Rothschild to launch fund

ROTHSCHILD, the fabled family-owned lender, is understood to be ready to raise a &euro;500m (&pound;434m) fund and has drafted in chairman David de Rothschild&rsquo;s son to help launch it.<br /><br />Alexandre de Rothschild has joined the bank from Argan Capital &ndash; the former European private equity division of Bank of America &ndash; to provide support to Rothschild managing director Marc-Olivier Laurent, who will supervise the fund, according to sources in the US.<br /><br />The firm is planning to use the fund to purchase small stakes in companies worth between &euro;100m and &euro;500m and is understood to have secured backing from its partners and clients.<br /><br />Emmanuel Roth, formerly of investment firm Paris-Orleans and Javed Khan, who joined the firm from private equity house Blackstone will help to manage the fund.<br /><br />David de Rothschild, 66, has been in charge of the Franco-British bank since his cousin Evelyn stepped down as head of the London arm in 2004.<br /><br />Some commentators speculated yesterday that the hiring of his son could be geared towards a long-term succession plan aimed at continuing the long line of family members to run the company.<br /><br />The Rothschild banking group dates back to 1798, when founder Mayer Amschel began offering credit to clients in the Jewish ghetto of Frankfurt