Howard Philip Milstein (born 1951) is an American real estate developer, financier, and philanthropist. His entrepreneurial ventures include real estate, banking, hotels, marketing, and finance. Milstein is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Private Bank & Trust and its operating bank, Emigrant Savings Bank. He is founding Chairman of the merchant bank FriedbergMilstein. A scion of the prominent Milstein family, he manages the family's real estate interests and is the Chairman of Milstein Properties, Milford Management, and the Milford Agency, along with all Milstein Brothers real estate companies. He is also Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority.
- 1 Career
- 2 Education
- 3 Personal background
- 4 Civic and Philanthropic Leadership
- 5 Honors
- 6 Publications
- 7 References
Milstein started his career at the investment bank Warburg Paribas Becker. Today, he is Co-Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Emigrant Savings Bank, and Chairman of its holding company, New York Private Bank & Trust. Milstein built the largest privately owned bank in the United States, with traditional savings, online banking, and private wealth management services. Today, Emigrant has more than $12.0 billion in assets and approximately $1 billion in equity. Under Milstein's leadership, the bank created two successful and innovative internet banks in the United States: Dollar Savings Direct and EmigrantDirect.
Milstein is Chairman of Milstein Properties, an investment builder active in both residential and commercial development primarily in New York City. He is also founding Chairman of the merchant bank, FriedbergMilstein, and chairs MB Real Estate, a national commercial leasing and management company in the United States.
Under his leadership, the Milstein family has made control investments in numerous, diverse business sectors.
In 2007, Milstein acquired a full partnership interest in Nicklaus Cos., LLC, legendary professional golfer Jack Nicklaus' business in golf course design, golf equipment, and licensing for clothing and other items. The golf course design business has built several hundred courses around the world. Currently, Nicklaus has designed 280 of the 350 Nicklaus courses open for play in 34 countries.
Fine Art Capital, an affiliate of New York Private Bank & Trust, brings together experts in art and banking and offers financing programs designed for individuals, art dealers and advisors, private wealth managers, and trust & estate professionals. Galatioto Sports Partners is an affiliate of New York Private Bank & Trust, a specialized investment bank and advisory firm that focuses on providing advisory services and capital to the sports industry. Personal Risk Management Solutions is an affiliate of New York Private Bank & Trust, which specializes in personal lines of insurance and serves the unique needs of individuals and families through a network of professional personal risk managers.
Peer Logic is a technology provider that offered message-oriented middleware which allows scalability and availability required for widely distributed applications and enables communication between different computing environments. In 1986, Milstein created Liberty Cable as an alternative telecommunications supplier for the Milford Plaza Hotel. By the time he sold Liberty in 1997, the company had become the leading competitor to franchise cable TV in the country, with hundreds of millions in revenue.
Milstein and his brother, Edward, worked with their father on numerous iconic building projects in Manhattan. In the late 80s, the Milstein family acquired Douglas Elliman-Gibbons & Ives real estate brokerage, and Howard served as its chairman for ten years until the business was sold. Today, the Milsteins’ real estate portfolio and development activities are managed through Milstein Properties, directly undertaking construction and improvements and providing property management, advertising, sales, and leasing.
Milstein is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.A. in Economics summa cum laude (1973). At Harvard University, Milstein earned both his Law and Business degrees in the JD/MBA Program (1977). He was admitted to the New York State Bar, and is a member of the Federal Bar Council and the American, New York State and New York City Bar Associations.
Milstein is the elder son of Irma Milstein and the late real estate titan Paul Milstein. His parents were also involved in philanthropy with an organization of their own, The Paul & Irma Milstein Foundation. Milstein also has three siblings, Edward, Roslyn and Barbara. He is married to Abby Sniderman Milstein. and they have a son, Michael.
Civic and Philanthropic Leadership
Milstein provides leadership and generous support for a broad range of communal, educational and civic activities through his own philanthropic organization, The Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation, which he and his wife run. Milstein is a proponent of "venture philanthropy", which he defines as applying business principles, experience, and an entrepreneurial approach to philanthropic work and the organizations he serves. Milstein provides leadership to a number of organizations promoting medical research, law enforcement/counter-terrorism, disaster relief, education, the arts and communal giving.
Medical Research and Healthcare
Milstein is Chairman of the Board of the New York Blood Center (NYBC). NYBC supplies blood to more than 20 million people in the New York area through the 200 hospitals it serves. Milstein established the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank. Much of the world's cord blood research is made possible through the Program's provision of free cord blood units. The Center has also sponsored symposiums for leading cord blood and stem cell researchers to advance the field of Cellular Therapy and Transplantation.
Milstein serves as Chairman of the Board of the American Skin Association, and he and his wife sponsor the Abby S. and Howard P. Milstein Innovation Awards for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Research. He and the Milstein family founded the Milstein Medical Research Program at Rockefeller University, which is advancing breakthroughs in melanoma. In addition, Milstein is an emeritus member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution and provided funding for the Smithsonian History of Skin Project. Howard serves on the Board of the United Hospital Fund and the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation.
Milstein has served on the Board of the Weill Cornell Medical College since the 1990s. He and his wife, Abby, sponsored the Abby and Howard Milstein Core Facility and Program in Chemical Biology, which is focused on infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and malaria. The search for cures for tuberculosis was further advanced by Milstein's sponsorship of the Doctors Without Borders symposium, "No Time to Wait: Overcoming Gaps in TB Research in Drug Development."
Homeland Security and Crime Prevention
Milstein serves on the Board of the National September 11 Memorial Foundation. He has worked closely with the New York City Police Department supporting various crime prevention programs, officer training, and technology projects. He co-chaired the COPE campaign, which provides post-traumatic counseling for New York City police officers and their families affected by 9/11. Through the National Crime Prevention Council and New York City Citizens Crime Commission, programs such as the Milstein Child Safety Center and the Milstein Criminal Justice Policy Forum were created. The Milsteins also funded D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) training, designed to educate students to resist drug abuse; funded the Hero’s Award, which provides $1,000 to civilians who have made an extraordinary intervention in a crime situation; and via Emigrant Savings Bank, created the Double Duty Award for individuals serving in both the military and law enforcement. On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Milstein supported the publication of Art for the Heart: Remembering 9/11. Art for the Heart compiles artwork created by children who lost a parent on September 11. The book was published in association with the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, on whose board Howard sits, and will benefit the Museum. On September 22, 2011, Milstein led a ceremony to dedicate “The Kneeling Fireman”, a memorial to all first responders and victims of terrorist attacks. The statue was placed in front of the Emigrant Savings Bank building on East 43rd Street in New York City.
At Cornell University, Howard is Trustee and Presidential Counselor and Overseer. He is a member of the Cornell Investment Committee and chairs its Real Estate Committee. In 2007, the Milstein family dedicated the Paul Milstein Building for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, adding an impressive and transformational structure for the Cornell campus. Howard has taught real estate development as a Visiting Professor at Cornell’s College of Architecture, serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences, and is a Founding member of The Cornell Club of New York. Howard also supports Milstein Fellows and Milstein Scholars at Cornell. Howard serves on the Executive Committee of the Dean’s Advisory Board of Harvard Law School.
Milstein serves on the Boards of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. He is a former Trustee of the Corcoran Museum of Art, and is an International Trustee of the Musical Arts Association of Cleveland.
He has served on the Governor’s Real Estate Advisory Council, New York City’s Advisory Commission on the Homeless, New York State Advisory Committee for the Preparation of a Land Development Guide, and as an advisor to the Commissioner of New York’s Department of Housing, Preservation and Development. In November 2010, Milstein was selected by Andrew Cuomo to be on the incoming governor's transition team as a member of the Committee on Economic Development & Labor. In June, 2011, the New York State Senate unanimously confirmed Milstein as Chair of the New York State Thruway Authority. As Chair, Milstein's responsibilities include overseeing the state’s 570-mile Thruway system and 525-mile canal system, including the Erie Canal.
In addition to the Milstein Family’s creation of the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life and the Milstein Hall of Large Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History, Milstein supports programming and sponsored the Milstein Science Symposium in the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.
Milstein has co-chaired the annual campaign for the UJA/Federation of New York and serves on the Board. He is Chairman Emeritus of UJA’s New York Metro Jewish Leadership Forum and a dedicated and long time Trustee of JASA (Jewish Association for Services for the Aged).
Milstein also supports the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, where he is a founding member of the Leadership Council and was honored with the Corporate Bridge Builder Award.
The Emigrant Savings Bank has a long relationship and history of support with the Catholic Church in New York City. Milstein served as an advisor to HE Edward Cardinal Egan and the Milstein family and Emigrant Bank remain major supporters of the New York Archdiocese. In addition, Milstein has been honored or served as Chair at numerous events for the Catholic Church.
Milstein has served as a member of the Board of the Economic Club of New York and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York. Howard is a member of the Real Estate Forum of the Columbia University Business School and the Real Estate Roundtable. He has served on the Board of the Grand Central Partnership.
In the U.K., Howard is a Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award World Fellowship. He is President of the William Smith International Performance Scholarship at the Royal College of Music in London and sponsors the Milstein Medal, which provides support for the advancement of music education for talented young musicians.
Among many honors, Milstein has received the JASA Man of the Year Award, Make a Wish Foundation Award, ORT Community Builder Award, Tanenbaum Center Corporate Bridge Builder Award, awards from the Jewish National Fund and B’nai B’rith Youth Services, the Catholic Youth Organization Gold Medal Award, Emerald Isle Immigration Society Robert Briscoe Award, Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Humanitarian Award, and Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award. Howard was honored as the 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year by Cornell University.
- The Story of Interferon, by Karl Cantell, World Scientific, 1998
- A Prophet for Our Time: An Anthology of the Writings of Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum, Fordham University Press, 2002
- A Guide for Immigrants in New York City, St. Martin's Press, 2004
- No Time to Wait: Overcoming Gaps in TB Research & Development, Medecins Sans Frontiere, 2008
- Lox, Stocks & Backstage Broadway: Iconic Trades of New York City, Smithsonian Scholarly Press
- New York Times, Kingson, Jennifer A., 5/5/06, "Going Online for Savings"
- Crain's, Fung, Amanda, 8/10/10, "Milstein Family Plans Future after Patriarch's Death"
- Wall Street Journal, 6/11/07, Frank, Robert, "The Golden Bear Roars: Nicklaus Inks New Deal"
- New York Times, Fabrikant, Geraldine, 5/24/93, "Tiny Liberty Takes On Cable Giant in Manhattan"
- New York Times, 12/10/89: "Douglas Elliman Sold; Milsteins Buy Firm"
- New York Times, Holusha, John, 11/4/97, "2 Real Estate Firms Agree to a Merger"
- New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths SNIDERMAN, ELEANORE" May 24, 2002
- "WTC Memorial Foundation, 4/17/07, "WTC Memorial Foundation Announces Major Progress in Effort to Build Memorial and Museum"
- "Donor of the Day", Melanie Grayce West
- PRNewswire, 9/23/11
- "New York Times, "Cuomo Names Transition Team", Nicholas Confessore, 11/11/10
- "Governor Nominates Developer to Lead Thruway Authority", New York Times, Thomas Kaplan, 6/1/11
- Cornell Chronicle, 2/4/08, "Howard Milstein '73 Named Cornell's 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year"