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Brian Gaynor: ‘A titan of the capital markets’

Tributes roll in for influential fund manager and columnist.

NBR staff Mon, 16 May 2022

Brian Gaynor, co-founder of Milford Asset management, stock market analyst, commentator and investment industry leader, has died after a short illness.

He was 73.

Although he was instrumental in building Milford into one of the country’s most successful fund managers, Ireland-born Gaynor was perhaps best known for his regular and influential weekly columns. His columnist career was established in NBR with Shareholders' Corner in the mid 1990s before shifting to the NZ Herald, where he appeared for two decades until his investment in an online startup BusinessDesk in 2019.

His staunch and consistent advocacy of a level playing field for investors, as well as keen support of New Zealand capital markets, won him many plaudits over the years.

In a statement, Milford noted his passing with “great sadness”.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Brian’s family at this very sad time,” the firm said.

“Brian was one of the founders of our company in 2003. The values, commitment, and skill he applied to the firm and our people were instrumental in creating the organisation we have today.

“His dedication and determination to providing New Zealanders with good financial education and information, investment funds and advice has endured, and will be part of his legacy.

“Brian was a driving force of both our organisation and our industry, and we will remember him as a leader, a mentor and a friend.”

In 2020 he won a Beacon award from the NZ Shareholders' Association, not for the first time, with the organisation noting his quality of thought and communication.

He has demonstrated that he is unafraid when it comes to ‘rocking the boat’ of investment institutions – despite being part of that group.

“He has demonstrated a deep desire to see companies and institutions ‘do the right thing’ rather than ‘chase the highest bonus’,” it said.

NZX chair James Miller

From equity analyst to entrepreneurial fund manager

NZX chair James Miller said Gaynor was “a titan of New Zealand’s capital markets”.

“Brian would be one of most influential people in the 150-year history of New Zealand’s capital markets and the NZX,” he said.

“He had an amazing career from equity analyst to entrepreneurial fund manager, while also being a leading business commentator.

“Brian was a highly visible leader with a first-class intellect who was passionate about capital markets and the role they played in the wider economy.

“We both shared a deep passion for the success of the New Zealand capital markets. His contribution will be sadly missed.”

Strong independent NZ stock exchange

NZX chief executive Mark Peterson said Gaynor had championed a strong and independent New Zealand stock exchange.

“Brian highlighted the important role markets play in economic growth by providing capital to businesses, enabling jobs and growth, and a higher standard of living for New Zealanders,” said Peterson.

“One of his great strengths was his willingness to foster debate by openly and courageously sharing his views. He had incredible market knowledge, history and insights.”

“On behalf of NZX, we send our sympathies and thoughts to Brian’s family and the team at Milford.”

The ticker on the NZX building today.


NBR staff Mon, 16 May 2022
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Brian Gaynor: ‘A titan of the capital markets’