Investment Committee

Our Investment Committee comprises executives with strong banking, financial and operating backgrounds, and who provide guidance and support for the Abacus Investment Team and its portfolio of investments.



Howard Milstein, Chairman & CEO, New York Private Bank & Trust

Howard Milstein is Chairman and CEO of the family's business operations, including New York Private Bank & Trust Corporation (the holding Company for Emigrant Savings Bank), 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 endowment 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 endowment as Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Milstein earned a B.A. in Economics, summa cum laude, from Cornell in 1973 and earned JD/MBA degrees from Harvard in 1977.



Barry Friedberg, President of FriedbergMilstein

Barry Friedberg is a Director of Emigrant Savings Bank and President and Co-Founder of FriedbergMilstein, an asset management firm that has responsibility for investing more than $900 million in leveraged finance assets. Prior to forming FriedbergMilstein, 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.

Mr. Friedberg is Chairman of the Board of the New York City Ballet and a member of its Investment Committee. He is also a member of the Investment Committee of Boys & Girls Club.

Mr. Friedberg is a graduate of Princeton University (BA, 1962).



William Staudt, Vice Chairman of Emigrant Bank

Bill Staudt is a Vice Chairman of Emigrant Bank with responsibility for the Bank’s private equity and corporate lending businesses. Mr. Staudt joined Emigrant Bank in 2007 as a Founder and Managing Partner of Environmental Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Previously Mr. Staudt served as President and CEO of Sirit, Inc., a Toronto Stock Exchange listed company, the acquisition of which he led in 2002. His background includes Founder and Managing Partner of Hamilton Capital Partners, a private equity firm that led management buy-outs with a focus on corporate divestitures of non-core businesses. In addition, Mr. Staudt founded and was President and CEO of Hamilton Development Corp, which primarily engaged in corporate partnerships in real estate development.

He is a graduate of Yale University and received a JD from the University of Michigan Law School.



Mike Ford, Executive Vice President & CEO, Emigrant Bank

Mike Ford serves as Executive Vice President and CEO for Emigrant Bank and he is responsible for the Abacus Finance Group and two subsidiaries of Emigrant Bank - Emigrant Capital Corp. and Emigrant Business Credit Corp. Mike brings more than 20 years of finance experience to the Bank. Prior to joining Emigrant Bank, Mike Ford was Vice President of Operations for Tyco International, Ltd. based in Boca Raton, Florida. Before that, Mike was the European Finance Director for Ryder System, Inc. for UK, Germany, Poland, Belgium and The Netherlands.

Mike earned a M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting and a Bachelor of Science Business Administration in Finance from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.



Tim Clifford, President & CEO, Abacus Finance Group

Tim Clifford founded Abacus Finance in 2011 and serves as its President and CEO, and is a member on the firm's Investment Committee. Prior to its formation, Tim founded and served as Executive Vice President and Head of Amalgamated Capital, a lower middle-market leveraged lending business for Amalgamated Bank. Prior to AmalCap, he was a Managing Director and Principal for Churchill Financial, and Head of its Boston Office. Prior to Churchill, Tim founded the leveraged lending practice for Comerica Bank’s Technology & Life Sciences division and was a founding member of the acquisition finance group of FleetBoston Securities.

Tim earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University with a concentration in Management Information Services and an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.



Sean McKeever, Managing Director & COO, Abacus Finance Group

Sean is a founding member of Abacus Finance, with more than 10 years of experience in leveraged finance. As Managing Director & COO, Sean is a member of the Investment Committee and responsible for the firm’s underwriting and portfolio management activities. Previously, he was a First Vice President and founding member of Amalgamated Capital, where he led the underwriting of senior-debt financing. Prior to AmalCap, Sean was a Vice President at Churchill Financial, and was a founding member of the Leveraged Finance Group at Comerica Bank. Sean began his career as an Analyst / Trader in the secondary securitized- and unsecuritized-mortgage debt market.

Sean earned an M.S. in Financial Economics, with Highest Distinction, from Boston University, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College.