Recent work on business organisation has shown how a network based upon trade can evolve into a more widely embracing trade and financial network. A growing network may also engender leaders who intermediate to reduce communication costs. This paper provides an historically based variation on such hypothesised network structures by showing that trade and finance can exist together as part of a network from the outset. New Zealand pastoral agent firms recognised from very early on that regular trading transactions between agent and farmer generated trust, reputational effects, and mutual information exchange vital for successful lending and the provision of pastoral services. Agents, and sometimes other functional groups, served as intermediating leaders as the networks grew in size and complexity.