Jacob Rothschild, the financier, passes away at the age of 87

Lord Jacob Rothschild

Lord Jacob Rothschild, the esteemed financier and prominent member of the Rothschild banking dynasty, passed away at the age of 87.

In a statement released on Monday, the family of Lord Rothschild described him as “a towering presence in many lives.”

Lord Rothschild’s career commenced at the family bank, NM Rothschild & Sons, before venturing into his wealth management venture. He was widely recognized for his philanthropic endeavours.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair paid tribute to his “dear friend,” portraying him as a “remarkable individual.”

Born in Berkshire in 1936, Lord Rothschild received his education at Eton College and later pursued history at Christ Church, Oxford.

He entered the family bank in 1963 but departed in 1980 after a disagreement with his cousin, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

Subsequently, he established his financial empire in the City of London, founding the investment trust RIT Capital, of which he served as chairman until 2019.

The Rothschild family’s estimated fortune stands at around £825 million, according to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

In a statement issued by his family, Lord Rothschild was described as “an accomplished financier, an advocate for the arts and culture, a dedicated public servant, a fervent supporter of charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, a committed environmentalist, and a beloved friend, father, and grandfather.”

Lord Rothschild also held various positions, including deputy chairman at BSkyB Television, director of RHJ International (now BHF Kleinwort Benson Group), and council member for the Duchy of Cornwall during the tenure of the then-Prince of Wales.

Expressing condolences to the Rothschild family, Sir Tony Blair remarked that he would deeply miss his friend.

While Lord Rothschild was a significant figure in Britain’s Jewish community, his influence extended globally through his support for various causes, including the arts, the environment, and peace efforts in the Middle East.

His contributions included chairing the National Lottery Heritage Fund and serving as a longtime patron of the National Gallery, where he chaired its board of trustees from 1985 to 1991.

On X, formerly Twitter, the National Gallery expressed sadness at his passing, acknowledging Lord Rothschild’s multifaceted roles as a businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and cultural leader.

Lord Rothschild was married to Lady Serena Rothschild for over 50 years until she died in 2019, and they had four children.

The Rothschild banking dynasty originated in 18th-century Frankfurt, with family members spreading across Europe to establish banking enterprises.

In 1815, the family amassed a significant fortune when Nathan Mayer Rothschild invested in British government bonds, foreseeing Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

Lord Jacob Rothschild’s cousin, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, chaired NM Rothschild from 1976 to 2003 and was reputed to have advised Queen Elizabeth II on financial matters.

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