Howard Milstein talks with CNN about his partnership with Jack Nicklaus, and their common devotion to philanthropyJanuary 22nd, 2016
Howard Milstein told CNN reporter Paul Gittings that he believes his partnership with golf legend Jack Nicklaus was founded on the two men’s commitment to giving to worthy causes. “[Milstein] believes it was one of the reasons Nicklaus chose him to be his partner in a ‘beauty parade’ which also included private equity firms, who might have been tempted to sell on their share to maximize profit,” Gittings said. The article appeared on CNN.com on the occasion of Nicklaus’ 76th birthday.
The partnership dates to 2007, when Milstein bought a 49 percent stake in the Nicklaus Companies group. A notable aspect of the business plan earmarks a percentage of the proceeds from sales of certain Nicklaus-branded products for children’s healthcare. For every box of Nicklaus golf balls sold, for example, a donation is made to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. Similar programs are in place for Jack’s House Wine and Jack Nicklaus ice cream.
Despite his recent birthday, Jack Nicklaus shows no signs of slowing down. “Nicklaus had originally committed to providing his services for five years to promote the brands before stepping back, but is working as hard as ever,” Gittings says. ‘I felt Howard didn’t get a fair shake to realize the value of our company,’ he explains.
“Milstein was not going to persuade him otherwise, and would probably not have succeeded if he had tried. ‘He’s a perfectionist with the attitude of a young man always looking to do better,’ the younger partner says. ‘I’ve told my company I will work as long as I can be effective,’ adds Nicklaus.”
The article concludes with a tribute by Howard Milstein to Nicklaus’ character, saying, “Jack is the most genuine and most wholesome, and straightforward and successful American that you will find. Those are great attributes in a partner, and he is good to his word.”