Obituary: Lord Jacob Rothschild, financier and part of banking dynasty dies aged 87

Lord Jacob Rothschild, who has died at 87, was a financier and part of one of the country’s foremost banking dynasties, having started his career in the family bank of NM Rothschild & Sons, 61 years ago.

He went on to found businesses and charitable foundations and was a renowned patron of the arts and philanthropist.

His family has an estimated fortune of about £825m, according to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List, and give away a reported £66m to Jewish causes, education and art.

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Born in Berkshire, Lord Rothschild was educated at Eton and studied history at Christ Church College, Oxford. After leaving the Rothschild bank he took control of Rothschild Investment Trust, now RIT Capital Partners, and later co-founded the then J Rothschild Assurance Group, now St James’s Place, with Sir Mark Weinberg in 1980.

Lord Jacob RothschildLord Jacob Rothschild
Lord Jacob Rothschild

He was chairman of RIT Capital Partners, one of the largest investment trusts quoted on the London Stock Exchange, until 2019, and was also deputy chairman at then BSkyB Television, director of RHJ International, now known as BHF Kleinwort Benson Group, and was a member of the council for the Duchy of Cornwall for the then Prince of Wales.

In the cultural sector he was chairman of trustees at The National Gallery and chairman of The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

He also sat for numerous portraits, including by Lucian Freud and David Hockney.

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Lord Rothschild also founded Windmill Hill Asset Management, to manage the family’s philanthropic portfolio, and was chairman of the trustees for The Rothschild Foundation charity.

One of his biggest philanthropic commitments was to Waddesdon Manor and the Waddesdon estate in Buckinghamshire, having taken over the management on behalf of the National Trust from his cousin Dorothy de Rothschild in 1988.

He was married for more than 50 years to Serena, who died in 2019 and with whom he had four children, Hannah, Beth, Emily and Nat, and many grandchildren.

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