Financial dynasty's baron to take over as head of NM Rothschild merchant bank

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The Independent Online

NM Rothschild, one of the oldest merchant banks in the City, is to come under the control of the head of the French part of the financial dynasty, Baron David de Rothschild.

NM Rothschild, one of the oldest merchant banks in the City, is to come under the control of the head of the French part of the financial dynasty, Baron David de Rothschild.

He will take over as chairman of the London-based bank after its annual general meeting on 31 March, succeeding his cousin Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who is to retire.

The move is part of a consolidation of the Rothschild empire under Baron de Rothschild. Last July he succeeded Sir Evelyn as chairman of the umbrella holding company, Rothschild Continuation, which includes all the family's banking interests around the world.

Sir Evelyn, 72, is to retire after running NM Rothschild for 22 years, overseeing it through a time of dramatic change for financial institutions in the UK, including wide-ranging deregulation under Big Bang in 1986.

The Baron and Sir Evelyn have been working on binding the various international branches of the family business more closely, to stop it from competing with other parts of its own business for clients.

"The implementation of the changes we announced in July has gone well," Sir Evelyn said. "My cousin and I have been working very closely together on the development of the group and we have agreed we should now carry the process a stage further. I have decided accordingly to retire from the chairmanship." Baron de Rothschild, 61, said: "Under Evelyn's leadership, NM Rothschild has made great progress and remains a leading international independent banking house."

Under Baron de Rothschild's stewardship, Rothschild in France has risen to the top ranks of the merger and acquisition league tables and can boast similar positions in other parts of Europe. However, the bank, which employs only 2,100 around the world, is dwarfed by its bulge-bracket competitors, such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs in America.

Baron de Rothschild's rise reflects the growing importance of investment banking for the company, which was originally founded by Mayer Amschel in the 1770s.

Baron de Rothschild's English cousin, Amschel Rothschild, had been groomed to take over as head of the English arm of the banking dynasty, but he committed suicide in 1996.

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