Origins of business with Mexico
Just two years before Mexico became an independent nation in 1810, Nathan Mayer Rothschild set up business in London as a merchant and banker. As the mineral wealth of Mexico began to be explored more fully in the 1830s, the Rothschild family saw an opportunity to sell mercury to the mining community. In 1838 the bank appointed the company, William de Drusina & Co. of Mexico City, as its agents to carry on this work.
With this connection in place, trade soon developed. Drusina shipped gold back to Europe on behalf of N M Rothschild & Sons where it was refined and traded. At the same time, Mexican cochineal was amongst a range of products that were shipped to NMR in London for sale throughout Europe. Business grew and in 1843, Lionel Davidson, a cousin of the Rothschild family, was sent to Mexico to strengthen the links and to take charge of the mercury side of the business. Impressed by the country, the Rothschild family invested in an ironworks at San Rafael which they held for several decades and also began to import English goods, in particular iron, for use on Mexico’s developing railroad network. By the 1880s, the Rothschilds’ Paris bank followed London and took a large stake in a Mexican copper mine. Fifty years after their first steps in Mexico, Rothschild was well rooted in Mexican soil.
The modern era
Building upon these early roots, N M Rothschild & Sons established an office in Mexico in 1970, and over the next decade, the late Mr Leopold de Rothschild (1927-2012) led several trade missions of British businessmen to Mexico. Almost every year during the 1970s, N M Rothschild & Sons participated as underwriter in substantial bond issues on behalf of the United Mexican States (including Mexico’s first international bond issue in 1973) and for Petroleos Mexicanos and Telefonos de Mexico. It also raised finance for the purchase of “Azteca” patrol boats for the Mexican Navy and arranged credit facilities for a number of Mexican and international companies operating in Mexico, including Asea de Mexico, AGA de Mexico and Fraccionadora y Hotelera del Pacifico. In 1973, Mr Leopold de Rothschild arranged a meeting at Windsor Castle between leading British businessmen and the President of Mexico and organised a delegation of British businessmen to accompany the Queen on her State Visit to Mexico in 1975.
In 1992, N M Rothschild & Sons (Mexico) S.A. de C.V. was incorporated to consolidate the Rothschild presence in Mexico. Partners in this venture were the Matte Group.
Rothschild Mexico: photographs, c.1997
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Rothschild Mexico: photograph of office building of Rothschild México, Campos Eliseos 345, 8 Col. Polanco, 11550 México DF.
Rothschild Mexico: marketing materials, c.1997
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Rothschild Mexico: note on services provided by Rothschild Mexico.