Howard Milstein

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Howard Milstein
Born (1951-05-15) May 15, 1951 (age 66)
Occupation real estate developer
Spouse(s) Abby Sniderman
Children Michael Milstein
Parent(s) Irma Cameron Milstein
Paul Milstein.

Howard Philip Milstein (born May 15, 1951) is an American entrepreneur, innovator, real estate developer, financier, and philanthropist. Howard is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Private Bank & Trust and its operating bank, Emigrant Bank, the country's largest privately owned, family-run bank. Howard is founding Chairman of the merchant bank FriedbergMilstein. An entrepreneur and innovator, Howard has led successful businesses, across a range of sectors, including real estate, banking, hospitality, marketing finance and technology. He also served as the Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority until November, 2014 and led the procurement process for the historic replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge - the largest public infrastructure project in New York State history.

Early life and education[edit]

Mr. 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. Mr. Milstein also has three siblings, Edward, Roslyn and Barbara. Mr. Milstein is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.A. in Economics summa cum laude (1973). At Harvard University, he 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.


Mr. Milstein started his career at the investment bank Warburg Paribas Becker. Today, Mr. Milstein is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Private Bank & Trust and its operating bank, Emigrant Bank. Mr. Milstein built the largest privately owned, family-run bank in the United States, with traditional savings, online banking, and private wealth management services. Today, Emigrant Bank has just under $7 billion in assets and approximately $1 billion in equity. Under Mr. Milstein's leadership, the bank created three successful and innovative internet banks in the United States: Dollar Savings Direct, EmigrantDirect and MySavingsDirect[1]

Mr. Milstein is Chairman of Milstein Properties, a builder and investor active in both residential and commercial development primarily in New York City [2], chairs Milstein Brothers Real Estate, a national commercial leasing and management company in the United States, and Milford Management.

The list of Howard's notable entrepreneurial ventures is extensive. In his career he played an instrumental role in reviving the New York City theater district with the development of the Milford Plaza Hotel, challenged a cable monopoly when he created Liberty Cable, spearheaded a reform and reorganization of the building management business, and built Douglas Ellian into the city's leading management and sales brokerage firm. More recently, he has led the way in Internet banking and partnered with legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus to help the Nicklaus Companies extend its global brand and platform.

Nicklaus Companies[edit]

In 2007, Mr. Milstein acquired, through Emigrant Bank, a full partnership interest in Nicklaus Companies., LLC,[3] legendary professional golfer Jack Nicklaus' business in golf course design, golf equipment, and licensing for clothing and other items. Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has created close to 400 courses worldwide, open for play in 36 countries and 39 U.S. states. In 2013, the company launched an innovative golf ball platform that generates funds for the Nicklaus Children's Healthcare Foundation with every sale of a dozen golf balls. Consequently, the Nicklaus Companies were cited in Business News Daily's "15 Great Examples of Socially Responsible Businesses.".[4] and "Jack Nicklaus: Golf Great Shows 'Nice Guys Can Come First' in Business" by Paul Gittings, January 21, 2016. Jack Nicklaus: Golf Great Shows 'Nice Guys Can Come First' in Business" Mr. Milstein has helped the Nicklaus Companies extend its global brand and platform. Examples include a successful partnership with Schwann's Global Supply Chain, Inc. to sell premium ice cream with a philanthropic tie-in at some of the country's largest supermarkets and investments in technology to advance professional course design and improve performance and enhance the game for players.


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, an affiliate of New York Private Bank & Trust, is 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, Mr. Milstein created Liberty Cable as an alternative telecommunications supplier for the Milford Plaza Hotel.[5] 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.

Real Estate[edit]

Mr. 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,[6] and Mr. Milstein served as its chairman for ten years until the business was sold.[7] 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.

Civic and philanthropic leadership[edit]

Mr. Milstein translates his entrepreneurial approach in business to his leadership of a range of communal, educational and civic organizations. He provides leadership and generous support through his own philanthropic organization, The Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation, which he and his wife run. Mr. 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. Mr. Milstein provides leadership to a number of organizations promoting medical research and improving global health, law enforcement/counter-terrorism, disaster relief, education, the arts and communal giving.

Medical Research and Healthcare[edit]

Mr. Milstein has served on the Board of New York Blood Center for nearly 25 years and has been the Chairman of the Board for the past 14. 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.

Mr. 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, Mr. Milstein is an emeritus member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution and provided funding for the Smithsonian History of Skin Project. Mr. Milstein serves on the Board of the United Hospital Fund and the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation.

Mr. 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." In 2013, the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, Inc. was launched by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medical College with generous support from the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation.

In 2012, Mr. Milstein established the Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership Foundation ("MMAAPF"), Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership Foundation, with the aim of improving world health by developing mutually beneficial partnerships between the U.S. and China, as well as greater Asia. The MAAP Foundation offers funding opportunities in Geriatric Medicine, Dermatology and Hematology, in the form of Fellowship Awards and Research Project Awards, which aim to support medical researchers who have the potential to affect healthcare in China.

Mr. Milstein is also Chairman of the Howard and Georgeanna Jones Foundation for Reproductive Medicine.

Homeland Security and Crime Prevention[edit]

Mr. Milstein serves on the Board of the National September 11 Memorial Foundation.[8] 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, Mr. Milstein supported the publication of Art for the Heart: Remembering 9/11.[9] 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 Mr. Milstein sits, and will benefit the Museum. On September 22, 2011, Mr. Milstein led a ceremony to dedicate "The Kneeling Fireman", a memorial to all first responders and victims of terrorist attacks.[10] The statue was placed in front of the Emigrant Savings Bank building on East 43rd Street in New York City.

Higher Education[edit]

At Cornell University, Mr. Milstein 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. Mr. Milstein 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. Mr. Milstein also supports Milstein Fellows and Milstein Scholars at Cornell. Mr. Milstein serves on the Executive Committee of the Dean's Advisory Board of Harvard Law School.


Mr. Milstein is a civic-minded leader who believes the private sector has a duty to carry out the unfinished business of American capitalism by complementing government, with efficiency, effectiveness and an entrepreneurial spirit. He served 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, Mr. 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.[11] In June, 2011, the New York State Senate unanimously confirmed Mr. Milstein as Chair of the New York State Thruway Authority.[12] As Chair, Mr. Milstein's responsibilities include overseeing the state's 570-mile Thruway system and 525-mile canal system, including the Erie Canal. His leadership of the procurement process for the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge resulted in a cost savings to taxpayers of $2 billion versus original estimates. Governor Andrew Cuomo said that ". . the New Tappan Zee Bridge will go down in history as a signature accomplishment and one of the most successful public works projects in history." President Barack Obama hailed the project as "a model for infrastructure projects nationwide" and featured a picture of the Tappan Zee Bridge on the cover of the Federal Budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

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, Mr. Milstein supports programming and sponsored the Milstein Science Symposium in the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.

Mr. Milstein's civic commitment has extended to the provision of help and assistance to families in the aftermath of natural disasters. In 2005, Mr. Milstein and EmigrantDirect deposited $1000 in the accounts of each of its customers impacted by Hurricane Katrina. An immediate gift of $1000 per household was deposited to its customers in the principally affected counties and parishes of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.[13] In November 2012, Mr. Milstein and Emigrant Bank gave a gift of $2.3 million to more than 2,000 New York City First Responders who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. [1]

In 2012, Mr. Milstein and his wife, Abby, committed to donate $8 million to the New York Public Library so it can move forward with a project to develop the lower level of the Bryant Park Stack Extension (BPSE), two floors of storage space underneath Bryant Park. The project will create state-of-the-art storage that can hold about 2.5 million research materials and improve the preservation environment. The facility will be named the Milstein Research Stacks and is the latest in a decades-long tradition of Milstein family support for the capital needs of the Library.[14]


Mr. Milstein has co-chaired the annual campaign for the UJA/Federation of New York and serves on its 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 Bank has a long relationship and history of support with the Catholic Church in New York City. Milstein served as an advisor to His Eminence Edward, Cardinal Egan and the Milstein family and Emigrant Bank remain major supporters of the New York Archdiocese. In addition, Mr. Milstein has been honored or served as Chair at numerous events for the Catholic Church.

Business/Real Estate[edit]

Mr. 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. He is a member of the Real Estate Forum of the Columbia University Business School and the Real Estate Roundtable. Mr. Milstein has served on the Board of the Grand Central Partnership.

In addition, Mr. Milstein is a member of the Chief Executives Organization and the World Presidents Organization (WPO), and is a Commandeur of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. In May, 2015, Milstein was elected to the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and will serve a three-year term as a member of the board, class of 2018.

The Milstein family is known for purchasing large swaths of land and holding on to them for decades until it can maximize returns. The family has owned 140 acres in the heart of the city of Niagara Falls through Niagara Falls Redevelopment, LLC, property in Times Square, New York City, and Stamford, CT.

International Philanthropy[edit]

In the U.K., Mr. Milstein 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.


In March, 2016, The China Association for International Exchange of Personnel [CAIEP] announced that Mr. Milstein will receive the prestigious Marco Polo Award, the highest honor given to a non-Chinese citizen. The award ceremony was held in Beijing on October 26, 2016 and 150 guests from business, government and the medical community attended, including the Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Max Baucus. [2]. In April, 2014, Mr. Milstein received the Insignia of Chevalier in the Legion of Honor—the French Legion of Honor—in recognition of his personal commitment to French-American cooperation and friendship and fostering the French-American partnership in cultural and economic areas.[15] Among many other honors, Mr. Milstein received the Regional Plan Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 to recognize his management of the procurement process for the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge. In 2008, he was honored as the Entrepreneur of the Year by Cornell University.[16] Howard received the 2010 Humanitarian Award from the American Skin Association and the 2012 Community Builder Award from Phipps Houses. In addition, Mr. Milstein 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.


  • 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

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Abby Sniderman Milstein;[17] they have one son, Michael.


  1. ^ New York Times, Kingson, Jennifer A., 5/5/06, "Going Online for Savings"
  2. ^ Crain's, Fung, Amanda, 8/10/10, "Milstein Family Plans Future after Patriarch's Death"
  3. ^ Wall Street Journal, 6/11/07, Frank, Robert, "The Golden Bear Roars: Nicklaus Inks New Deal"
  4. ^ Business News Daily, Fallon, Nicole, 11/21/13
  5. ^ New York Times, Fabrikant, Geraldine, 5/24/93, "Tiny Liberty Takes On Cable Giant in Manhattan"
  6. ^ New York Times, 12/10/89: "Douglas Elliman Sold; Milsteins Buy Firm"
  7. ^ New York Times, Holusha, John, 11/4/97, "2 Real Estate Firms Agree to a Merger"
  8. ^ "WTC Memorial Foundation, 4/17/07, "WTC Memorial Foundation Announces Major Progress in Effort to Build Memorial and Museum"
  9. ^ "Donor of the Day", Melanie Grayce West
  10. ^ PRNewswire, 9/23/11
  11. ^ "New York Times, "Cuomo Names Transition Team", Nicholas Confessore, 11/11/10
  12. ^ "Governor Nominates Developer to Lead Thruway Authority", New York Times, Thomas Kaplan, 6/1/11
  13. ^ Katie Hafner and Claudia H. Deutsch (September 14, 2005). "When Good Will Is Also Good Business". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ "Beneath New York Public Library, Shelving Its Past for High Tech Research Stacks", New York Times, Tom Mashberg, November 15, 2015
  15. ^ Embassy of France
  16. ^ Cornell Chronicle, 2/4/08, "Howard Milstein '73 Named Cornell's 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year"
  17. ^ New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths SNIDERMAN, ELEANORE" May 24, 2002