The Midland Fire and Assurance Trust Company Ltd was established on 1 August 1856 in Graaff-Reinet.
The reason for the establishment of the company was to serve the people of Graaff-Reinet and the surrounding area with traditional trust company services such as estate administration, investments, granting of loans/bonds and banking services etc.
The main was personal service from local staff and a local board of directors.
Mr S A Probart was proposed by W E Nathan and seconded by P Caro to be the first chairman of the board of directors.
The company’s name was later changed to Midland Agency and Trust Company Ltd.
Midland Agency and Trust Company Ltd merged with The Graaff-Reinet Board of Executors, which was later taken over by Syfrets Trust Company Ltd during 1969 to become Syfrets Trust and Executor Ltd (Graaff-Reinet).
The board of directors was retained, chaired by Dr C J J van Heerden.
During 1989 it became apparent that Syfrets Trust was planning to centralise all its operations and that Graaff-Reinet would be closed unless a suitable purchaser could be found.
The board of directors, chaired by John David Herold, negotiated with Bloemfontein Board of Executors and the shares were purchased by them in April 1989.
The existing directors were retained and the company name changed to Midland Board of Executors Ltd, Colin Hickling from Bloemfontein Board of Executors joining the board.
Bloemfontein Board of Executors decided to sell their shares to Gerber, Botha & Gowar on 30 April 1993 and the name changed once again to Gerber, Botha & Gowar Financial Services Pty Ltd.
The board was retained and Richard Rubidge elected chairman.
The directors, together with André Olivier, who had been with the company since 1987, made a proposal to Gerber, Botha & Gowar to purchase the shares of the company and the proposal was accepted on 1 August 1998.
André Olivier allowed clients of the company to purchase shares and therewith revert to the initial idea that the shares of the company be held by local people.
The name was changed to Midboard Financial Services (Pty) Ltd.
It is interesting to note that this was the same date on which the original company was founded 142 years before.
The chairman of the board was Everitt Murray.
During all these changes the original reason for the establishing of a “trust company” remained exactly the same and the same personal and confidential service to local people endured.
The decision was taken to take this a step further and to appoint experts in every field of service and this was put into practise with the new appointments.
André Olivier and A C Knott-Craig proposed to the board of directors to purchase all the shares from the existing shareholders to enable the staff to hold all the shares.
This deal was concluded in August 2007 and the shares of the company are now held by André Olivier, Andrew (A C) Knott-Craig and John Crankshaw.
The company was recently converted into a close corporation. Midboard Financial Services CC still underwrites the original reason for the establishing of the company but has taken a few steps further by adding additional services and by appointing experts in every field of service.
Midboard is now the only one stop financial services provider in Graaff-Reinet.