Ariane de Rothschild: ‘I’m just the one taking the heat’

5th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

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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