Extract from MONEY MATTERS - by Harold Fridjon.

Chris Freemantle ... An unassuming youngster among high priests.

Top marks to Alf Chapman, a member of The Star's photographic team, for getting a picture of Chris Freemantle that really captures the personality of the new JSE President.

Chris freezes in front of a camera much to the dismay of the happy-snaps brigade who usually produce results which leave him looking like a target for a firing squad.

This is unkind; there is nothing tied-to-a-pole and helpless about Chris Freemantle.  He's poised, confident, with an easy sense of humour and no side.

He's as down to earth as they come with, well almost, a hereditary disregard for pomp and ceremony.  His father, Eric, was like that and Chris, the atypical successful man's son, has never taken his inheritance for granted.  He's worked at it and projected his personality into the firm without diminishing Eric's standards, attitudes and realism.


The old man had no pompous illusions about stockbroking and the stock exchange.  To him it was a business which he enjoyed and handled creatively, imaginatively and successfully.  One of Europe's leading brokers once described Eric to me as a world market figure.

Broking was a trade one worked at and played according to the rules, not because the rules as such bound one, but for the more pragmatic reason that if the rules were not upheld the market would degenerate into chaos.

Too many people connected with the Exchange see what is really a tough trading market place as a temple of finance, and brokers as high priests - with unblemished souls.

Instead, there are some souls among them which could do with a little purifying: the members include some fine businessmen with a highly developed sense of fiduciary responsibility as well as good fellows who try hard.  And will never let you down.

But they are all human beings, fallible and, these days, battling to make a living.  The JSE which is hard and cut-throat is also warm and alive with people.  Perhaps if Chris can project the people image of the place, he will manage to bring the people back to it.

What is needed is a young man's view with an eye to the future; not the older generation acting like a Lot's wife salted and petrified from always looking back.  Thank Goodness Chris is a young man.

Owen Freemantle wrote in October, 1991 that Christopher was farming in the Barberton district.

Chris Freemantle passed away 15th October 2015, in Grabouw, outside Cape Town in South Africa.