Published:2012-10-26 12:19:19 by China Education Channels

The Milstein family, whose wealth and influences has spanned three generations, has been actively involved in China’s development – from consulting for China’s banana industry in the 80’s to funding medical philanthropy and expanding China’s golf market today. Mr. Howard P. Milstein, the leader of the family, speaks of his passion for China in this interview.

In New York City, the Milsteins have maintained a low-key yet influential presence. The family’s operations include real estate, banking, hotels, finance, philanthropies and medical research. It is also remarkable that Mr. Milstein holds a special interest in Chinese and the Chinese culture. For our interview, he opened with his self-introduction in Chinese.

Interview with Mr. Milstein

The 61-year-old Mr. Milstein is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Private Bank & Trust and also Chairman of Emigrant Savings Bank, and Milstein Properties. Mr. Milstein is the Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority. A great conversationalist, Mr. Milstein was especially interested in talking about his connections to China and the Chinese culture.

The Milstein’s family business began with Mr. Milstein’s grandfather who founded a flooring company. The family has since inherited remarkable work ethics and a special focus on philanthropy. Kindness, honesty and humor – qualities valued by the Chinese people – have resonated with Mr. Milstein. The Milsteins’ connection to China began with Mr. Milstein’s father, who was invited by the Chinese government to consult for the country’s banana industry in the 1980s. This opportunity allowed the then 29-year-old Mr. Milstein to be among the first to recognize China’s business potential.

Today, Mr. Mistein conducts businesses in China through golf. Along with his partner Jack Nicklaus, he is developing 45 high-end golf courses in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Kunming. Mr. Milstein said despite an overall slowing economic environment, many great investment opportunities still exist in China and the US. China’s strengthening consumer spending creates tremendous potential for imports of American brands. When asked about the real estate market in New York City, Mr. Milstein predicted that the Real Estate market will continue to present good investment opportunities for at least another 50 years regardless of the overall economic climate in the US.

Mr. Milstein is also committed to serving the Chinese community in New York. 10% of Emigrant Savings Bank’s loans are issued to Chinese borrowers. Mr. Milstein celebrated the Lunar New Year with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the historic Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank building on Chambers Street that was once the bank’s headquarters.

Mr. Milstein fully understands the importance of giving back. Over the past decades he has made tremendous philanthropic contributions to healthcare, culture and education. Aiming to strengthen ties between China and the US, he has also made significant efforts to advance China’s medical development.