Sygnia joint chief executive Magda Wierzycka steps down

Co-founder and joint chief executive officer of financial services firm Sygnia, Magda Wierzycka, will step down from the position at the end of May 2021, the group announced.

Wierzycka will remain involved in the company as a non-executive director, while David Hufton, who currently shares the role as joint-CEO, will assume the role of sole chief executive on 1 June 2021.

“After successfully leading Sygnia since its inception in 2006, Wierzycka will continue to play a key role in shaping the strategic direction of the Company together with its executive team and the board of directors,” the group said.

Wierzycka and her associates will retain their majority shareholding in the company.

Hufton was appointed as deputy chief executive officer of the company in July 2018 and as a joint-CEO in April 2020.

In December 2020, Sygnia reported growth in assets under management of 5.6% to R251.8 billion for the financial period ended September 2020. This, despite an economically turbulent environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

During the same period, it noted that the FTSE/JSE All Share Index returned 2%, the JSE All Bond Composite Index 3.6% and the MSCI World Index, in rands, 21.6%.

The company pointed to a mixture of low-cost strategies and a strong focus on macroeconomic trends, for its active asset allocation decisions.

In terms of financial performance, total revenue, at R661 million, climbed by 30.1% (2019: R508.1 million), while total expenses, at R381.9 million, increased by 12.5% (2019: R339.4 million).

The increase in expenses was primarily driven by higher staff costs associated with increased business activity, an increase in trading, custody and administration costs and marketing expenditure.

Diluted headline earnings per share climbed by 64.6% year-on-year from 87.3 cents to 143.7 cents per share; headline earnings per share is up 66.6% from 87.9 cents to 146.4 cents per share; the total dividend per share swelled by 83.33% from 60.0 cents to 110.0 cents per share; and profit after tax rose by 63.7% from R125.9 million to R206.1 million.


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Sygnia joint chief executive Magda Wierzycka steps down