Even as a lad, the young Brian Gaynor wasn't afraid of standing up for his opinions, mourners heard at his funeral at St Patrick's Cathedral in Auckland.

His brother, Dermot Gaynor, said Brian's first television appearance was the forerunner of many controversial appearances for the financial columnist, fund manager and passionate sports fan.

As a lad, Brian put a question to Ireland's Teen Talk show – and then went on to disagree with an expert panellist, enthusiastically debating his point.

"He showed early signs of a man with the confidence and courage to put out his opinions in a public forum," his brother said.

Over his career, Brian went on to make many TV appearances and was never afraid to express his views, mourners heard.

Spirit and passion

The cathedral was filled with Brian's family, friends, colleagues and those who followed his popular columns at BusinessDesk and before that, the NZ Herald and the National Business Review.

Gaynor died earlier this week after a short illness.

Brian's son, Peter Gaynor, said his father's three passions were sport, business and journalism, and that he was rarely seen without a newspaper under his arm.

Peter said his father's greatest love and legacy was fund management firm Milford Asset Management, which he co-founded.

Friends said Brian was remarkable for believing that business was part of society, so high morals and ethics should apply to it.

Brian's spirit and passion will live on and inspire his colleagues at Milford Asset Management and here at BusinessDesk.