Rothschild & Co

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Rothschild & Co
Formerly
Paris Orléans
Public (under Rothschild family control)
Traded asEuronextROTH
IndustryFinancial Services
PredecessorN M Rothschild & Sons
Rothschild & Cie
Founded1810; 209 years ago (1810)[1]
FounderNathan Mayer Rothschild
Headquarters
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Alexandre de Rothschild (Executive Chairman and Managing Partner)[2]
Robert Leitão (co-Chairman of the Group Executive Committee and Managing Partner)[2]
François Pérol (co-Chairman of the Group Executive Committee and Managing Partner)[2]
Marc-Olivier Laurent (Managing Partner)[2]
ProductsInvestment banking
Corporate banking
Private equity
Asset management
Private banking
RevenueIncrease 1.976 billion (2018)[3]
Increase € 255 million (2018)[3]
Increase € 303 million (2018)[3]
Number of employees
3,633 (2018)[3]
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.rothschild.com

Rothschild & Co is a multinational investment bank and financial services company, and the flagship of the Rothschild banking group controlled by the French and British branches of the Rothschild family.

The banking business of the firm covers the areas of investment banking, restructuring, corporate banking, private equity, asset management, and private banking. It is also known to serve as the advisor and lender to governments and major corporations.[4] In addition, the firm has its own investment account in private equity.

Rothschild's financial advisory division is known to serve British nobility, including the British Royal Family. Past chairman Sir Evelyn Rothschild is the personal financial advisor of Queen Elizabeth II, and she knighted him in 1989 for his services to banking and finance.[5]

History[edit]

Coat of arms of House Rothschild

Rothschild & Co is the result of a merger between the French and British houses of Rothschild, each with individual but intertwined histories.

British History (N M Rothschild & Sons)[edit]

Late 18th Century[edit]

In the late 18th century and early 19th century, Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812) rose to become one of Europe's most powerful bankers in the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel in the Holy Roman Empire. In pursuit of expansion, he appointed his sons to start banking operations in the various capitals of Europe, including sending his third son, Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836), to England.[6]

Early 19th Century[edit]

Nathan Mayer Rothschild first settled in Manchester, where he established a business in finance and textile trading. He later moved to London, founding N M Rothschild & Sons in 1811 at New Court, which is still the location of Rothschild & Co's headquarters today. Through this company, Nathan Mayer Rothschild made a fortune with his involvement in the Bonds Market.[7]

According to historian Niall Ferguson, "For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and probably Goldman Sachs too—as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteenth-century Rothschild's role in stabilizing the finances of numerous governments."[7]

During the early part of the 19th century, the Rothschild London bank took a leading part in managing and financing the subsidies that the British government transferred to its allies during the Napoleonic Wars. Through the creation of a network of agents, couriers and shippers, the bank was able to provide funds to the armies of the Duke of Wellington in Portugal and Spain. In 1818 the Rothschild bank arranged a £5 million loan to the Prussian government and the issuing of bonds for government loans. The providing of other innovative and complex financing for government projects formed a mainstay of the bank's business for the better part of the century. N M Rothschild & Sons' financial strength in the City of London became such that by 1825, the bank was able to supply enough coin to the Bank of England to enable it to avert a liquidity crisis.[8]

Like most firms with global operations in the 19th century, Rothschild had links to slavery, even though the firm was instrumental in abolishing it by providing a £15m gilt issue necessary to pass the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.[9][10] The money provided by Rothschild was used to pay slave owners compensation for their slaves and the gilt issue was only fully redeemed in 2015.[11]

Late 19th Century[edit]

Logo of N M Rothschild & Sons Ltd.

Nathan Mayer's eldest son, Lionel de Rothschild (1808–1879) succeeded him as head of the London branch. Under Lionel the bank financed the British government's 1875 purchase of a controlling interest in the Suez Canal. Lionel also began to invest in railways as his uncle James had been doing in France. In 1869, Lionel's son, Alfred de Rothschild (1842–1918), became a director of the Bank of England, a post he held for 20 years. Alfred was one of those who represented the British Government at the 1892 International Monetary Conference in Brussels.[12]

The Rothschild bank funded Cecil Rhodes in the development of the British South Africa Company and Leopold de Rothschild (1845–1917) administered Rhodes's estate after his death in 1902 and helped to set up the Rhodes Scholarship scheme at Oxford University. In 1873 de Rothschild Frères (trans. "The Rothschild Brothers") of Paris and N M Rothschild & Sons of London joined with other investors to acquire the Spanish government's money-losing Rio Tinto copper mines. The new owners restructured the company and turned it into a profitable business. By 1905, the Rothschild interest in Rio Tinto amounted to more than 30%. In 1887, the French and English Rothschild banking houses loaned money to, and invested in, the De Beers diamond mines in South Africa, becoming its largest shareholders.[13]

20th Century[edit]

The First World War marked a change of fortune and emphasis for Rothschild. After the War, the Rothschild banks began a steady transition towards advisory work and finance raising for commercial concerns, including the London Underground. In 1938, the Austrian Rothschilds’ interests were given to the Nazis, bringing to an end more than a century at the heart of Central European banking. In France and Austria, the family was scattered for the duration of the Second World War. After the war, the British and French banks committed themselves to further developing their new operation in the United States, which was eventually to become Rothschild Inc,[14] and increased focus on mergers and acquisitions, asset management, and merchant-banking.[15]

In the 20th century, Rothschild developed into a pre-eminent global organization, which enhanced its ability to secure key advisory roles in some of the most important, complex and recognizable mergers and acquisitions. In the 1980s, Rothschild took a leading role in the international phenomenon of privatization. The company was involved from the beginning and developed a pioneering role which spread out to more than thirty countries worldwide. In recent years, Rothschild advised on nearly a thousand completed mergers and acquisitions with a cumulative value in excess of US$1 trillion. Rothschild also advised on some of the largest and most high-profile corporate restructurings around the world.[16]

The price of gold was fixed for years, twice daily at 10:30am and 3:00pm, in a small room at Rothschild's New Court headquarters on St Swithin's Lane.[17] The world's main bullion houses: Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Scotia-Mocatta and Société Générale used the agreed rate as a price benchmark for gold products and derivatives in the world's markets. The chairperson, traditionally appointed by the Rothschild bank, sat in the center, although the bank itself has largely withdrawn from trading. The five members of the London Bullion Association: Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Scotiabank, HSBC and Société Générale, now conduct their twice-daily meetings over the telephone. The meetings were a tradition as great as the ringing of the bell at the New York Stock Exchange until 2004.[18]

French History (Paris Orléans)[edit]

19th Century[edit]

The Compagnie du chemin de fer de Paris à Orléans was founded in 1838 as a railway company; after several takeovers and a merger with the Chemins de fer du Midi it had about 11,000 km (6,800 mi) of track, and was one of the major railway companies in France. In 1938, it was nationalised along with five other railway undertakings to form the national state railway company SNCF.[19]

20th Century[edit]

Logo of Rothschild prior to 2015 rebranding

After the Second World War, the French branch of the Rothschild family took over the remains of Paris Orléans and transformed it into a holding company for its banking activities and corporate investments. These mainly included the Banque Rothschild (Bank), SGIM (property company), the SIACI (insurance), the Francarep (oil company) and the SGDBR (wineries), now Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR).[20]

By 1980, the Paris business employed about 2,000 people and had an annual turnover of 26 billion francs ($5 billion in the currency rates of 1980).[21]

The Socialist French government of François Mitterrand nationalized Banque Rothschild and renamed it Compagnie Européenne de Banque in 1981.[22] In 1983, David de Rothschild and Eric de Rothschild recapitalized the family's business just as their ancestors had done in the prior century under the name Paris Orléans as it was banned from using the family name until 1986,[23] at which time the firm was renamed Rothschild & Cie Banque.[24]

Modern History and Recent Events[edit]

Anglo-French Rothschild Merger[edit]

In 2003, the English (N M Rothschild & Sons) and French (Rothschild & Cie Banque) firms announced plans to merge under the leadership of David R. de Rothschild. Paris Orléans SCA became the flagship holding company of the family business of Rothschild. Although Paris Orléans is listed on the exchange, the family retains control of the firm.[25][26] After the merger of the banking activities, Paris Orléans SCA became the sole owner Concordia BV, which controls Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG, which controls the Rothschild Group’s banking activities.[27] By 2011, the firm had merged operations and was unified.[28]

Recent History[edit]

In 2007, Rothschild formed joint venture Jardine Rothschild Asia Capital with Jardine Strategic, specializing in growth capital investments.[29]

Current Logo of Rothschild & Co (2015-)

In 2011, the firm rebranded from "N M Rothschild & Sons" to "Rothschild & Co."[30] The goal of this was to show "a new global positioning as the fulcrum of the Financial Market."[31]

In 2015, the parent company Paris Orléans changed its name to Rothschild & Co to match the trade name of the business.[32]

In 2017, Rothschild & Co acquired the family-controlled French private bank Martin Maurel.[33] This merger united the businesses of two European financial families. After the acquisition, Rothschild & Co became the leading private bank in France.[34]

In 2018, Rothschild & Co sold its trust services division (responsible for the creation and administration of trust structures) to Richard Martin,[35] a long-time Rothschild executive for an undisclosed amount. This restructuring of Rothschild's Wealth Management practice allowed the firm to focus more on its private banking activities from the recent purchase and integration of Rothschild Martin Maurel.[33]

In 2019, the firm acquired a stake in Redburn,[36] a global financial services firm that provides research in various coverage sectors and brokerage execution services for traditional and algorithmic sales and trading.[37]

Operations[edit]

Rothschild & Co has three primary businesses: Global Advisory (Investment Banking Division), Wealth and Asset Management, and Merchant Banking.

Global Advisory (Investment Banking Division)[edit]

The banking business is structured as follows:[38]

  • M&A and Strategic Advisory
  • Debt Advisory and Restructuring
  • Equity Advisory and Capital Markets

Rothschild & Co is consistently in the top 10 global investment banks for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory by Thompson Reuters by both number and size of deals.[39] In 2018, as with previous years, the firm ranked 1st globally and 1st in Europe by number of completed M&A transactions.[40]

Wealth and Asset Management[edit]

Rothschild & Co's wealth management practice stems on wealth preservation through generations, just as the Rothschild family has done for over two centuries. The words of one of Mayer Amschel Rothschild's sons and founder of Rothschild & Co still illustrate the service provided to clients:

"It takes a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to make a great fortune; and when you have got it, it requires ten times as much wit to keep it" –Nathan Mayer Rothschild[41]

Merchant Banking[edit]

Merchant banking is the investment arm of Rothschild & Co, deploying the firm's capital alongside private and institutional investors. The portfolio is in excess of €8 billion.[42]

Vineyards[edit]

Historically, the Rothschild family owns many Bordeaux vineyards since 1868. Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Champagne Barons de Rothschild are some of the wineries owned in-part by Rothschild & Co.[43][44]

Corporate Culture[edit]

Rothschild & Co has a unique culture in part due to its more than two century history and the firm still remaining under family control.[45] The firm's new analyst education program, for instance, lasts nearly two months in London.[46]

Fourth iteration of New Court

New Court headquarters[edit]

Rothschild & Co's headquarters in London have been continuously located at New Court, St. Swithin's Lane, London for over two centuries. After acquiring the lease in 1809,[47] the firm continued to grow. In 1865, a new building designed by Thomas Marsh Nelson in the Italian "palazzo" style was created at the same site.[48] This building served as the headquarters for Rothschild through both world wars. In 1962, the firm demolished and rebuilt its New Court headquarters for a third time as the suggestion of Evelyn Robert de Rothschild.[49] In 2005, the firm decided to create a fourth iteration of the building that opens up views of St Stephen Walbrook church from its lobby, and views of the London skyline from a roof-top "sky pavilion" designed by Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).[50][51]

Controversies and legal issues[edit]

Jürg Heer Scandal[edit]

Dr. Jürg Heer worked for Rothschild Bank AG (since October 2018 Rothschild & Co. Bank AG) in Zurich for more than 20 years, the last nine as its credit manager. He was dismissed by its employer in June 1992. Jürg Heer was accused of taking kick-backs of more than USD 20 million in exchange for making unsecured and unapproved loans to the German and Canadian real estate magnate Karsten von Wersebe resulting in a loss of USD 155 million to the bank. In 1998, in the district court of Zurich Jürg Heer confessed that he embezzled about USD 33 million from Rothschild Bank AG between 1986 and 1992.[52][53] To cover the loss incurred to the bank the Rothschild family committed CHF 150 million supporting its bank from recovering from one of the largest financial frauds in Switzerland at the time.[54][54]

NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd vs. Rothschild & Co (UK) Ltd[edit]

On January 27, 2009 NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd filed under s.69(1)(b) of the UK Companies Act 2006 for a change of name of the respondent company, Rothschild & Co (UK) Ltd, which had been registered since October 31, 2008. The Company Names Tribunal found for the applicant and ordered the respondent to change its name or else have its name changed by the adjudicator, as well as to pay the applicant's costs.[55]

Von Schönau-Riedweg vs. Rothschild Bank AG & others (2012-present)[edit]

On December 20, 2012 Rothschild Bank AG brought suit against its client Corinna von Schönau-Riedweg in Switzerland, seeking a declaration that the bank had no liability with respect to the private equity transactions recommended by Rothschild Bank’s former employee Wilfrid von Plotho.[56] As a reaction to this suit von Schönau brought suit in the Superior Court in Boston/USA against Rothschild Bank AG, Rothschild Trust (Schweiz) AG, Wilfrid von Plotho and others. In December 2014 a separate and final judgment over USD 15 million against von Plotho and his Panamanian offshore company ARA Management was entered in force; neither von Plotho nor ARA Management appealed from that judgment.[56] In June 2019 the Appeals Court of Massachusetts (Boston) decided that von Schönau’s suit against Rothschild Bank should be revived, as she had made a showing that Wilfrid von Plotho, she claims caused her millions of dollars to lose, was Rothschild Bank’s agent in Switzerland as well as in the USA.[57]

Penalty of USD 11,510,000: Non-Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (2013-2015)[edit]

According to the Non-Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (Tax Division) of June 2015 Rothschild Bank (now Rothschild & Co. Bank AG) admitted that it had 66 U.S.-related accounts held by entities created in Panama, Liechtenstein, British Virgin Islands or other foreign countries with U.S. beneficial owners. Knowing it was highly probable that the U.S. clients were engaging in schemes to avoid U.S. taxes, Rothschild Bank permitted the accounts to trade in U.S. securities without reporting account earnings, or transmitting any withholding taxes, to the IRS.[58] Of the U.S. related accounts with an aggregate maximum balance of approximately USD 836 million hat U.S. beneficial owners, representing approx. 5% of the aggregate maximum balance of Rothschild Bank’s total assets under management during the period in question.[59] In recognition of its illegal conduct Rothschild Bank agreed to pay USD 11,510,000 as a penalty to the U.S. Department of Justice.[60][61]

1MDB Malaysian sovereign wealth fund scandal (2015-present)[edit]

Rothschild Bank AG (since October 2018 renamed Rothschild & Co. Bank AG), a subsidiary of Rothschild & Co,[62] broke anti-moneylaundering rules in 1MDB case according to Swiss prosecutiors.[63] In July 2018 the Swiss Financial Market Authority (FINMA) concluded final 1MDB proceedings, in which Rothschild Bank AG and its subsidiary Rothschild Trust (Schweiz) AG have been found to be in serious breach of money laundering rules in the context of 1 MDB. The FINMA appointed an audit agent to review enhancements already put in place by Rothschild Bank. FINMA stated, that Rothschild Bank and Rothschild Trust were found to be in “breach of due diligence, reporting and documentation requirements […]. Although there were early indications that this client could be involved in money laundering acitivities, the institutions decided nevertheless to enter into the relationship and at a later stage considerably expand it.”[64] The 1MDB fraud that saw billions of dollars syphoned off from the sovereign wealth fund into the pockets of corrupt officials.[65][66]

Dispute between Rothschild & Co and Edmond de Rothschild Group[edit]

After Paris Orleans was renamed to Rothschild & Co, the Edmond de Rothschild Group disputed the use of the family name for branding purposes. Until their settlement, Rothschild & Co and the Edmond de Rothschild Group were cross-shareholders in each other's business, further complicating the matter. In 2018 the two sides of the family resolved the dispute.[67]

Notable current and former employees[edit]

Many notable people, including heads of states, CEOs, and billionaires have been involved with the firm. This partial list excludes the many notable members of the Rothschild family who have worked at the family firm.

Business[edit]

Politics and public service[edit]

Armed forces[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Exhibitions ‹ Rothschild Timeline :: The Rothschild Archive". www.rothschildarchive.org. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Rothschild & Co". www.rothschildandco.com. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Rothschild & Co. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Exhibitions ‹ Rothschild Timeline :: The Rothschild Archive". www.rothschildarchive.org. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  5. ^ "No. 51578". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1988. p. 2.
  6. ^ Gray, Victor; Aspey, Melanie (May 2006) [2004]. "Rothschild, Nathan Mayer (1777–1836)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24162. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  7. ^ a b Ferguson, Niall (1999). The House of Rothschild: The World's Banker, 1849–1999. Viking. p. 479. ISBN 978-0-670-88794-1.
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  9. ^ Rothschild and Freshfields founders had links to slavery, papers reveal Financial Times, 26 June 2009
  10. ^ Rothschilds gained less from slavery than from financing its abolition Financial Times, 30 June 2009
  11. ^ "Slavery Abolition Act of 1833" (PDF). HM Government. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  12. ^ Cross, William. "Baron Alfred Charles de Rothschild". Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  13. ^ Kynaston, David (1995). The City Of London Volume 1: A World of its Own 1815-1890. Pimlico. ISBN 978-0712662000.
  14. ^ "BrokerCheck - Find a broker, investment or financial advisor". brokercheck.finra.org. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
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  19. ^ Chen, Zhenhua; Haynes, Kingsley (2015). Chinese Railways un the Era of High Speed. Emerald Publishing. p. 179. ISBN 978-1784419844.
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  21. ^ RPT-French banker Guy de Rothschild dies aged 98 Reuters, Thu 14 June 2007 12:26 pm EDT
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  28. ^ Wilson, Harry (2012-04-05). "Rothschilds to merge British and French banking operations to secure control". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  29. ^ "Jardines - 2000 - 2009". Jardines.com. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  30. ^ Armitstead, Louise (2011-02-04). "Rothschild rebrand drops investment banking after 200 years". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
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  37. ^ "About Redburn". Redburn. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
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  39. ^ "Thomson Reuters 2011 League Table Archived 2011-04-09 at the Wayback Machine
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  41. ^ "Quotes". Forbes. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
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  43. ^ "Rothschild & Co - Champagne Barons De Rothschild". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
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  45. ^ Grant, James. "Why Rothschild is good for graduates". Weavee. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
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  54. ^ a b "Rothschilds prop up Zurich bank". The Independent. 1992-09-23. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  55. ^ NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd -v- Rothschild & Co (UK) Ltd Retrieved 20 September 2014
  56. ^ a b "Von Schönau-Riedweg v. Rothschild Bank , No. 17-P-787 | Casetext". casetext.com. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  57. ^ Sabrosky, C W (1970). "The case of Papilio aglaja Linnaeus. Z.N.(S.)1791". The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 27: 69. doi:10.5962/bhl.part.29400. ISSN 0007-5167.
  58. ^ https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/451891/download
  59. ^ https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/451891/download
  60. ^ Wood, Robert W. "Rothschild Bank Enters Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Triggering More IRS Disclosures". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  61. ^ https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/451891/download
  62. ^ "Swiss regulator: Rothschild Bank AG broke anti-moneylaundering..." Reuters. 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  63. ^ "Swiss regulator: Rothschild Bank AG broke anti-moneylaundering..." Reuters. 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  64. ^ FINMA, Eidgenössische Finanzmarktaufsicht. "FINMA concludes final 1MDB proceedings". Eidgenössische Finanzmarktaufsicht FINMA. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
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  67. ^ Kostov, Nick (2018-06-29). "Rothschilds End Family Feud Over Use of Name in Banking". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-05-20.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]