The French and English branches of the Rothschild banking family announced their unification on Tuesday. The two branches have been separate for two centuries. Under an agreement announced on Tuesday, the two branches will operate under a single holding company, French group Paris-Orleans.
The two branches formed at the beginning of the 19th century when the founder of the dynasty, Meyer Amschel of Frankfurt, sent his sons on a mission through Europe to develop the bank he had established.
Amschel was renamed Rothschild ("red shield" in German) by his neighbors because of the red shield which adorned his house.