Financier Lord Jacob Rothschild passes away at 87

Lord Jacob Rothschild, a prominent figure in the financial world and scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty, has died at the age of 87, according to a statement from his family.

Hailing from Berkshire, Lord Rothschild began his career at NM Rothschild & Sons, the family bank, before venturing into the founding of his own wealth management fund. Renowned for his philanthropy, he was remembered as a significant figure by many, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who praised him as a “wonderful human being” and a close friend.

Educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford, Lord Rothschild joined the family bank in 1963 but later departed amid disputes with his cousin, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. He went on to establish RIT Capital, an investment trust that he chaired until 2019, contributing to the family’s estimated fortune of £825 million.

Described by his family as a multifaceted personality, Lord Rothschild was celebrated for his financial acumen, dedication to the arts, commitment to charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, environmental advocacy, and his roles in public service.

In addition to his financial pursuits, Lord Rothschild held various positions, including deputy chairman at BSkyB Television and director of RHJ International. He was also actively involved in cultural institutions, serving as chair of the board of trustees for the National Gallery.

His philanthropic endeavours extended to chairing the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supporting initiatives for peace in the Middle East. The National Gallery, where he served as chair of the board, expressed sadness at his passing, acknowledging his contributions as a businessman, entrepreneur, and cultural leader.

Lord Rothschild’s enduring legacy is further underscored by his longstanding marriage to Lady Serena Rothschild, with whom he shared more than five decades and four children. The Rothschild banking family’s illustrious history dates back to 18th-century Frankfurt, with Nathan Mayer Rothschild’s astute investments during the Battle of Waterloo marking a pivotal moment in the family’s ascent.

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Lord Jacob Rothschild’s cousin, also played a significant role in the family’s financial legacy, serving as chairman of NM Rothschild and offering counsel to Queen Elizabeth II on financial matters. Lord Jacob Rothschild’s passing marks the end of an era for the influential banking dynasty.

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