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Liz Nesvold RIA news Emigrant Bank Image via Emigrant Partners
Emigrant Bank Vice Chair Liz Nesvold

What’s Behind Liz Nesvold’s Move to Emigrant?

Nesvold says she’ll certainly use her M&A know-how, but she’ll also play a larger role connecting the dots between Emigrant’s businesses—with the high-net-worth individual at the center of it all.

Longtime RIA deal maven Liz Nesvold made news this week with the announcement that she has joined Emigrant Bank as vice chair. And while much of the attention has been on what she’ll bring to Emigrant Partners, the bank’s RIA capital and advisory services arm, she’ll play a larger role connecting the dots between Emigrant’s businesses—with the high-net-worth individual at the center of it all.

Just weeks ago, Nesvold departed fast-growing RIA Cresset, where she served in the newly created role of president for just 10 months. In an interview with, Nesvold said she and her colleague and Cresset Chief of Staff Katy Weeks helped that firm digest “extraordinary inorganic growth,” and that the decision to leave was difficult. Weeks also recently departed the RIA, according to her LinkedIn profile, joining HoneyBook as director of finance.

Nesvold admits her tenure at Cresset was short, but said her departure is indicative of where she is in her professional career. The larger role she’ll play at Emigrant and the latitude Chairman and CEO Howard Milstein is giving her to build out a holistic model was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“Given where I am in my professional tenure, finding the role or two in this case where I'm empowered to deploy my full intellectual capital was really important to me,” she said. “I've grown up covering wealth management and being an integral part of firms as they go through many different points in their evolution. And for me, protecting the sanctity of this business model and the independence that firms should be able to enjoy is paramount. And Howard gave me that in these two roles.”

For much of her career, going back to her time at Silver Lane Advisors, the investment bank she founded in 2007 and sold to Raymond James, Nesvold has worked with wealth management firms catering to the wealthiest families. And at the heart of Emigrant is a very wealthy family—the Milsteins.

In the mid-1980s, the billionaire Milstein family, which made its money in commercial real estate, acquired Emigrant Savings Bank. The bank is now led by Howard Milstein, a third generation Milstein, who also leads the family’s other businesses, including New York Private Bank & Trust, Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance, Abacus Finance, Aperture Media Partners, Galatioto Sports Partners and Personal Risk Management Solutions, to name a few. The Milsteins also runs 8 AM Golf, a collection of brands in the golf industry.

“He is one of the most extraordinary brains that I have met,” Nesvold said of Milstein.

At the center of all these businesses in some way is the high-net-worth individual. Nesvold has been tasked with enhancing the family office offering for existing and prospective clients and finding opportunities to bring ancillary services and scale to partner firms within Emigrant Partners, where she’ll serve as chair.

“There are all these really fascinating businesses that are all weaved together in the connective tissue around wealth, around families in need, around supporting family businesses, around investing in other businesses that are very entrepreneurial in nature,” she said.

For instance, Nesvold says she’ll work with Emigrant’s trust companies to bring more trust services to partner firms. She believes there are opportunities to bring investment banking capabilities, such as pre-liquidity planning, to RIA clients that may be family-owned businesses looking for a sale event. Those same families may be looking for a credit facility. There are other aspects of what Emigrant does that could provide branding, tax planning and compliance to RIA partners.

In her early days on the job, Nesvold will be meeting with partner firms and asking them about what resources would be beneficial to them that they don’t have today. She may turn to the network she’s built over her 30-year career to find outside partners that can provide those.

“For me to spend 30 years helping people think about the business model, how they should serve, what services they should provide, and where they should lean into other partners is a big part of the equation,” she said.

“Here is the chance for us to make sure that we can build something special and leverage the unique features of this business. But it doesn't suggest that we can't partner with others in the marketplace because the substantial family relationships, the athlete and entertainment relationships of this Emigrant Bank family office platform are outstanding. And again, the goal is always to bring the best to the table. And the best may be partners in the marketplace that I knew from prior associations and firms that can come in and work with us for the benefit of client families.”

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