Print this article

Rothschild Dynasty Brings In Outsider As New Wealth Chair

Mark Shapland

3 December 2014

In a heavy break with tradition, the Rothschild banking dynasty has picked a non-family member as chairman of its wealth and Zurich businesses for the first time.

& Trust and Bank Zurich - which is over 200 years old - has appointed Bruno Pfister chairman, succeeding Baron Eric de Rothschild who had held the post for 14 years. Meanwhile Alexandre de Rothschild will join the board of directors of Rothschild Bank in Zurich, ensuring the continuity of family involvement in its business in Switzerland.

The retiring chairman Baron Eric de Rothschild is a cousin of David de Rothschild, current group chairman, and is also a great, great, great grandson of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild dynasty.

It is the first time that a non-Rothschild family member has been chairman of Rothschild Wealth Management & Trust, a spokesperson confirmed, before adding that the family will still play a key role in its running.

"The family remains fully committed to the Wealth Management & Trust business. Alexandre de Rothschild (Baron David de Rothschild’s son) who is already deeply involved with the wealth and asset management businesses, will join the RBZ board, ensuring the continuity of family involvement in WM&T," the spokesperson added.

Pfister joins Rothschild this month and is based in Zurich. He will work closely with Veit d Maddalena and Rick Martin, co-chief executives of Rothschild‘s Wealth Management & Trust business. He will also become a member of the Rothschild Group Management Committee.

Pfister joins from Swiss Life where he became head of the international business and was then appointed to chief executive. 

"Bruno is an impressive addition to the senior cadre of individuals in Rothschild. My thanks go to Eric, my cousin, for leading the business over these years,"  said David de Rothschild.