Lord Rothschild steps down as RIT chair

Rothschild’s daughter among several new appointments to the £3.2bn trust

Lord Jacob Rothschild is to step down as chairman from RIT Capital Partners but will stay on as president of the company.

Rothschild will be succeeded by Sir James Leigh-Pemberton at the end of September this year. Leigh-Pemberton currently serves as deputy chairman of UK Government Investments and is the son of former Bank of England governor and life peer Robin Leigh-Pemberton, Baron Kingsdown.

The succession planning had already been well under way after Rothschild told shareholders he would be stepping back from day-to-day activity several years ago.

During that time the board established an executive committee at RIT’s investment manager J Rothschild Capital Management (JRCM) to handle the daily business of the company and manage the investment portfolio.

Additionally it reshuffled the C-suite of JRCM, installing Ron Tabbouche as CIO and Francesco Goedhuis as CEO, while also “strengthening” the RIT board with several new directors, including Lord Rothschild’s daughter, Hannah Rothschild.

Appointing Leigh-Pemberton as chair of the trust was “the final piece of the plan,” Rothschild said in a statement on Thursday.

Leigh-Pemberton previously served as a director of RIT between 2004 and 2013. He began his career at Warburgs and then moved to Credit Suisse, where he became head of European investment banking, head of European equity markets, then chairman of UK investment banking and finally chief executive of Credit Suisse in the UK. In 2013 he became chief executive of UK Financial Investments, which later merged with UK Government Investments.

“I have known James for two decades and more – in that time he has shown himself to be a man of integrity, decency and vision. All attributes which, together with his extensive experience of financial markets and outstanding reputation, will serve him well as chairman of RIT,” Rothschild said. “I couldn’t wish for a better person to chair our company. As I have told shareholders often in recent years, the JRCM management team are settled and skilled. We are fortunate to have such a talented, dedicated and focused management team to take us forward.”

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