Lord Jacob Rothschild: financier dies at 87

Image source, York Lieberman

Lord Jacob Rothschild, financier and member of the Rothschild banking family, has died at the age of 87.

In a statement on Monday, his family described Lord Rothschild as “a prominent presence in the lives of many people.”

He began his career at family bank NM Rothschild & Sons, before starting his own wealth management fund. He was also known for his charitable works.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair paid tribute to his “dear friend” and described him as a “wonderful human being”.

Lord Rothschild was born in Berkshire in 1936, was educated at Eton College and then went on to study history at Christ Church, Oxford.

He joined the family bank in 1963 but left in 1980 after falling out with his cousin Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

He went on to build his own financial empire in the City of London, and founded the investment fund RIT Capital, which he chaired until 2019.

The Rothschild family's fortune is estimated at £825 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List last year.

Lord Rothschild has been described as “a wonderfully accomplished financier, a champion of arts and culture, a dedicated civil servant, a passionate supporter of charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, a passionate environmentalist, and a much-loved friend, father and grandfather”. In a statement issued by his family.

Sir Tony Blair sent his condolences to the Rothschild family and said he would miss his friend greatly.

He added: “He was, of course, a prominent figure in Britain's Jewish community, but his influence was global in his support of great causes, including the arts and the environment, and in his tireless work to promote peace in the Middle East.”

This support included chairing the National Lottery Heritage Fund and being a long-time patron of the National Gallery, of which he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees between 1985 and 1991.

On X, formerly Twitter, the National Gallery posted that it was saddened to hear of his death.

“Jacob Rothschild was a businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and cultural leader.

“Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

Lord Rothschild was married to Lady Serena Rothschild for more than 50 years until her death in 2019. They had four children.

The Rothschild banking family traces its roots to Frankfurt in the 18th century, with family members moving to cities across Europe to build banking businesses.

In 1815, the bank made a fortune when Nathan Mayer Rothschild bought British government bonds in anticipation of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.

Lord Jacob Rothschild's cousin, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, was chairman of NM Rothschild between 1976 and 2003, and was said to have been advising Queen Elizabeth II on financial matters.

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