Wealth Management: Investment Views – Combining business with humanity: Foreword

Dr. Carlos Mejia, CIO, Rothschild & Co Bank AG, Wealth Management

The European banker Siegmund Warburg wrote in 1926 of his summer working in the Rothschild family's offices in New Court, London:

“You provided me with many opportunities to learn. I learnt quite a lot of details of business-machinery. But I learnt something also which will be far more important to me in my future life. This is the fine tradition of New Court which combines business with humanity, without neglecting either.”

Combining business with humanity, without neglecting either, is a core value of the Rothschild family and is illustrated in the numerous social housing projects which the family sponsored in London and Paris during the 20th century.

Yet it is arguably now in the 21st century that such values are needed more than ever and are finding a champion in the financial sector through the rise of responsible investing. In the decade following the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, the world's capital and its investors are under increasing scrutiny. Business' impact on environmental, social and governance (ESG) affairs are being questioned by a new generation of investors looking to measure not just financial but also social impact. For investors, this requires looking to the long term:

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

We are reminded by Warren Buffet, of the power of planning, foresight and prudence in bringing about social good. From Extinction Rebellion to corporate governance activists, the world is waking up to the need to plant shade for future generations. In the first of a series of publications exploring the many facets of responsible investing, we interview experts from across Rothschild & Co's businesses on how we approach responsible investing and what it means for our clients today.

Click here to continue: Investment Views - Responsible investments


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