Daughter of the ‘richest Rothschild’ stepping into the family business: Student Olivia, 20, is attending ‘every meeting’ at her mother’s perfume brand to learn trade after death of her thrill-seeking father last year
- Olivia de Rothschild is the 19-year-old daughter of the late thrill-seeking banker Benjamin de Rothschild
- She is poised to follow her mother Ariane into House of Caron, the family-owned luxury perfume business
- Olivia frequently attends company meetings, contributes ideas and has designed a perfume bottle
- Benjamin, son of financier and group founder Edmond de Rothschild, died in January 2021, aged 57
She was born into one of the world’s most powerful dynasties and it appears heiress Olivia de Rothschild is poised to follow in her parents’ footsteps.
The 19-year-old daughter of the late thrill-seeking banker Benjamin de Rothschild, who died last year aged 57, and his ambitious wife Ariane, is reportedly taking a keen interest in one of the family businesses.
The teenager, who is studying at Madrid’s IE Business School, has attended a number of meetings at House of Caron, a luxury perfume brand bought by her powerhouse mother in 2018, according to French business publication La Lettre A.
Olivia does not have a salary or official job title but has been a constant presence at the company for a number of years, offering her opinion on everything from branding and packaging to the annual financial results.
The budding businesswoman is there to ‘learn the trade’ and is set to launch her own perfume, Musc Oli, inspired by her nickname. She has already designed a bottle for the company’s Aimez-Moi Comme Je Suis fragrance.
Family business: Olivia de Rothschild, 19, left, the 19-year-old daughter of the late thrill-seeking banker Benjamin de Rothschild and his ambitious wife Ariane, is reportedly taking a keen interest in one of the family-owned companies. Pictured right, Benjamin de Rothschild, who died last year aged 57, in 2013 with his wife Ariane and daughter Noemie
On the rise: Olivia, who is studying at Madrid’s IE Business School, has attended a number of meetings at House of Caron, a luxury perfume brand bought by her powerhouse mother Ariane. Pictured, Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild in 2017
European dynasty: The entire Rothschild family descends from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a powerful 18th century banker from Frankfurt, whose sons brought the family name to London, Paris, Vienna and Naples. Olivia is the daughter of Benjamin and Ariane de Rothschild, pictured on the far lower right of the family tree
It appears she is also ready to become a more public figure, joining minor royalty and socialites the Flor de Lis Horse Trials outside Madrid earlier this month.
Yet her input has not been enough to improve Caron’s fortunes.
The business retains the same level of losses as it did when de Rothschild took over four years ago, despite sizeable investment in product development – 12 new perfumes in the last three years – and distribution, as it seeks to tap into the lucrative US market.
However Olivia’s involvement in the brand means it would be ‘out of the question’ for Ariane to sell, La Lettre A reports.
Olivia is the youngest of four daughters born to Ariane and Benjamin. Noémie, 26, studied at University of Quebec in Montreal and is now a consultant, Alice, 23, is studying Microbiology at New York University, and Eve de Rothschild, 21, is pursuing a career in environmental sciences.
The Edmond de Rothschild Group was founded in 1953 by Edmond de Rothschild, Benjamin’s influential father.
Based in Geneva, the group started out as a financial institution specialising in private banking and asset management and now encompasses the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, the lifestyle brand Edmond de Rothschild Heritage – including fine wine and cheese, luxury hotels and restaurants – and sponsors the Gitana Team, a professional sailing team.
Powerhouse: The driving force behind the Edmond de Rothschild group has long been Benjamin’s dynamic, and hugely talented, wife. Pictured: Paris National Opera dance director Benjamin Millepied, his wife actress Natalie Portman, and Ariane
Eve has just lent her name to a cuvée of Saint-Emilion Château de Malengin, one of the crus of the Edmond de Rothschild Heritage division, which is also losing money.
The driving force behind the Edmond de Rothschild group has long been Benjamin’s dynamic, and hugely talented, wife.
Seemingly the epitome of a city slicker supermum with a clutch of A-list friends, Ariane. who married into the Rothschild banking dynasty when she wed Benjamin in January 1999, has long since ensured the private investment house is a steady – and successful ship, overseeing an ambitious overhaul after the brand faltered in the early noughties and ensuring it could survive the kind of family tragedy that has sadly now ensued.
Benjamin, whose battle with heroin addiction was well documented, died of a heart attack at the couple’s grandiose home, Château de Pregny on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, in January 2021, at the age of just 57. Dubbed ‘the richest Rothschild’, he was heir to $2.5billion fortune.
Ariane met Benjamin in Manhattan in the nineties and was wooed with a dozen red roses sent to her trader desk.
Never content to lavish in the riches that such a fortune can afford, the baroness has instead been heavily involved in the bank since her husband found it in his sole control when he was just 34.
Powerful: The Edmond de Rothschild Group was founded in 1953 by Edmond de Rothschild, pictured with his wife Nadine
The ex New York banking whizz currently oversees around $194 billion in asset management finance, and unlike her late husband, is partial to a high society party or cutting the ribbon on a five-star ski hotel opening, something he became less and less comfortable with.
Far from straying from her first career, Ariane admits she relishes it, and despite taking off several years from work to raise her four daughters, once they reached school age, she said recently that she was more than happy to hand over their education to their respective private schools.
In an interview with Tatler shortly before her husband’s death she recalled how she was happy to be a hands-off parent when it came to her daughter’s schooling, saying: ‘I always said to the schools, “If my daughters have acceptable grades, don’t call me. Why do you have to keep calling?”.’
Woman about town: While her late husband shied away from parties, Ariane has embraced the high society shindigs that come with the family’s surname (Ariane pictured at the Azzedine Alaia Perfum Launch Party in Paris in 2015)
The baroness admits the bank now takes up the majority of her working life, saying: ‘Banking is 70 per cent of my time, the rest is the rest. I like to have an elastic brain.’
Among the ‘rest’ is the Parisian perfume brand the House of Caron, which has been creating fragrances for 117 years but was also desperately in need of a revamp when Ariane decided to snap it up two years ago.
There’s also a kosher wine and vineyards partnership, now 30 years old, with Royal Wine Corp plus multiple inherited vineyards across the globe including in Argentina, France and South Africa.
The family tends to promote male heirs over female ones to higher rank of the Rothschild’s, and prior to Edmond’s death, his cousin David’s son Alexander was seen at a likely successor, the FT wrote in 2016.
However, the same article noted that Ariane had discussed the issue of with Jacob Rothschild, the British financier who left NM Rothschild [the U.K. merchant bank that became part of the Rothschild Group] after a fall out in 1980.
The entire Rothschild family descends from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a powerful 18th century banker from Frankfurt, whose sons brought the family name to London, Paris, Vienna and Naples.
Despite Benjamin being the only son of Edmond de Rothschild, the scion apparently found little pleasure in being involved with the eponymous Swiss banking group.
Indeed, as Benjamin stood back, distracted by a passion for fast cars, motorbikes and high-speed yacht races – as well as big game hunting, his glamorous wife stepped up – at her husband’s request.
In 1997, he was arrested for heroin possession, and had another brush with the police in 2007 following an affray with a laser pointer.
A string of failed CEO appointments in the years before had seen profits slump by around 11 per cent, something which quickly transformed once Arine took the helm as Chief Executive and began enacting her plan to restore it to its former glory.
Outspoken Ariane, who was born Ariane Langner, enjoyed a global childhood in El Salvador, Bangladesh and Colombia thanks to her father’s job as a senior executive at an international pharmaceutical company.
Prior to Ariane’s rise to the top of the family bank, the couple were heavily involved in philanthropy, overseeing a foundation that supports education in Isreal. They also backed the Adolphe de Rothschild Foundation Hospital in Paris.
The baroness is said to be unfazed by the heavy workload that banking brings but understands passing on the investment house to her four daughters isn’t the easiest sell and she’s had to steel them for the positives and negatives in life that their famous surnames might bring, telling them: ‘You are what you do – and to rebalance the weight of the name, you need to be very strong.’
In a profile on the ‘married-in CEO’ the Financial Times said Ariane ‘had come to wield great, and controversial, authority within the family.’
THE BRITISH ARM OF THE ROTHCHILD FAMILY TREE
The British branch of the Rothschild family, in a different approach to some of their European counterparts, are very happy to mix parties and politics – and the latest generation have multiple aristocratic marriages between them.
Sisters Kate and Alice Rothschild, granddaughters of Victor, 3rd Baron Rothschild, married brothers Ben and Zac Goldsmith, respectively, in high profile weddings. Kate and Ben are now divorced. Their brother, James Rothschild married hotel heiress Nicky Hilton, sister of socialite Paris, in 2015.
Famous British members of the Rothschild family (from left): Alice Rothschild with her husband Zac Goldsmith; Kate Rothschild with her then husband Ben Goldsmith in 2011. The pair are now divorced
Meanwhile Nathaniel Rothschild, son and heir of Jacob, 4th Baron Rothschild, was married to socialite Annabelle Neilson, who died in 2018 at the age of 49. He is now married to former Page 3 girl Loretta Basey.
Nathaniel, known as Nat, also has highly publicised friendships with people such as Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska whose £80million yacht was the scene of an infamous gathering in Corfu with George Osborne and Peter Mandelson which led to Nat’s dramatic and widely reported fall-out with Mr Osborne, an old school friend.
In Europe, the Rothschild family has known tumultuous times. Amschel Rothschild, son of the 3rd Baron Rothschild who married Anita Guinness, took his own life aged 41 at the Le Bristol hotel in Paris in 1996. The French and Swiss branches of the family were also locked in a public feud over the use of the Rothschild name. It was resolved in 2018.
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