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Rothchilds recruit Rohatyn from comcast disney deal { October 13 2004 }

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October 13, 2004

Rothschild recruits former US diplomat
By Caroline Merrell

FELIX ROHATYN, the banker widely credited with saving New York City from bankruptcy during the 1970s, is to join the board of Rothschild Continuation Holdings as a non-executive director.

Mr Rohatyn, a former American ambassador to France, runs Rohatyn Associates, an advisory firm in New York. His appointment comes as the merchant bank attempts to increase business from the US .

Mr Rohatyn has a wealth of contacts in the US, and most recently was acting for Comcast on its attempt to take over Disney. Comcast eventually withdrew its hostile bid.

Mr Rohatyn said: “At a time when banking consists more and more of giant publically owned global firms, Rothschild has maintained the tradition of independent, family-controlled investment banks. I look forward to assisting the bank in furthering their strategy.”

Before becoming US ambassador, Mr Rohatyn spent 30 years at Lazard, the investment banking partnership that remains a rival to Rothschild. Mr Rohatyn had been widely expected to become overall head of Lazard, but decided instead to take on the role of US ambassador in 1997, before setting up his own firm in 2000.

Baron David de Rothschild, head of the family-controlled bank, said: “Mr Rohatyn has extraordinary business judgment and geopolitical experience. I look forward to working with him.”

Further changes are expected at Rothschild, which remains one of the last remaining old-style investment banks in the City of London.

Other non-executive directors of Rothschilds include Sir John Collins, Dixons group chairman, Lord George, the former Governor of the Bank of England, Lord Guthrie, former Chief of Defence Staff and Sir Graham Hearne, chairman of Catlin Group.

Rothschild’s profits rose 15 per cent to £22.5 million for the year to March 31.

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