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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