Rockefeller and Rothschild dynasties team up for deal

As if they weren't already well-connected enough, the world's two greatest dynasties joined forces yesterday as Europe's Rothschild banking clan bought a stake in the Rockefeller group's wealth and asset management business to gain a foothold in the US.

The patriarchs of the two families – 96-year-old David Rockefeller and Jacob Rothschild, 76 – cemented a five-decade acquaintance as the younger man's London-based £2bn RIT Capital investment trust bought a 37 per cent stake in the business.

In addition to bringing together the men, the deal will considerably expand the vast networks of both families.

To give a taste: Lord Rothschild's son, Nat Rothschild, is a well-known entrepreneur with stakes in a range of companies such as Genel, the Kurdistan-focused oil producer run by former BP chief executive Tony Hayward and Bumi, the Indonesian mining group. He was also linked with George Osborne and Peter Mandelson at a notorious party on an oligarch's yacht off Corfu in 2008.

Lord Rothschild's niece Kate is married to Ben Goldsmith, brother of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith and Jemima Khan and son of the late billionaire tycoon Sir James Goldsmith.

On the Rockefeller side, David's granddaughter Ariana is a successful fashion designer who married construction heir Matthew Bucklin in 2010. And let's not forget the founders who, although no longer with us, live on through their business creations.

The Rockefeller family's journey to vast riches began in 1870 when John D Rockefeller set up Standard Oil and went on to establish a fortune that is widely regarded to be the largest in US history. The family's wealth management operation was set up in 1882 to manage that fortune.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Rockefeller said: "Lord Rothschild and I have known each other for five decades. The connection between our two families remains very strong."