Prominent UK financier Jacob Rothschild dies at 87

LONDON: British financier Jacob Rothschild, a prominent member of the Rothschild banking empire and philanthropist, has died at the age of 87, his family announced Monday.

"Our father Jacob was a towering presence in many people's lives, a superbly accomplished financier, a champion of the arts and culture," said a family statement.

It noted he was also "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." The statement did not say when he died.

Rothschild was born in Berkshire, west of London, in 1936, the eldest son of Victor Rothschild, a British scientist, intelligence officer and oil executive who advised both Conservative and Labour governments.

Jacob Rothschild, a member of the UK parliament's upper House of Lords between 1991 and 1999, started his career in the family bank, NM Rothschild & Sons.

He left to co-found J. Rothschild Assurance Group, now St James's Place which has become one of Europe's biggest fund and wealth managers, controlling assets of more than 155 billion pounds (US$195 billion).

He used his fortune to fund issues close to his heart, including Jewish causes, education and art.

He was chairman of trustees at The National Gallery, with his love for art extending to sitting for portraits by painters Lucian Freud and David Hockney.

He was married to wife Serena, who died in 2019, and had four children – Hannah, Beth, Emily and Nat.--AFP

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