Edmond de Rothschild’s married-in CEO has ‘controversial authority’ in family

Ariane de Rothschild, CEO of private bank and asset management group Edmond de Rothschild, “holds the famous name by marriage, but has come to wield great, and controversial, authority within the family,” Financial Times columnist John Gapper wrote in a “Lunch with the FT” profile. Ariane’s husband, Benjamin, is the son of founder Edmond de Rothschild.

The couple met when Ariane was working in Paris for AIG, where Benjamin was a client, the article said.

Edmond de Rothschild is engaged in a legal battle with the French-British Rothschild Group, which specializes in mergers and acquisitions and is run by David de Rothschild, Benjamin’s cousin. The dispute centers on whether the Rothschild Group may use the name without adding a first name or initials to make clear that it is only one branch. Ariane “insists that David de Rothschild broke centuries of oral tradition by adopting the Rothschild & Co. name in September, which he denies,” the FT article said.

Although she acknowledged to Gapper that most people view the Rothschild Group as the main branch, Ariane noted that Edmond de Rothschild is three times bigger. “Make your space and don’t infringe on mine,” she said. “This is not an immature or volatile decision, it’s business.”

"Traditionally, the male Rothschilds either tended to marry Jews or their wives converted to the Jewish faith,” but Ariane has not converted, the FT profile said. “It’s much worse to convert and not to believe,” she told Gapper.

Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild are the parents of daughters who range in age from 13 to 20. “The Rothschilds traditionally stick to male primogeniture and David de Rothschild’s son Alexandre is seen as his likely successor,” the FT article said. [Ariane] believes this tradition should be reformed, a topic she has discussed with Jacob Rothschild, the British financier who left NM Rothschild [the U.K. merchant bank that became part of the Rothschild Group] in 1980 after falling out with his cousin Evelyn. Lord Rothschild’s RIT Capital formed an asset management partnership with Edmond de Rothschild four years ago,” the article said.  (Source: Financial Times, March 5-6, 2016.)