EXCLUSIVE: Sygnia drags its critics to court
Magda Wierzycka riles up brokers and financial advisers who claim she is trying to win over their customers
Magda Wierzycka, the increasingly prominent anti-graft valkyrie of SA’s business scene, has upset more than a few industry insiders with conduct they describe as “highly unethical”. But the Sygnia CEO has hit back at critics and slapped etfSA.co.za — a platform for accessing exchange traded funds (ETFs) — with a summons and the legal might of Wim Trengove SC, over what she calls “defamatory” statements. It all stems from Sygnia’s R325m acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s popular db-x tracker ETFs earlier this year. The db-x trackers were the first to offer local investors offshore index fund exposure and have built up a considerable following among retail customers. Sygnia’s purchase raised more than a few eyebrows, Wierzycka having been a vocal critic of ETFs and their fee structures in the past. However, the purchase added R11.3bn to assets under management overnight — critical to a company like Sygnia that is intent on building scale.But Sasfin Securities deputy chairman David Shapiro...