A conversation with RIT Capital Partner’s Lord Rothschild

Wednesday, Dec 05 2012 by

I recently had the opportunity to listen in on an interview with Lord Jacob Rothschild and Martin Currie CEO Willie Watt, and even get to quiz him a little myself at the Martin Currie Global Economic forum in London.

If you’re a regular reader of WhichInvestmentTrust.com you’ll know we’re quite a fan of the investment trust he runs RIT Capital Partners (LON:RCP) , even though performance recently has been less than good (see table below). He and his family are large shareholders in the trust which was originally established to manage some of his family’s wealth.

Lord Rothschild has a 17% shareholding. This is important because it aligns Lord Rothschild’s personal financial interests with that of shareholders in RIT.

Lord Rothschild has quite a pedigree with financial services businesses; he was a founder of asset manager GAM, and he was involved from the beginning with wealth management business St James Place.

He is a shareholder in Scottish fund manager Martin Currie, hence the invite to speak at their annual investment shindig.


Lord Rothschild’s interview followed that of political scientist Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group, so the discussion focused initially on his take of global politics and its effect on investment managers.

“Geopolitically there is more to worry about now than at any time since the end of the cold war” he began. “Iran is hell bent on the destruction of Israel and is only probably 6 months away from having a nuclear weapon.

“Greece is in an impossible situation. Rising debt, contracting GDP, 25% unemployment and a very awkward political situation with a fragile coalition.

It seems to me that a program of austerity is self defeating. Its cuts GDP and increases debt, you have 25-30% unemployment in Spain. Austerity can’t be the solution to this”.

Pro Europe

In voicing his concern at the unchecked Euro-scepticism prevalent in the UK with many in the Conservative party and in UKIP advocating a referendum on the issue of Britain withdrawing from the European Union, Lord Rothschild highlighted a recent speech by the Polish Foreign Secretary Mr Radek Sikorski that attempted to shoot down some myths that have become commonly accepted as true in Britain. In his speech at Blenheim Palace in September, Mr Sikorski made several salient points which Lord Rothschild felt needed repeating. He reminded his audience at…

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WhichInvestmentTrust.com is designed to give you the investor information which might help with your decision on suitable investments. It is not intended as a recommendation or as financial advice. We are NOT authorised by the FSA (Financial Services Authority) to give advice. We are NOT regulated by the FSA either. Instead you should use this site and the information within it for research purposes only. The suitability of the investments discussed here will depend upon your personal circumstance. If you are unsure about its suitability for you personaly then seek the counsel of an experienced financial adviser. Considered financial advice is often greatly undervalued and is of great use in navigating the complex universe that is both investments and holistic financial planning. You should also remember that when reviewing investments past performance has been shown to be an often poor indicator of future performance, and particularly so in the short term. Before making an investment it is important to consider the risk to your capital should the investment go down in value. Substantial loses can be experienced, again this is especially so over the short term. It is also important to consider that the nature of the investments featured on WhichInvestmentTrust.com are long term in nature and should NEVER be considered over a short term horizon. Predicting the direction of investment markets on a short term basis has been shown to be incredibly difficult, and no one here at WhichInvestmentTrust.com professes to have any such experience or qualification. Dice McCairn, Editor WhichInvestmentTrust.com

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RIT Capital Partners plc is United Kingdom-based self-managed investment trust. The Company's objective is to deliver long-term capital growth, while preserving shareholders' capital; to invest without the constraints of a formal benchmark, but to deliver for shareholders increases in capital value in excess of the relevant indices over time. It invests in a diversified, international portfolio across a range of asset classes, both quoted and unquoted. Its subsidiaries are engaged in investment activities. It invests in various industries, including consumer staples and financials. Its subsidiaries include Spencer House Limited, RIT Capital Partners Arbitrage LP, RIT Capital Partners Securities Limited, Atlantic and General Investment Trust Limited, RIT Capital Partners Associates Limited and Hornwood Investments NV. J Rothschild Capital Management Limited (JRCM) is the manager of the Company. more »

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3 Comments on this Article show/hide all

Peter Coffey 6th Oct 1 of 3

Informative. However, Lord Rothschild staled that Europe export to UK are 11$ whilst we export 50% to Europe. My understanding is that have an import deficit with Europe of 50bn which would make us their biggest customer.

Which information is correct?

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swanvesta 7th Oct 2 of 3

In reply to post #519181

Obviously EU exports (in total) are much larger than UK exports. And 11% of their larger number is greater than 50% of our smaller number.

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Laughton 7th Oct 3 of 3

I must be missing something - but isn't the original post and the referred to interview from 7 years ago? In which case maybe the figures are now somewhat out of date.

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About WhichInvestmentTrust


Private investor and publisher of WhichInvestmentTrust.com. i have several years of experience as an investor both of equities in the market and in the investment trusts sector.


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