Limerick-born ‘titan’ of New Zealand investment industry dies

Brian Gaynor seen as one of the most influential figures in the country’s financial services

Brian Gaynor, the Irishman who carved a name for himself as an investors' champion in New Zealand, died at the weekend aged 74.

Originally from Limerick, Mr Gaynor founded Milford Asset Management in 2003 after serving on the board of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, a sovereign wealth manager.

Milford manages assets worth more than €9 billion and is a leading provider of services to the Kiwisaver auto-enrolment workplace pension scheme in New Zeland. The company employs 170 workers and has 80,000 clients across New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Gaynor arrived in New Zealand in the 1980s and, as reported in local media, landed in investment by accident after arriving in the country “with a rucksack on my back” and running out of money. He began working with broker Daysh, Renouf & Co.

He later worked as a partner and head of research at leading New Zealand investment adviserJarden, was a member of the country's stock exchange, and chaired both the New Zealand Society of Investment Analysts and the Asian Securities Analysts Council.

He served as an adviser to former Labour Party prime minister, David Lange, in the late 1980s. He lived in the country's biggest city, Auckland.

New Zealanders best knew Mr Gaynor as a columnist for the NZ Herald newspaper and later for BusinessDesk, a wire service in which he was an investor.

Tributes from former business and media colleagues all highlighted his advocacy for the rights of small investors and for strong stock exchange regulation.

His columns regularly took contrarian positions, warning against the sale of key national New Zealand assets to overseas interests unlikely to prioritise his adopted country’s interests.

New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) chairman James Miller called Mr Gaynor a "titan" of the country'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.

Latest Stories