Nathaniel Charles Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, OM, GBE, FBA (born 29 April 1936) is a British investment banker and a member of the prominent Rothschildbanking family. He is also Honorary President of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.
Born in 1936, he is the eldest son of Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild by his first wife Barbara Judith Rothschild (née Hutchinson). His father was born into a Jewish family, while his mother converted to Orthodox Judaism when they married. Rothschild was educated at Eton College and then at Christ Church, Oxford, where he gained a First in history, tutored by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
From 1963 Rothschild worked for the family bank N M Rothschild & Sons in London, before resigning in 1980 due to a family dispute. The chairmanship of the bank had passed from his father, who had chosen to follow a scientific career and had lost control of the majority voting shares, to his cousin Sir Evelyn Robert de Rothschild, and Jacob felt that his aspirations would be thwarted. He sold his minority stake in the bank, but took independent control of Rothschild Investment Trust (now RIT Capital Partners plc), an investment trust listed on the London Stock Exchange.
After resigning from the bank in 1980, Jacob Rothschild went on to found J. Rothschild Assurance Group (now St. James's Place plc) with Sir Mark Weinberg in 1991. In 1989, he joined forces with Sir James Goldsmith and Kerry Packer, in an unsuccessful bid for British American Tobacco.
Rothschild is Chairman of RIT Capital Partners plc, one of the largest investment trusts quoted on the London Stock Exchange with a net asset value of about £2 billion. He is Chairman of J Rothschild Capital Management, a subsidiary of RIT Capital Partners plc. He is also a Member of the Council for the Duchy of Cornwall for HRH The Prince of Wales and a member of the International Advisory Board of The Blackstone Group. He also retains many other venture capital and property interests.
In November 2010, an undisclosed entity affiliated with Rothschild purchased a 5.0% equity interest in Genie Energy, a subsidiary of IDT Corporation, for $10.0 million. In 2013, Genie Energy was granted exclusive oil and gas exploration rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights.
From his headquarters in St James's Place in London, Jacob Rothschild has cultivated an influential set of clients, business associates and friends who have extended his interests far beyond the normal scope of a banker. He was a close personal friend of Diana, Princess of Wales and maintains strong personal and business links with Henry Kissinger.
His country estate has been a regular venue for visiting heads of state including Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Margaret Thatcher received French President François Mitterrand there at a summit in 1990. He hosted the European Economic Round Table conference in 2002, attended by such figures as James Wolfensohn, former president of the World Bank, Nicky Oppenheimer, Warren Buffett and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In 1961, Rothschild married Serena Mary Dunn, a granddaughter of the Canadian financier Sir James Dunn, and they have four children; Hannah Mary Rothschild Brookfield (born 1962), Beth Matilda Rothschild Tomassini (born 1964), Emily "Emmy" Magda Rothschild Freeman-Attwood (born 1967) and Nathaniel Philip Victor James (born 1971).
He owns the 2015 RIBA Award winner Flint House in Buckinghamshire, UK.
Jacob Rothschild has played a prominent part in Arts philanthropy in Britain. He was Chairman of Trustees of the National Gallery from 1985 to 1991, and from 1992 to 1998, chairman of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. From 1994 to 1998, and at the invitation of the Prime Minister, he was chairman of the British National Heritage Lottery Fund responsible for distributing the proceeds of the National Lottery to the heritage sector, an influential post which oversaw the distribution of £1.2 billion in grants.
In the past, he has also been a Trustee of the State Hermitage Museum of St Petersburg (retired 2008); a Trustee of the Qatar Museums Authority (retired 2010); Chairman of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture (2002–2004); Chairman of both the Gilbert Collection Trust and the Hermitage Development Trust, Somerset House; a Trustee and Honorary Fellow of the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House; and a Fellow, Benefactor, and member of the Visitors' Committees of the Ashmolean Museum Oxford (retired 2008). In 2014, he received the J. Paul Getty Medal "for extraordinary achievement in the fields of museology, art historical research, philanthropy, conservation and conservation science".
He was especially active in the project to restore Somerset House in London, for which he helped secure the Gilbert Collection and ensured the long-term future of the Courtauld Institute of Art. As a private project, he carried out the restoration of Spencer House, one of the finest surviving 18th century London townhouses, adjacent to his own offices.
In 1988 he inherited from his aunt Dorothy de Rothschild, the Waddesdon and Eythrope estates in Buckinghamshire, and began a close association with Waddesdon Manor, the house and grounds which were built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the 1880s and bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957 by his cousin, James A. de Rothschild. He has been a major benefactor of the restoration of Waddesdon Manor through a private family charitable trust and, in an unusual arrangement, has been given authority by the National Trust to run Waddesdon Manor as a semi-independent operation. The cellars at Waddesdon Manor house his personal collection of 15,000 bottles of Rothschild wines dating as far back as 1870.
Open to the public, Waddesdon attracts over 300,000 visitors annually and has won many awards over the last 15 years, including Museum of the Year Award and Best National Trust Property.
In 1993 he joined with John Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Preston Candover to set up the Butrint Foundation to record and conserve the archaeological site of Butrint in Albania, close to his holiday home on Corfu. Today, Jacob remains Chairman of the Butrint Foundation.
Jacob Rothschild has also followed the Rothschild family's charitable interests in Israel and since 1989 has been the chairman of Yad Hanadiv, the family foundation which gave the Knesset and the Supreme Court buildings to Israel. He is also president of The Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, and Patron and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Rothschild Foundation. In addition, he is Honorary President of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.
Furthermore, he has served as a Member of the Arts & Humanities Research Board, set up by the British Government, is an honorary fellow of the British Academy and a Trustee of the Prince of Wales’ Prince’s Charities Foundation.
In the past, he has been a Member of the UK Main Honours Board, (retired 2008); Chairman of the Honours Committee for Arts and Media (retired 2008); Trustee of the Edmond J Safra Foundation (retired 2010); and a Member of committee of the Henry J Kravis Prize for Creative Philanthropy (retired 2010).
Titles, styles and honours
- In Great Britain:
- Member of the Order of Merit 2002. Appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. Members of the Order are limited in number to 24 and the order is given to those who have rendered exceptionally meritorious service in the field of the arts, learning, literature and science
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire 1997
- The Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy 2013
- Awarded honorary degrees from the universities of Oxford, London, Exeter, Keele and Newcastle and Warwick
- Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, The Royal College of Art, The Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Institute of British Architects and King’s *College London
- "Apollo Personality of the Year" 2002
- Honorary President of the Institute for Jewish Policy - 2002
- Mont Blanc Award 2004
- Tercentenary Medal for St Petersburg – 2005
- Honorary Student of Christ Church, Oxford – March 2006
- Honorary Fellow of the Courtauld Institute of Art 2007
- In the USA:
- The Hadrian Award from the World Monuments Fund - 1995
- The Classical America – Arthur Ross Award 1998
- The Iris Foundation Award – the BARD Institute 1999
- The Centennial Medal of the American Academy in Rome - 2002
- The Kennedy Center’s International Committee Lifetime Achievement Gold Medal in the Arts Award 2006
- Royal Oak Foundation "Timeless Design Award"
- The J. Paul Getty Medal 2014
- In Continental Europe:
- Commander of the Order of Henry the Navigator (1985) – Portugal
- Europa Nostra Medal of Honour in Brussels – 2003
- Freedom of the City of Saranda – Albania 2003
- Honoree of the Gennadius Library Trustees' Annual Award 2010
- National Flag Medal - Albania 2014
- In Israel:
- The Sir Winston Churchill Award (2004)
- The Weizmann Award - (50th Anniversary of the State of Israel)
- Honorary degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Honorary fellowships from City of Jerusalem and the Israel Museum, the Commonwealth Jewish Council Award.
Coat of arms
|Ancestors of Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild|