Top finance CEO exposes how financial services industry sells you fairy tales

Magda Wierzycka CEO of the Sygnia Group chats to CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies about her life, her journey in a male-dominated world of finance.

She arrived in South Africa as a refugee at the age of 13.

I spent about a year in a refugee camp - very much like the pictures you seeing from Syrian refugees. We were refugees from Poland, from communism then and arrived in South Africa not speaking the language nd with no money whatsoever.

Magda Wierzycka CEO of the Sygnia Group

Her parents were determined to rebuild their life.

South Africa has been very good to me and I am a proud South African rather than being a very proud Polish person which I'm not.

Magda Wierzycka CEO of the Sygnia Group

She says she has always had a huge desire to give back - and through Sygnia lowering costs and shaking up the industry she feels she has started to do that.

But growing up in Poland gave me one thing - and that is a very, very strong background in maths and science. Eastern Europe has been very strong always at those two education streams rather than anything else.

Magda Wierzycka CEO of the Sygnia Group

Though she could not speak the language, she was able to communicate through maths and science and was fortunate to get bursaries to study actuarial science.

But she very quickly moved into the field of investments and learned to track money in a cheap and effective way.

Magda Wierzycka gives her views on how to improve financial literacy in South Africa.

She says the levels are very low in the country.

The financial services industry in South Africa spends enormous amounts of money making sure (financial) literacy is kept at a very low level.

Magda Wierzycka CEO of the Sygnia Group

So the amount of jargon that is used, the amount of emotive advertising to make you believe fairy tales is enormous.

Magda Wierzycka CEO of the Sygnia Group

Sygnia prides itself in providing affordable and realistic asset management, stockbroking and administration services, as well as a wide range of savings products, to institutional and retail clients.

Take a listen to Magda's journey through the world of finance, how she reached the top of her game and how the financial services industry rips people off:

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Big supermarkets to be policed on food hygiene standards

Big supermarkets to be policed on food hygiene standards

JP Smith, Mayco member for Safety and Security, explains some of the measures in place to ensure food hygiene in big supermarkets.

Food labelling requirements for home industries explained

Food labelling requirements for home industries explained

This follows a concerned that home industries are now required to put nutritional facts on their products.

WC Health Dept responds to Diphtheria outbreak

WC Health Dept responds to Diphtheria outbreak

Dr John Sonnenberg voiced his concern that communication in the Helderberg area following the outbreak could have happened sooner.

Cape officials to harvest 500 million litres of new water a day

Cape officials to harvest 500 million litres of new water a day

Mayor of Cape Town speaks to CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies about plans to provide more water amidst the ongoing drought.

Why is the middle-class over-indebted?

Why is the middle-class over-indebted?

702/CapeTalk's listeners weigh in on what is causing them financial stress and what could be done to ensure some relief.

4th Industrial Revolution: 47% of jobs could disappear in 20 years

4th Industrial Revolution: 47% of jobs could disappear in 20 years

CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies speaks to CEO of Sygnia Magda Wierzycka about the impact of technology on future jobs.

Popular articles
Struggles interracial couples still face

Struggles interracial couples still face

The Open Line took an unexpected turn when a caller in an interracial relationship shared how her father rejected her partner.

10 sexting tips on how to keep things spicy (and safe)

10 sexting tips on how to keep things spicy (and safe)

Interested in sexting but worried about the risks? Dr Eve has created a guideline to help you 'sext' in a fun and responsible way.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Gospel singer Sipho Makhabane explains how Sfiso Ncwane died

Gospel singer Sipho Makhabane explains how Sfiso Ncwane died

Makhabane says Ncwane was feeling weak yesterday and his wife phoned paramedics to check on him.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Michiel le Roux speaks about the fascinating story behind the little bank that has the Big 4 shaking in their boots.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?