Survé calls Wierzycka 'delusional', but she's ready to testify at PIC Inquiry

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Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka. (Photo: Finweeek)
Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka. (Photo: Finweeek)

Businessperson Magda Wierzycka has reiterated she is prepared to testify at the PIC inquiry that Dr Iqbal Survé said he had suspended PIC executive Fidelis Madavo "in his pocket".

Wierzycka spoke to Fin24 by phone on Tuesday afternoon, in response to statements Survé made about her in his testimony to the inquiry probing the affairs of Africa's largest asset manager.

Survé on Tuesday appeared before the inquiry, where he was asked whether he knew Madavo and Wierzycka, and if he had sat at a table with both of them at the Raging Bull Awards in 2016. Independent Media, which Survé chairs, is one of the sponsors of the event, which recognises top performers in the financial services and investment industry.

Responding to questions about knowing Madavo, Survé said there was "nothing unusual" about sitting with him at a table. Madavo, the head of investments at the PIC, was suspended earlier this year over the PIC's investment in AYO Technology Solutions.

Survé holds an indirect stake in AYO through African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI).

When asked about Wierzycka's willingness to appear before the inquiry to testify about Survé's comments about having Madavo in his pocket, Survé said he would have needed to have a "very big pocket" for that to be true, before calling Wierzycka delusional.

"This woman is delusional. Look at her tweets, what she says. Look at her conduct. She needs a psychiatrist," he said.

Wierzycka told Fin24 that she would not respond to Survé's utterances but reiterated that she was willing to testify at the inquiry.

"I would go to PIC inquiry and swear under oath that I sat next to Iqbal Survé at the Raging Bull Awards function in 2016 in Camps Bay. Mr Fidelis Madavu was on his left hand side, I was on his right hand side. When Fidelis got up to do his keynote address, Iqbal turned to me and said: 'I've got that guy in my pocket.'"

In his testimony, Survé also commented on the share price performance of Sygnia Asset Management, which Wierzycka co-founded, and of which she is CEO. Survé said that AEEI's investment in Wierzycka's Sygnia when it listed was regrettable.

In response, Wierzycka said that at the time of the listing in October 2015, the share price was at R8.40 and is now at R9.50, which is better than the financial services industry as a whole.

"They (AEEI) definitely made money out of the listing. The same can’t be said of the broader financial services industry," she said.

She added that she was happy with the share performance, given market conditions.

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