Edmond de Rothschild to set up merchant banking unit in London: FT

Private banking group Edmond de Rothschild is establishing a merchant banking business in London which is set to begin operations this spring, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The company is currently in the process of hiring a team of senior advisers for the London operation, the financial daily said on its website, citing people close to the situation.

The unit - which was given the nod by the Financial Services Authority last month - would be led by former Hawkpoint Chief Executive Richard Briance and would not directly compete with NM Rothschild, the paper said.

However, the unit - which would be called Edmond de Rothschild Private Merchant Banking - would be looking at ways to work with Lord Jacob Rothschild's RIT Capital Partners , the Financial Times said.

RIT and Edmond de Rothschild last year launched a joint venture to boost their fund management and investment operations.

Edmond de Rothschild could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular business hours.

Edmond de Rothschild is part of the Rothschild banking dynasty which has worked on some epochal deals during its history, including helping finance Britain's war against French military leader Napoleon.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore)