Howard P. Milstein '73, co-chairman, president and CEO of Emigrant Savings Bank and its holding company, New York Private Bank and Trust, and managing partner of Milstein Properties, has been named the 2008 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year. He will be honored on campus during the Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration, April 10-11.
The award is given annually to a Cornell graduate who best exemplifies entrepreneurial achievement, community service and high ethical standards.
Milstein Properties owns both residential and commercial properties in New York City as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, Niagara Falls, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and internationally. Over the years, Milstein created the first (and, still, the only) national television advertising campaign for a stand-alone hotel, the Milford Plaza. He founded a cable television company, Liberty Cable, which successfully competed with Time Warner, and he was the first to use the commercial paper market to finance real estate.
Milstein also purchased and re-established Douglas Elliman as the largest apartment broker and manager in New York City. By the time the company was sold, it commanded nearly 40 percent of the market. Milstein diversified the family real estate and international business holdings (United Brands) with the 1986 acquisition of Emigrant Savings Bank.
In 2004 Milstein took full-time operating responsibility at the bank. Within one year, he launched an Internet bank, EmigrantDirect, which, in 2005, won two awards from Google. After three years, EmigrantDirect acquired nearly $9 billion in deposits and rapidly outpaced long-established competitors in average account size. He also created a wealth management operation under the New York Private Bank and Trust brand and introduced co-investing with all fees subordinated to performance, for ultra high net worth clients. Under Milstein's leadership, Emigrant (and its holding company, New York Private Bank and Trust) has evolved into the largest privately owned bank in the country, with assets of more than $15 billion.
After earning a B.A. in economics at Cornell, Milstein earned law and business degrees in a joint program at Harvard University (1977). He has served for more than 20 years as a trustee of Weill Cornell Medical College, and trustee, trustee emeritus and presidential councilor of the university, and served on numerous university committees, was a founder of the Real Estate Council of the University Council, and is a major benefactor to the university and to numerous other organizations, through the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation.
Milstein will give a public address, April 10, at 4:30 p.m., in the Statler Auditorium during the annual Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration on campus. For further information about the celebration or Entrepreneurship@Cornell, call 607-255-1576 or visit http://eship.cornell.edu.