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Lord Jacob Rothschild: Financier dies aged 87

His career began at the family bank, NM Rothschild & Sons, before starting his own wealth management fund. He was also known for his philanthropy.

Lord Jacob Rothschild, the financier and member of the Rothschild banking family, has died at the age of 87.

In a statement on Monday, his family called Lord Rothschild "a towering presence in many peoples' lives".

His career began at the family bank, NM Rothschild & Sons, before starting his own wealth management fund. He was also known for his philanthropy.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair paid tribute to his "dear friend" describing him as a "wonderful human being".

Born in Berkshire in 1936, Lord Rothschild was educated at Eton College and went on to study history at Christ Church, Oxford.

He joined the family bank in 1963 but left in 1980 after falling out with his cousin Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

He went on to build his own financial empire in the City of London, founding investment trust RIT Capital, which he chaired until 2019.

The Rothschild family has an estimated fortune of about £825m, according to last year's Sunday Times Rich List.

Lord Rothschild was described as "a superbly accomplished financier, a champion of the arts and culture, a devoted public servant, a passionate supporter of charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, a keen environmentalist and much-loved friend, father and grandfather," in a statement released by his family.

Lord Rothschild also held roles including deputy chairman at 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.

Sending his condolences to the Rothschild family, Sir Tony Blair said he would miss his friend immensely.

"He was of course a towering figure in Britain's Jewish community but his impact was global in his support for great causes, including in the arts and the environment, and in his tireless work to advance peace in the Middle East."

This support included chairing the National Lottery Heritage Fund and he was a longstanding patron of the National Gallery, of which he was chair of its board of trustees between 1985 and 1991.

On X, formerly Twitter, the National Gallery posted that it was saddened to hear of his death.

"Jacob Rothschild was a businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and cultural leader.

"Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones."

Lord Rothschild was married to Lady Serena Rothschild for more than 50 years until her death in 2019. They had four children.

The Rothschild banking family traces its roots back to 18th Century Frankfurt, from where family members moved to cities across Europe to build out banking businesses.

In 1815 the bank made a fortune when Nathan Mayer Rothschild bought British government bonds in anticipation of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.

Lord Jacob Rothschild's cousin Sir Evelyn de Rothschild was chairman of NM Rothschild between 1976 and 2003, and was said to have advised Queen Elizabeth II on financial matters.

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