ROB ROSE: Financial Mail – a six-decade bulwark
This magazine was created to be the voice for business, but its initial spirit of sharp inquiry didn’t always sit well with either politicians or CEOs
Laurence Gandar, the former editor of the Rand Daily Mail, says the idea first crossed his mind to launch this publication in 1956. At the time, Gandar was working at Anglo American, and he put together a proposal for the mining house to finance a "top-flight journal, after the style of The Economist and the Investors Chronicle". Anglo demurred, fearing a conflict of interest, so Gandar approached Henri Kuiper, the MD of SA Associated Newspapers, which eventually became Tiso Blackstar.
On March 6 1959, SA’s first standalone business newspaper launched, with an embarrassment of monochrome adverts from stalwarts like Old Mutual, Standard Bank ("the oldest name in SA banking") and, of course, Anglo American. (In one ad, Siemens breathlessly punts an invention: "One telephone on your desk doing the job of two.")