The Swiss and French banks owned by two branches of the Rothschild dynasty of financiers have settled a years-long dispute over the use of the family name. They agreed that neither would ever call itself just "Rothschild".
The Geneva-based Edmond de Rothschild Bank and the Paris-based counterpart Rothschild & Co announced on Friday that they had reached a deal whereby the groups cannot use the name Rothschild by itself in branding.
They agreed to “work together to protect the family name in the banking sector”.
The agreement will not involve any change for Edmond de Rothschild, which will continue its business under this brand, says the Geneva establishment on Friday. The Rothschild & Co group will retain its corporate name, but will now develop its private banking and asset management activities under the Rothschild Martin Maurel name in France, Belgium and Monaco.
The dispute dates to 2015, when the Edmond de Rothschild Group, now headed by the late Edmond's son Benjamin and his wife Ariane, took legal action against Paris-based Rothschild & Co, headed by Benjamin's nephew Alexandre.
Benjamin and Ariane accused their relatives of causing confusion by using the Rothschild name as a standalone brand, saying that potentially infringed on other family members.
Founded by Mayer Amschel Rothschild in the 18th century, the dynasty has worked on some of history's biggest deals, including helping finance Britain's war against Napoleon's France.
Edmond de Rothschild, the Swiss private bank listed in Zurich, focuses mainly on financial management activities. Meanwhile, Rothschild & Co is more specialised and recognised in mergers and acquisitions. The group is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and has a subsidiary in Switzerland, Rothschild Bank, with headquarters in Zurich. It is directed by David de Rothschild, great-grandson of Alphonse, first representative of the eldest branch of the family.
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