Ariane de Rothschild: ‘I’m just the one taking the heat’
As we cross the Geneva head office of Edmond de Rothschild, the private bank and asset management group, on our way to lunch, Ariane de Rothschild opens a door. “I’ll just show you the birds,” she says. We enter a room lined with display cases full of hummingbirds, stuffed in the 19th century for a French collection. Each bird is mounted on a branch, its breast feathers iridescent and its long bill poised as if to probe pollen from a flower. The birds look vividly out of place in this sober temple to the accumulation of great wealth. Baroness de Rothschild recalls how she read about the dusty collection in a magazine, acquired it and had it painstakingly restored before moving it to this office. “I said it will be good for the bankers, and I thought they were going to make fun of me but they really like it. So I achieved what I wanted. I said, ‘Please can you open your minds to other things around you?’ ” There is something of her hummingbirds in de Rothschild, a ...
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