-Founder Dan Kane and COO Michael McGrail
to discover how two accountants helped build one of the country’s
largest, most powerful appraisal and liquidation businesses.