David René de Rothschild

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This article is about the French banker. For other uses, see David de Rothschild.
David René de Rothschild
David de Rothschild01.JPG
David de Rothschild (1989)
Born David René James de Rothschild
(1942-12-15) December 15, 1942 (age 71)
New York City, New York
Residence Normandy
Education Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris
Occupation Financier
Board member of
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Olimpia Anna Aldobrandini de Rothschild (m. 1974)
Children Lavinia Anne Alix de Rothschild (b. 1976)
Stéphanie Anne Marie de Buffévent (b. 1977)
Alexandre Guy Francesco de Rothschild (b. 1982)
Louise Lili Béatrice de Rothschild (b. 1989)
Parents Guy de Rothschild
Alix Hermine Jeannette Schey de Koromla

Baron David René James de Rothschild (French pronunciation: ​[david ʁəne ʒɛms də ʁɔtʃild]; born December 15, 1942) is an American banker and a member of the French branch of the Rothschild family. He is the chairman of Rothschild Continuation Holdings, a Swiss holding company (which is believed to be controlled by Concordia BV, another holding company, this time registered in the Netherlands).[1] He was formerly a chairman of De Beers. Since May 2013, de Rothschild is also the chairman of the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress,[2] the international Jewish organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries.

Early life and education[edit]

David de Rothschild was born in New York City, New York, in the United States, as a result of his parents having to escape the Nazis during the German occupation of France in World War II. He is the son of Guy de Rothschild (1909–2007) and his first wife and distant cousin, the former Baroness Alix Hermine Jeannette Schey de Koromla (1911–1982). His maternal grandfather was the Hungarian Baron Philipp Schey von Koromla. While his mother remained in New York City throughout the war, his father went to England where he joined the Free French Forces. Following the liberation of France, the family returned to their home in Paris. His parents eventually divorced. David de Rothschild was educated at Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris in Paris from which he graduated in 1966.

He has one half-brother: Baron Édouard de Rothschild from his father's later marriage to Baroness Marie-Hélène van Zuylen van Nyevelt; two half-sisters, Lili and Bettina Krahmer, from his mother's first marriage to Kurt Krahmer; and one step-brother, Philippe de Nicolay from his stepmother's first marriage to French Count François de Nicolay.

Career[edit]

He began his business career at Société miniére et métallurgique de Peñarroya, one of the family's international mining businesses headquartered in Paris. He then began training in de Rothschild Frères bank.

French nationalisation[edit]

French government reform of banking regulations ended the legal distinction between banques d'affaires and deposit banks and in 1967 de Rothschild Frères became Banque Rothschild, a limited-liability company. David de Rothschild's father was an aggressive businessman who strove to expand the bank and their investments in mining and oil exploration as chairman of Imetal S.A.. However, the family fortunes suffered a severe setback following the election to the French Presidency of the socialist government of François Mitterrand in 1981. The new parliament nationalized a number of large companies and banks including that of the Rothschild family. An angry and discouraged 72-year-old Guy de Rothschild left France for a time and settled in New York City where the family had existing but limited business activities.

Later career[edit]

In an interview, dated 18 October 2003, with George Trefgarne published in the The Spectator, David de Rothschild indicated that it took until 1986, when the Socialists lost power, for the Rothschild family to get a new banking licence in France. In 1987—joined by his half-brother Edouard, step-brother Count Philippe de Nicolay, and cousin Eric de Rothschild—he created a successor company, Rothschild & Cie Banque. Capitalized at only $1 million and starting with just three employees, they soon built their tiny investment bank into a major competitor in France and continental Europe.[citation needed]

In 2003, following the retirement of Sir Evelyn Robert de Rothschild as head of N M Rothschild & Sons of London, the UK and French firms merged to become one umbrella entity called "Group Rothschild". Ownership was shared equally between the French and British branches of the family under the leadership of David de Rothschild. In 2007, the British branch sold their share to the French branch. The French branch now fully owns N M Rothschild & Sons.[citation needed]

As of 2008, David de Rothschild holds the following corporate positions:[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

In 1974, David de Rothschild married the Italian Princess Olimpia Anna Aldobrandini (b. 1955) in Reux, Calvados. They have four children:

  • Lavinia Anne Alix de Rothschild (b. 1976).
  • Stéphanie Anne Marie de Buffévent (b. 1977), married Augustin de Buffévent in 2005.
  • Alexandre Guy Francesco de Rothschild (b. 1982), married Olivia Bordeaux-Groult in 2009. Alexandre is being groomed to take control of the family business in 2017.[3]
  • Louise Lili Béatrice de Rothschild (b. 1989) [4]

The Rothschilds made their home in Normandy at Château Reux, some 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Paris as the bird flies, on the seigneury between the village of Reux and the small town of Pont-l'Évêque, where David de Rothschild served as town mayor for 18 years. The place is France's preeminent horse breeding area and is close to Haras de Meautry, the breeding farm run by his brother Edouard. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1991.[5]

David de Rothschild also owns a share of the Château Lafite-Rothschild vineyard but is not active in its day-to-day operations.

David de Rothschild replaced former French minister Simone Veil as president of the French Entente Cordiale Scholarship trust, a Franco-British scholarship programme.[6]

References[edit]