On May 16th, we were surprised and saddened to learn of the death of Brian Gaynor earlier that morning.
Brian was a staunch supporter of NZSA, with a strong passion for “doing the right thing” for retail shareholders. He was a two-time winner of the Beacon Award (in 2006 and 2020), and shared a passion for excellence in journalism and investment with NZSA.
Former NZSA Chair, John Hawkins, offered a personal reflection on his relationship with Brian and the value Brian offered to New Zealand’s investment community.
“As a mentor, his advice that “sitting on the fence” on an issue or a governance principle was never an option was an important lesson for me. Brian didn’t do wishy-washy, and it worked.
More than anything, I admired Brian for his ability and willingness to treat both large corporate players and small retail shareholders as equally valuable to the financial ecosystem. He never lost that common touch even as he built Milford Asset into the hugely successful powerhouse it is today”.
Brian was a regular speaker at NZSA events, and would always draw a large crowd as a keynote speaker. That reflected not only the respect bestowed on him from NZSA members and others in the investment community, but was also a tribute to his incisive analysis and investment skill.
His involvement in Business Desk reflected his passion for journalism and shining some sunlight on issues he felt investors needed to be aware of. My own (recent) favourite was his five-part historical summary of the NZX in the late 1980’s. As both a history buff and someone for whom investment is a passion, this was a must-read. Those articles also highlighted his long corporate memory.
Brian, we’ll miss you. Thank you for all you have done for NZSA and for ensuring fairness and transparency in our investment markets. Rest assured that this aspect of your legacy will live on in NZSA’s own values.