Rothschild heir backs launch of merchant bank

Michael Bow
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EDMOND de Rothschild, the wealth manager chaired by an heir of the Rothschild banking dynasty, is to launch a UK merchant bank after winning regulatory approval for the plan.

The new outfit, which was given consent to launch by the Financial Services Authority in mid-January, will be called Edmond de Rothschild Private Merchant Banking and offer a range of corporate advisory services to private backed companies, entrepreneurs and family offices.

It will be the third arm of Edmond de Rothschild Group’s UK operations, which also include Edmond De Rothschild Securities and Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management.

Despite not being ready to take on customers, the firm already has staff working at the company.

Edmond de Rothschild was set up and named after the father of current chair Benjamin de Rothschild.

He is the great, great, great grandson of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the originator of the Rothschild dynasty which now runs to seven generations of financiers.

The merchant bank, which will not hold client money but will offer advice on mergers and acquisitions and private share placings, is backed by a trio of heavyweight former private banking executives.

Christoph Ladanyi, ex-managing director at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Wealth, and Richard Madeley, who worked at JP Morgan Private Bank are both partners at the new merchant bank.

Former co-head of defunct advisory company Hawkpoint Henrik Schliemann is also involved, joining his old partner Richard Briance, who was the former chief executive and deputy chairman of Hawkpoint. Briance joined Edmond de Rothschild in 2010.

The move to launch a merchant bank harks back to the pre-Big Bang era City when tasks now undertaken by investment banks were traditionally carried out by merchant bankers.