Gerhard Schröder, the former Chancellor of Germany, will from April spearhead NM Rothschild’s expansion in Central and Eastern Europe.
Herr Schröder’s first task as part of the investment bank’s European advisory council will be to evaluate whether to open the bank’s first offices in Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
Rothschild also hopes that his contacts with senior politicians will help the bank to secure a large slice of the torrent of privatisation mandates expected in the region.
Herr Schröder will earn an estimated £100,000 and have to attend only six meetings a year but will also be on call in his capacity as an adviser. He will be asked to evaluate opportunities for the bank in Asia, with a view to setting up new offices in countries there.
A spokesman for Rothschild said: “Because of his time in the German Government, Gerhard Schröder has particularly good contacts in some of the Soviet states which have recently joined the EU. He is a public figure and can play an ambassadorial role, which will be very useful to Rothschild. But he will not be involved in transactions or bank-related issues in Germany.”
Herr Schröder left politics last November. The following month he announced he was taking a leading advisory role at Gazprom, the Russian gas company, and would oversee the construction of a pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea.
He will be in good company on Rothschild’s ten-person European advisory council, which is chaired by Lord George, the former Governor of the Bank of England.
Lord Vallance, the former chairman of British Telecom, and Douglas Daft, a former chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola, are also on the council at the bank, which has 40 offices in 33 countries and employs about 2,000 staff.
Herr Schröder said of his appointment: “I am delighted to join the European advisory council of Rothschild.
“The bank has a distinguished international reputation, has built leadership positions as an independent adviser in Europe and the Americas and is developing its market share in Asia.”
The above may explain why one of Schröder’s last acts in office was to sell, at a substantially reduced cost, two extra dolphin class submarines to Israel, in addition to an already agreed sale. The submarines are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles and significantly increase Israel’s nuclear arsenal and second strike capability. Ed.