Session highlights: Keynote interview — Family business philanthropy: fast forward

William Lewis and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild

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The business of charity

For Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, philanthropy and family business are natural partners. After all, the success of a family business is not measured merely by profit; its impact on society matters, too.

The financial power of family business is no small matter; in the aggregate, Rothschild said, family businesses would comprise the third-largest economy in the world, after the US and China. But its social relevance is equally as important.

The family business “can nurture inclusive capitalism,” Rothschild said. It can nurture vision as well as financial ambition. And the best qualities of a well-run family business are of great value in the world of philanthropy as well: “charity is a business,” he said.

That’s one of the principles of the Eranda Rothschild Foundation, which focuses on the arts, medicine and education. Every time the foundation gives money, it tracks how and where the money is used.

“I think today you have to be careful to get the best results from your giving,” Rothschild said.

He cited the example of the Rockefeller Foundation, which dates to 1913, and the Ford Foundation, which was established in 1936. He noted that both have carried their founding sentiment forward.

“They continue to do what the family was hoping to do,’ he said.

“I think today you have to be careful to get the best results from your giving.”

- Sir Evelyn de Rothschild


EY - William Lewis

William Lewis

CEO, Dow Jones
and Publisher, Wall Street Journal

William Lewis is CEO of Dow Jones and Publisher of The Wall Street Journal. He previously served as Chief Creative Officer for News Corp., where he was responsible for setting the company’s creative strategy and developing new commercial opportunities.

Prior to joining News Corp., William served as Editor-in-Chief of Telegraph Media Group, which he joined in 2005. Under his editorship, The Daily Telegraph was named UK Newspaper of the Year in the 2010 British Press Awards.


EY - Sir Evelyn de Rothschild

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild

E.L. Rothschild LLC

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild is Chairman of E.L. Rothschild, a family investment company. He also is Chairman of the ERANDA Foundation, a family foundation he founded in 1967 to support charities working in the fields of medical research, health and welfare, education and the arts.

Sir Evelyn currently serves as a Governor Emeritus of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a Fellow of Imperial College London and an Honorary Life President of Norwood and Ravenswood Children’s Charity. From 1976 until 2003, Sir Evelyn was Chairman and CEO of NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd., the international investment bank. From 1972 until 1989, he also served as Chairman of the Economist Group and from 1977 to 1994 as Chairman of United Racecourses Ltd.

Sir Evelyn was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1989 for services to banking and finance.