People Moves

Nesvold Rebounds With Dual Gigs At Emigrant

Charles Paikert US Correspondent New York February 28, 2024

Nesvold Rebounds With Dual Gigs At Emigrant

The North American wealth industry has sometimes seen a very fast move of executives between firms. This publication reflects on the sudden exit of a high-profile investment banker from Cresset Asset Management after a tenure of eight months.

Well, that was quick.

Less than a month after a surprisingly abrupt exit from Cresset Asset Management, prominent RIA investment banker Liz Nesvold has resurfaced as chair of Emigrant Partners, one of the industry’s prominent minority investors. 

Nesvold’s tenure as president at Cresset, the $41 billion Chicago-based RIA founded by former private equity executives Eric Becker and Avy Stein, lasted only eight months and did not seem to be a match made in heaven. 

The official press release announcing Nesvold’s joining Emigrant conspicuously omitted Cresset when listing Nesvold’s previous jobs, instead describing her stint there as merely one of having “join[ed] the wealth management industry.”

Nesvold may have been returning the favor, as Cresset omitted the usual boilerplate praise for outgoing executives when it quickly announced Nesvold’s successor, former First Republic chief operating officer Susie Cranston, who, by contrast, was generously lauded by the firm.

Operational and strategic clashes short-circuited Nesvold’s tenure at Cresset, according to industry sources. After working “exhaustively with an amazing team to make significant contributions to center the company,” Nesvold said in a statement last month, she decided it was “the ideal time to move on to the next chapter of my professional career.”

Familiar faces
Manhattan-based Emigrant appears to be a more natural fit for Nesvold. A New Yorker herself, Nesvold has known Emigrant Partners CEO Jenny Souza for 25 years, and in fact recruited Souza out of college to join her at investment bank Berkshire Capital. Nesvold has also worked extensively with Emigrant on deals as an investment banker.

“I’m thrilled to have finally recruited Liz to the team after collaborating with her on multiple transactions over the past decade,” said Howard Milstein, Emigrant chairman and chief executive.

In addition to shepherding minority investments for Emigrant Partners, Milstein said Nesvold will also work closely with Emigrant’s other wealth management businesses, including Private Trust, Sarasota Private Trust and Cleveland Private Trust.

Nesvold was also named vice chair of Emigrant Bank, and will focus on its businesses that target the high net worth and ultra-high net worth markets, including Summitas and Personal Risk Management Solutions.

First call
Nesvold has long been considered one of the RIA industry’s premier investment bankers. She pioneered a specialist M&A practice for wealth management firms at Berkshire Capital, where she worked for 15 years starting in 1991.

In 2007, she launched her own boutique firm, Silver Lane, which she sold to Raymond James in 2019. 

That partnership ended four years later, when Nesvold resigned for “good reason,” a legal term the labor law firm of Blitman & King defines as occurring when an employer has taken action “that results in a material negative change in the duties the employee performs, the conditions under which the employee provides services or the employee’s compensation.”

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