Evan Unzelman


Executive PortraitWith over a decade of specialized experience in the field of private foundations and CRTs, Evan Unzelman has risen quickly through the ranks of charitable and tax planning. He began his career at a multifamily office, where he helped provide comprehensive solutions to the complex challenges faced by affluent families. In 2006, he joined Sterling, where he oversaw the administration of all of the firms’ charitable clients. In 2008, he was hand-picked to lead the expansion of the firm’s CRT brokerage platform.

Evan was elevated to COO in 2010 to expand and sharpen Sterling's service offering for charitable donors and their advisors. During that time, he launched Sterling's donor advised fund, grew the firm's CRT income interest sale volume year-over-year, and created the "CRT Rollover" strategy to provide new options to CRT donors beyond selling their income interest. In 2015, Sterling's Chairman and CEO promoted Evan to President, expanding his responsibilities to include the supervision of all business lines:

  • Private foundation administration
  • Sterling's donor advised fund
  • Charitable consulting
  • Industry-leading CRT program

Evan is a recognized expert and sought after speaker in the field of charitable planning, and CRTs in particular. He speaks widely to a variety of audiences including attorneys, accountants and financial advisors, primarily on the sale of income interests in CRTs (Standard CRUTs, NIMCRUTs, NICRUTs and CRATs), tax implications of CRTs, and the role CRTs play in the estate and wealth planning of affluent clients.

Evan's articles have appeared in publications such as Estate Planning, NAEPC’s Journal of Tax & Estate Planning, Wealth Strategies Journal and Atlantic Trust’s Trusted Advisor. He was also the lead editor of Managing Foundations and Charitable Trusts (Bloomberg Press), which is largely regarded as the definitive guide to managing charitable entities.

Evan received finance and economics degrees (summa cum laude) from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. At Pacific Lutheran, he was President of the Student Investment Fund, member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honors Society, and winner of the Academic Excellence Award as the top finance student.