Rothschild Set To Crown Dynasty Heir As Head Of Legendary Bank

The king is dead, at least metaphorically: long live the (new) king.

The 75-year-old scion of the banking empire, David de Rothschild, is stepping aside as chairman of Rothschild & Co. this summer to pass the reins to his son Alexandre in a long-expected changing of the guard at the Franco-British investment bank.

The younger Alexandre de Rothschild, the 7th generation of a banking dynasty that was founded 200 years ago and which many speculate is among the world's most influential families, has long been groomed to succeed his father in becoming the bank's new head. Currently executive deputy chairman, the 37-year-old Aelxandre first joined Rothschild in 2008 to focus on the merchant-banking division after stints in both investment banking and private equity at Bank of America and Bear Stearns.

Alexandre de Rothschild

The dynastic handover, the FT reports, is set to take place in June, "amid a push by the investment bank to diversify from its core French and British advisory business to help it ride out less buoyant periods in Europe’s mergers and acquisitions market."

The elder David de Rothschild, who was born in New York, oversaw the merger of the then-separate French and UK banks in 2012 in a combination designed to unify two branches of the Rothschild family and bolster the balance sheet. Before that, the 75-year-old had been running the UK part of the bank after Evelyn de Rothschild, his cousin, retired in 2004. The group has also been increasingly investing in its small US operations and last year completed its first sizeable acquisition to expand its private bank.

Meanwhile, despite losing some market share, the iconic Rothschild bank remains among the top 5 European names in 2017 M&A deals by revenue.

Rothschild’s latest H1 results published in November showed global advisory revenue - which accounts for about three-fifths of total - falling 8% €492MM. By contrast, the bank's private wealth and asset management and merchant banking divisions each posted growth of more than 30% in the six months to September. Overall, revenue rose 6% Y/Y to €852MM and pre-tax profit increased 10% to €206MM, according to the FT.

The corporate overhaul launched by senior, also granted de Rothschild an opportunity to put in motion a succession plan by bringing his third child and only son to the supervisory board. It also allowed the family to tighten control over the group by buying out minority shareholders. Today, the most recognizable family name in banking has 58% of voting rights in the company and owns a 49% stake, while just over 26% of the group’s shares are listed on Paris’ Euronext exchange.

Rothschild’s shares, which were hit dramatically in the wake of the financial crisis, have gained more than 15 per cent since the beginning of 2017

The banking dynasty, which has spawned countless financial entities and whose financial assets are distributed around the globe, and in the form of investments in hedge funds via a fund of funds operation with well over $168 billion in AUM...

... most recently boasts Emmanuel Macron, the French president, as a former employee. Macron became known as the “Mozart of finance” for his role at Rothschild in advising Nestlé on its $12bn acquisition of a Pfizer unit in 2012.