MR AMSCHEL Rothschild, the heir to the British banking dynasty who was discovered hanged in a Paris hotel room, probably took his own life, police sources in Paris said yesterday.
According to initial inquiries, he had appeared depressed shortly before his death but had left no note of explanation.
His body was found at 7.30 p.m. on Monday by a chambermaid in the upmarket Bristol Hotel in Paris, where he had gone for business meetings.
The married father of three, who was of the sixth generation of the banking family, was considered the most likely successor to Sir Evelyn de Rothschild as chairman of NM Rothschild.
His death throws open the succession question once again, with the prospect of a member of the group's French branch, Mr David de Rothschild, taking over.
Mr Rothschild (41) was chairman of Rothschild Asset Management and had been tipped to succeed his cousin, Sir Evelyn (64), as chairman of the merchant bank.
Mr Rothschild entered the family business in 1988 despite having previously shown little interest in the City.
He had a reputation within the City as a reluctant banker who would have been happier on his farm near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
But he made steady, quiet progress through the bank despite a bitter split between his half-brother, the present Lord Rothschild, and Sir Evelyn.
In 1995 he joined the board of Sun Alliance, the insurance company which is merging with Royal Insurance.
Mr Rothschild was the second son of Lord Victor Rothschild, the eminent scientist and wartime MI5 agent.