"Baron Edmond de Rothschild, philanthropist, international financier and member of the banking dynasty, died Monday in Geneva, of a respiratory illness at age 71,a spokesman said. Mr. Rothschild was president of his Geneva-based bank and financial companies as well as the Luxembourg-based Leicom Fund. He wasbelieved to be the richest family member (of the House of Rothschild) that has played a major role in French business and culture for nearly two centuries. The Rothschilds are widely known for their wineries in the Bourdeaux region of France, including the Baron's Chateau Clarke, where he is to be buried this week in a private ceremony. Mr. Rothschild was named an officer of France's legion of honour in 1994, and its order of arts and letters in 1990. Throughout his life, hedonated the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars to hospitals, museums, and theState of Israel. An avid art collector, he gave works to the Louvre museum inParis. Mr. Rothschild's son Benjamin, 34, will succeed him as president of Paris-based Cie Financiere Holding Benjamin et Edmond de Rothschild."
In a July 1997 edition of the
Globe and Mail
another rare report of anotherimportant Rothschild enterprise was made (see
Rothschilds holding company fiscal year profit up 66%
): The article referred to the Rothschilds Continuation HoldingsAG, parent of N.M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd, "a Swiss holding company for theRothschild merchant banking business worldwide ...(with) operating profits risingto 179 million Swiss francs ($122.4 million U.S.) in the year ended March 31 from108 million francs the previous years." A 66% profit increase is no small featespecially when you consider their line of business. In the article, Sir Evelyn deRothschild, chairman of Rothschild's Continuation, noted "We've got a goodbalance of businesses and on the whole we've had a pretty good run." Sir Evelynalso noted that the company has three global business lines "treasury and bulliontrading; resource banking, or banking for the mining industry; and investmentbanking." Such stupendous returns on a supposedly barbarous relic, gold, makeeven George Soros's Quantum Fund returns seem meagre. It is important to notethat this rare exposure of the family business coincides with the recent rare exposéby the LBMA that the equivalent of between 30-42 million ounces of gold per dayare traded in London.The more significant cousin of RCH AG is in fact N.M. Rothschild and Sons Ltd,named after Nathan Mayer Rothschild, one of the five sons of Mayer AmschelRothschild, who operated the London-based house of the family merchant bankingenterprise in the latter part of the 18th and early 19th century. The Rothschildbusiness enterprise has changed little in over 200 years. But why change a goodthing when such large and sustained profits can be made by trading currency,treasuries, and gold plus gold leasing, financing of gold mining operations, andinvestment banking?So what is the significance of the death of one of the richest and greatestphilanthropers in the world, and the connection to the London Bullion MarketingAssociation?