Caisse buys into Rothschild empire

Quebec's Caisse de depot pension fund has linked up with one of the Rothschild banking empire in France.

The largest Canadian pension fund has linked up with one of the most storied names in European business.

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Quebec said on Monday that it has bought about 10 per cent of La Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild, a private French bank owned by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild and his family.

The Caisse invested more than 50 million euros to buy shares in the company, part of the LCF Rothschild Group.

The money will boost the Paris branch of LCF Rothschild, which specializes in wealth management, corporate advice and insurance brokerage.

The Paris branch manages assets worth about 20 billion euros, and has grown about 20 per cent a year since Benjamin de Rothschild became chairperson in 1997, the caisse said.

The Rothschild family traces its banking history to 1769, when five Rothschild brothers from Frankfurt, Germany, set up closely linked operations across Europe.

Their daily exchange of encoded market information by courier helped make them " the best informed and most internationally effective banking group in the world," the Rothschild website says.

The group helped organize the financial system the Duke of Wellington used in his battle with Napoleon in Spain in the early 19th century, and it helped the British government buy control of the Suez Canal in 1875.

The Rothschild name is today closely linked with winemaking.