A while back I found a lengthy article about billionaire merchant banker and landowner Bruno Schroder, owner of Dunlossit Castle near Port Askaig, and his family. The article, completely in German, paints an interesting portrait of the bankers family, their history, and their current (financial) position. I’ve translated a section of the page, the part that relates to Islay, into English with a little help from Google Translate. A translated quote:
“The Schroders company has its headquarters in London. In 25 countries they operate 32 offices with 2,900 employees. It manages assets for private and institutional investors and pension funds and is active in private banking. Bruno Baron von Schroder, as he is known in Germany, lives on the Dunlossit Estate on the Scottish island of Islay. There are not too many people, but 30 000 sheep – 2,000 of them are his own – a few thousand stags, a place called Black Rock and the Laphroaig distillery, which burns a fairly strict Scotch to match the climate of Scotland’s west coast. Schroders favorite dram comes from Bruichladdich, also on Islay, and does not taste quite as peaty.”
“It’s nice to live there,” he told the Swiss business magazine “Balance”. “Nobody cares whether you have money or a title.” On Islay he is simply called “Mr. Bruno.” He is not judged about his background, but they accept the lifestyle and appreciate the fact that he is doing something for the people on Islay. So he and his sister Charmaine put 675 000 pounds in a new coastal lifeboat. It is named Helmut Schroder II, after his father. And when the Islay Airport has its open day, Mr. Bruno takes on a round with the Islanders in his private plane. Free of charge.
“Bruno Schroder is not the first to be so active. The idea of giving back to society by its own success, runs through the history of Schroeder as a centuries-old thread. On lists of the UK’s most generous the Schroders can be found regularly in front.”
Google Translate provides a fairly decent translation although it does fail from time to time. I personally think it’s a good enough translation if you are interested in the background of the Schroders.