Edmond de Rothschild
Baron Edmond de Rothschild, "the French-born financier who was said to be the wealthiest of the surviving descendants of the legendary banking family, died in Geneva" in 1997. He was 71. He was the former head of the Israel Corporation.
"Born in Paris in 1926 and a lifelong French citizen, Baron Edmond was taken to Switzerland as a child after his father, a senator in France, had refused to vote for the pro-Nazi Vichy regime led by Marshal Philippe Petain in World War II and had been declared a noncitizen. Because he concentrated his business activity in Switzerland and was rarely part of the brilliant social life his cousins Elie, Guy and Alain led in Paris, Edmond de Rothschild was relatively unknown outside European banking until the Socialists led by Francois Mitterrand came to power in France in 1980.
"When the new Government moved to nationalize the Rothschild Bank, Guy de Rothschild reacted with characteristic Rothschild flair. A Jew under Petain, a pariah under Mitterrand, he wrote in a much publicized letter, for me that's enough. He left for New York...
"Baron Edmond always worked independently of the other Rothschilds, but when Guy's son David founded a new Rothschild bank in Paris in 1982, Baron Edmond took a 10 percent stake. He held a similar position in N. M. Rothschild, the family's British branch. The British and French banks have since merged.
"Most of Baron Edmond's investments were private and their interrelationships complex. But the linchpin of his activities was said to be his Banque Privee in Geneva, a vast holding company with an estimated $17 billion under management in 1995. Other interests included the Banca Privata Solari & Blum in Lugano, Switzerland, the Israel General Bank and the Caesarea Development Company in Tel Aviv, the Israel European Company and the Banque de Gestion Edmond de Rothschild, both in Luxembourg, along with interests in Alpine hotels, De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. in South Africa, Club Mediterranee, several publishing houses in Paris and a television company in Luxembourg.
"In 1973, he bought a major interest in the Bank of California, based in Los Angeles, which then had $4 billion in assets and 80 branches. The bank was sold in 1985 to Japan's Mitsubishi Bank for about three times the original purchase price...
"Edmond Adolphe Maurice Jules Jacques de Rothshcild was the son of Baron Maurice de Rothschild and Baroness Noemie Halphen Rothschild. He was the grandson of the Edmond de Rothschild who invested untold millions of dollars in the development of Jewish Palestine. Maurice de Rothschild enhanced his own fortune with investments in the United States and reportedly left his son Edmond a billion francs -- about $200 million.
Resources and articles
- Baron Edmond de Rothschild, 71, French Financier, Dies, NYT, accessed May 2, 2010.