The Milstein family is led by Howard Milstein, the third generation of one of New York’s leading real estate families.
The Milstein Family exemplifies entrepreneurial stewardship passing from generation to generation. Starting with nothing but his two hands, Morris Milstein founded the Circle Floor Company in 1919. By 1960, Morris’s son, Paul Milstein, had led Circle Floor to success in the New York market, installing floors, walls, and ceilings in many of New York’s best-known landmarks including Rockefeller Center, the former World Trade Center, and the new Madison Square Garden.
Paul Milstein launched the family’s first real estate development project in the 1950s. The Milstein vision was to invest in large-scale developments that would serve to anchor and revive ailing neighborhoods. Paul, with his sons, Howard and Edward, developed a keen vision for identifying neighborhoods where they saw extraordinary potential long before most others. Today, the Milstein family owns both residential and commercial properties around the world.
In the 1980s, Howard Milstein further diversified the family’s real estate portfolio and international business holdings into banking. The initiative culminated in 1986 with the purchase of Emigrant Savings Bank. Emigrant, a retail thrift bank founded in 1850 by the Irish Emigrant Society was once the largest savings bank in the nation and is now the country’s largest privately-owned, family-run bank. Expanding on this base, the Milstein family created New York Private Bank & Trust to serve the needs of other similarly successful families.
Advisory Board – A Record of Success
With over 150 years of combined investment experience, all members of our Advisory Board have created and managed substantial personal wealth with integrity, acumen, and consistently remarkable results. NYPBT ensures accountability, transparency, and oversight of all investment opportunities. Members of our Advisory Board include: Howard Milstein, Barry Friedberg, and John Hart.
Howard P. Milstein
Howard Milstein is Chairman and CEO of the family’s business operations, including New York Private Bank & Trust Corporation, Milstein Properties, and various Milstein Brothers operations in real estate development and management in New York and Chicago. Mr. Milstein is a founding Partner of FriedbergMilstein, an alternative asset investment manager.
Mr. Milstein served as a member of the Investment Committee for Cornell University’s $4 billion endowments for more than 10 years, and chaired its Real Estate Sub-Committee for more than 20 years, achieving top quartile returns throughout the period and frequently achieving the #1 rating in its endowment universe. He has also guided the investments of the New York Blood Center’s $300 million endowments as Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Milstein’s other civic and philanthropic efforts include: Chairman of the American Skin Association; Trustee Emeritus and Presidential Counselor, Cornell University; and Overseer, Cornell Medical College. He is a member of the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee and of the Executive Committee of the HLS Dean’s Advisory Board.
In Washington, D.C., he serves on the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution and on the Board of the Shakespeare Theater.
Mr. Milstein earned a B.A in Economics, summa cum laude, from Cornell University in 1973 and earned JD/MBA degrees from Harvard University in 1977.
Barry S. Friedberg
Barry Friedberg is Co-Chairman of the Board of NYPB&T. He has served as a member of the Board since 2004.
Prior to joining the Board of Emigrant Bank, Mr. Friedberg was Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Committee at Merrill Lynch for more than 10 years. From 1985 through 1993, Mr. Friedberg was head of the Global Investment Banking Division of Merrill Lynch. In 1985, when Mr. Friedberg assumed these responsibilities, Merrill Lynch was ranked 6th or lower in the debt, equity, and M&A league tables. By the end of Mr. Friedberg’s period of leadership, Merrill Lynch was #1 in the league tables for all of these products. Mr. Friedberg’s responsibilities also included oversight of the investment activities of Merrill Lynch which included approximately $1 billion of private equity investments and approximately $1.5 billion of leveraged financing for middle market companies. He also, in 1985, initiated:
- the first private placement effort at a Wall Street firm to place limited partnership interests on behalf of financial sponsor clients
- the first effort by a Wall Street firm to provide as a principal a bridge loan to support an unsolicited buy out when Comcast bid for Storer Broadcasting.
Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Mr. Friedberg was head of the Merger & Acquisition Group of AG Becker, which Merrill Lynch acquired in 1984.
Mr. Friedberg is Chairman Emeritus and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New York City Ballet and is a member of its Investment Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors, Executives Committee, and Investment Committee of Scan Harbor and The Glaucoma Foundation.
Mr. Friedberg is a graduate of Princeton University (BA, 1962) and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
John R. Hart
Member of Advisory Board, see Executive Profile
John R. Hart
Mr. Hart is President and CEO of Sarasota Private Trust Company and is Vice Chairman of New York Private Bank & Trust Company. He also serves as a Director of the Board of Cleveland Private Trust Company. Mr. Hart has over 40 years of experience in the banking sector, primarily in Investments and Private Wealth Management. He is responsible for the Private Banking Division and the Capital Markets Division of Emigrant Bank which oversees investments in private equity funds, hedge funds, common stocks, municipal and corporate bonds, and other fixed-income instruments. Mr. Hart also oversees New York Private Finance which provides credit to finance strategic investments for private investors. Additionally, he oversees Aperture Media Partners, a specialty finance business in the film and television industry.
In civic and philanthropic activities, Mr. Hart is a Board Member of Opportunity International, a past Chairman of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, the Christian Heritage School, and Hope Church. He is also currently a National Advisor to Rev. Tim Keller, an American theologian, author, and pastor.
Mr. Hart holds an MBA in Finance from Saint Joseph’s University and a B.A. in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.
George J. Dickson, Jr.
George J. Dickson Jr. is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of New York Private Bank & Trust and Emigrant Bank. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Sarasota Private Trust Company and Cleveland Private Trust Company.
Mr. Dickson has been an executive officer of Emigrant Bank since 1988. He is a founder of the Capital Markets Division and the Bank’s Asset/Liability Committee, managing the fixed income investment portfolio and directing capital markets related activities. He also advises separately managed accounts for foundations, endowments, trusts, and ultra high net worth clients of the Bank’s affiliated trust companies.
For over 30 years, Mr. Dickson has been integrally involved in all of Emigrant’s key financial initiatives, ranging from debt issuance and balance sheet hedging, to the highly successful U.S. Government and municipal bond trading programs. He created and managed the NYPB&T Municipal Liquidity Fund (MF-1 LP), a special purpose hedge fund designed to capitalize on unique opportunities that arose during the financial crisis. Prior to joining Emigrant Bank, he was an Investment Strategist at Mellon PSFS in Philadelphia. Mr. Dickson holds a B.S. degree from Drexel University, with a dual major in Finance and Economics, and an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Alison A. Guardino
Alison A. Guardino – Senior Vice President and Director of Operations at New York Private Bank & Trust. Ms. Guardino manages the Operations Team from both a client service and trade support perspective, overseeing all client activity to ensure client satisfaction. Her duties include client onboarding, KYC due diligence, process and control ownership, operational risk mitigation, client reporting and general supervision of all operational activity for both internal and external clients.
Prior to joining NYPB&T, Ms. Guardino spent over 30 years in the banking and financial services industry, specializing in Investment Bank Operations. As an Operations professional, Ms. Guardino has been able to merge strategic thinking with her vast experience to understand the big picture to enhance operational efficiency. She is enthusiastic in approaching organization wide challenges from many angles and utilizing her expertise to deliver effective solutions. She has worked in a variety of client service, client onboarding (KYC) and trade support roles at HSBC, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley.
Ms. Guardino is a graduate of Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY with a BS in Finance and Management. She is also an active member of the Kiwanis Club of New York City Young Professionals and is a Manhattan College School of Business mentor to students at her alma mater.
James A. Berger
Jim Berger is a Managing Director with New York Private Bank & Trust. He is responsible for new business development for all divisions and affiliates of Emigrant Bank. Prior to joining New York Private Bank & Trust, Mr. Berger spent 23 years in the global insurance market, specializing in the entertainment industry providing insurance and completion bonds for several Academy Award® winning films. Mr. Berger currently holds several Board seats including the Trust of the Metropolitan Opera, as well as Aperture Media Partners, a business he introduced to Emigrant Bank.
Mr. Berger and his wife support several national charities including Make-A-Wish. A graduate of Boston University, he currently sits on the alumni board of New York City.
Mr. Berger lives in Manhattan with his wife and young son. He is an avid golfer and skier.
William M. (Biff) Folberth III
William M. (Biff) Folberth III, CFP, CFA is a Managing Director of New York Private Bank & Trust. For the past 47 years, he has been a professional in the New York City financial services industry. He spent the first 20 years of his career as an Investment Banker/Corporate Finance officer with Hornblower & Weeks-Hemphill, Noyes; Dean Witter (Reynolds), and Smith Barney Harris-Upham. For the last 27 years, he served as Senior Vice President and Investment Counselor in the Rockefeller Center Private Client Service (PCS) Office of the Los Angeles based Capital Group Companies/American Funds Group. As an Investment Counselor at Capital, he was a trusted advisor for 53 relationships for which the firm managed $800 million in 186 separate accounts.
Over the years, Biff has served as an officer of the Harvard Business School Alumni Board and the Columbia Business School Board of Overseers. He is Co-Secretary of the Class of 1966 at Yale, was Chairman of The Yale Alumni Fund, and is one of the 290 recipients of The Yale Medal, given for lifelong service to the University. He is past Treasurer of The American Foundation of the Blind and Chairman of the Advisory Board of The American Field Service, an organization through which he traveled as an exchange student to Holland in 1961. He has been Troop Committee Chairman, Eagle Scout with Bronze Palm, and Ordeal Member of the Order of The Arrow with the Boy Scouts of America. He currently serves as Argentier Emeritus of the New York Chapter of The Commanderie de Bordeaux.
Mr. Folberth received a BS from Yale University and graduate business degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Business Schools. He is a Certified Financial Planner and a Chartered Financial Analyst.
David Marcus is a Managing Partner of Emigrant Partners. Emigrant Partners is a division of Emigrant Bank and is tasked with expanding the Bank’s private wealth business – New York Private Bank & Trust – into cities across the U.S. and abroad.
Prior to joining New York Private Bank & Trust, Mr. Marcus was Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets at E*TRADE Financial. Prior to E*TRADE, Mr. Marcus was Managing Director and Co-Head of Investment Banking and Capital Markets at W.R. Hambrecht & Co. Before joining Hambrecht, Mr. Marcus was a Senior Vice President in the Alternative Asset Group at Lehman Brothers.
Besides his career in banking, Mr. Marcus is an entrepreneur. He was Co-Founder and Head of Sales for WorldStreet, a Fintech company acquired by Thomson Reuters, and was Co-Founder and CEO of HollerMedia Inc., a digital media company.
Mr. Marcus has served on the board of the Del Sole Foundation and is currently an Advisory Board member of A.I. Reverie and Non-Executive Chairman of HollerMedia. He holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from Boston University and is based in Palo Alto, California.
Thomas Kania is a First Vice President at New York Private Bank and Trust Company. He manages the lending activities for all affiliates. Based in New York City, Mr. Kania handles the diverse lending needs of private banking clients.
Mr. Kania has over 20 years of advanced credit and lending experience at Bank of America, Citigroup and Fieldpoint Private. He served in such roles as Chief Credit Officer, Senior Vice President and Chief Restructuring Officer. Over the course of his career, Mr. Kania has become very skilled in real estate, mortgage, art, as well as other types of specialty lending. In addition, Mr. Kania has extensive experience in lending to privately held companies, private equity firms and hedge funds, as well as their founders, executives and investors.
Mr. Kania earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia University, cum laude. He has lived in Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine and Mongolia and is fluent in Polish, Russian and French.
He and his family live in Old Greenwich, CT.
Christine M. Ford
Christine Ford is a Vice President and Credit Officer at New York Private Bank & Trust. Her responsibilities include credit underwriting of new business opportunities as well as the maintenance and monitoring of the existing loan portfolio. She manages the loan review process, monitors covenant compliance and loan collateral, and is responsible for updating and maintaining bank policies and procedures.
Prior to joining NYPB&T, Ms. Ford spent over 25 years in the banking and financial services industry, primarily in Wealth Management and Private Banking. As a lending officer, much of her focus was on mortgage lending to Private Banking clients. She has worked at BNY Mellon, Wells Fargo, and Chase Manhattan Bank. Ms. Ford is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA with a BS in Economics.
Gail Fagan serves as Chief Fiduciary Officer for Sarasota Private Trust Company and its affiliates, New York Private Bank & Trust Company and Cleveland Private Trust Company. Ms. Fagan has over 20 years of experience as a trust and estates lawyer as well as extensive experience in fiduciary administration and risk management. She previously served as Senior Trust Counsel at Wells Fargo Bank and at The Northern Trust Company.
Prior to working in the financial services industry, Gail was a practicing attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida.
Ms. Fagan is a member of The Florida Bar, the State Bar of Texas, the North Carolina State Bar and the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Counsel. Gail is active in the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar and has served on its Executive Council for many years. Gail has been active in the community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Sarasota Family YMCA and as a custody advocate for the Children’s Law Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Renee Armbruster is a Senior Trust Officer with over 20 years of experience working with high-net-worth families and individuals providing fiduciary expertise for their wealth and estate plans. Mrs. Armbruster’s specialty is helping families ensure that their legal documents align with their needs and goals while maintaining family harmony. Working with hundreds of families at the largest trust companies over the years, Mrs. Armbruster has the necessary perspective and knowledge. She understands the importance of identifying potential pitfalls and areas of improvement to help her clients customize their estate plan and avoid family conflict.
Prior to working in the financial services industry, Mrs. Armbruster was a practicing attorney in Sarasota, Florida and she is also a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Central Florida and a Juris Doctor from the University of Akron School of Law.
Mrs. Armbruster is a member of the Florida Bar Association, the Sarasota County Bar Association, and the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council. She has been an active volunteer in the community serving Easterseals of Southwest Florida on both the Operating Board of Directors and the Foundation Board of Directors, TAC Booster Club, Boy Scouts of America, Southwest Florida Council, American Cancer Society Board of Directors, and as a mentor and board member for Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County.
Carmen Villa is a Vice President at New York Private Bank & Trust. Ms. Villa is part of the client services and operations team that oversees all client activity. Her duties include client onboarding and due diligence, regulatory compliance, and supervision of daily account activity to ensure optimal client satisfaction.
Prior to joining the Bank in 2006, Ms. Villa was a custody officer at The Bank of New York where she was responsible for overseeing $740 million in client account assets. She began her career at JP Morgan Chase in 1994, and spent seven years as a custody and banking officer in the Wealth Management Division.
Ms. Villa holds a B.S. degree in Material Science & Metallurgy from Polytechnic Institute in Bucharest, Romania.