I dedicate this foreword to recognising the extraordinary contribution made to SA’s financial services industry by outgoing JSE Chairman Humphrey Borkum, who started in our industry doing odd jobs at his father’s stockbroking firm when he was a schoolboy.

More than 50 years later, Humphrey’s influence on the direction of our industry and the stock exchange itself at significant junctions in our history cannot be underestimated. Whether that was opening the JSE to international membership and negotiated commissions, closing the trading floor in Diagonal Street or moving the JSE from down-town Johannesburg to Sandton, Humphrey was an important part of all of those conversations.

He was also an important supporter of the stock exchange, taking a strong stance against antiquated market behaviour and introducing modern governance systems and world class regulatory standards as far back as the mid 1990s. It would not be going too far to say that those early brave steps laid the foundation for the JSE now being recognised for the fourth year in a row as the most effectively regulated financial market in the world.

Humphrey was Chairman of the JSE from 1991–1993, before the JSE demutualised, and has been in this role for the past 12 years where he filled the position with great generosity and engagement.

He was always careful to set the right tone for any discussions, but careful not to dominate them. Humphrey’s wisdom and insight, always spot on and gently offered, has been an enormous resource for myself and I know too for my predecessors Roy Andersen and Russell Loubser.

A stock exchange is a complicated business, but some of what we do has lots of ceremony. Humphrey, often accompanied by his very special wife Cheryl, supported those aspects of our life fully. I think that he would agree that presiding over the listing of the JSE in 2006 in the company of Cheryl, his son Anton and his late father Max, ranks among his most treasured memories.

It is rare, particularly in our industry, to recognise such an extraordinary commitment over such a length of time. To be able to do that for such a special man is an enormous privilege for me personally.

I join everyone at the JSE in paying tribute to Humphrey – all that he is and all that he has meant to us. We wish him well as he moves on to the next part of his journey.

Nicky Newton-King
Chief Executive Officer, JSE

April 2014
Image: Hanlie Huisamen