The New Court ethic: 'the fine tradition of New Court which combines business with humanity, without neglecting either': letter from Siegmund Warburg to Lionel de Rothschild and Anthony de Rothschild, 1926
As Rothschild waves goodbye to its summer interns for another year, we pause to reflect on their equivalent nearly 90 years ago.
Sir Siegmund George Warburg (1902-1982) was a German-born English banker. He was a member of the prominent Warburg family, and played an important role in the development of merchant banking.
In 1926, Siegmund spent time at New Court, under the tutelage of Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942) and his brother Anthony (1887-1961). His time at the London house obviously made an impression, as his gracious thank-you letter shows.
Warburg was later to become a senior City figure who firmly believed that financial integration of Europe was an essential step in the development of the European economy. He managed the firm he created, S.G. Warburg & Co. until the 1970s. S.G. Warburg & Co. was later acquired by UBS AG, creating UBS Warburg, which then became UBS AG.
London, 1st November 1926
Dear Mr Lionel de Rothschild, dear Mr Anthony de Rothschild
At the moment of leaving London I wish to tell you how grateful I am to you for the time I was allowed to spend at New Court which I consider a great honour. 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. To learn such a combination is particularly valuable to somebody from the continent where so often humanity is killed by business. When one has stayed for some time at a certain place and felt more and more at home there, a feeling of attachment accompanies one after having left such a place. That will be very strongly the case with me towards New Court. I shall always think with great pleasure of the months I spent here and I will be very glad indeed whenever I shall be able to bring about any business or other reasons for visiting New Court again. With many thanks for very much kindness allow me to say “Auf Wiedersehen”. With best wishes and kind regards
RAL reference: RAL XI/111/433