Executive Insights

Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka just gave her husband R215 million worth of shares – in a ‘restructuring of their personal interests’

Business Insider SA

  • One of SA’s richest women, Synia CEO Magda Wierzycka, gifted her husband more than R215 million in shares. 
  • Sygnia described the transaction as a "restructuring" of the couple’s interest in the comapny. 
  • Wierzycka and her husband collectively own roughbly 30% of Sygnia. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sygnia chief executive officer Magda Wierzycka - one of South Africa’s richest women – gave her husband Simon Peile more than R215 million worth of shares, a regulatory filing on Tuesday showed.

In a Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) announcement, Sygnia said Wierzycka donated 22,691,332 shares worth R215,567,654 to Peile on Friday. 

“The share dealings referred to above represent a restructuring of their personal interests in Sygnia,” the company said. 

Wierzycka and Peile co-founded Sygnia in 2006, and manages over R195 billion in assets.

Cape Town-based Sygnia did not want to answer questions about the transaction.

Wierzycka was a fierce critic of state capture during president Jacob Zuma’s administration, and promised to employ a whistleblower which exposed Eskom corruption. 

She arrived in South Africa at the age of 13 when her family immigrated from Poland. She said she wasn’t able to speak English when she arrived, and worked at a supermarket to support her family.

In an interview with IOL, Wierzycka said she always knew there would be a trade-off between being a full-time mother, executive and wife.

Wierzycka said she’s never taken her children to school, and praised her husband's culinary skills. 

In the interview, Wierzycka said that "women work harder than men".

Property that falls within the joint estate of spouses can be donated between them without any tax being payable.