Sue Grant-Mar­shall

CityPress - - Business & Tenders -

It still amazes her to­day that she was a con­sul­tant to the likes of BP and Shell pen­sion funds, “and grown men were lis­ten­ing to a 25year-old woman telling them how to in­vest their money”.

In time she be­came CEO of African Har­vest and there, between 2003 and 2006, she grew the as­sets un­der man­age­ment of the com­pany from R10 bil­lion to R35 bil­lion.

In 2006, she led a man­age­ment buy­out of part of the African Har­vest Group to form Syg­nia.

“After the trans­ac­tion, all we had were a cou­ple of clients, a team of about seven and a great ad­min sys­tem.”

Syg­nia an­a­lysed what was on of­fer in South Africa “and de­cided com­pa­nies were all of­fer­ing sim­i­lar in­vest­ment prod­ucts”.

“We re­solved to en­ter the space of­fer­ing the same prod­ucts at lower fees, costs and charges, cus­tomis­ing in­vest­ment strate­gies for pen­sion funds.”

In 2012, Syg­nia de­cided to en­ter the in­di­vid­ual sav­ings space by launch­ing the low­est-cost sav­ings and in­vest­ment prod­ucts in South Africa at a fee of just 0.4% per an­num. “This was a rad­i­cal sav­ing to the con­sumer and we thought that no­body in SA could match it.

“If they started launch­ing unit trusts at 0.4% then they would can­ni­balise their ex­ist­ing client base that was happy pay­ing 1.5% in fees and costs.”

The hus­band of this mother of teen sons used to lead tough ad­ven­ture trips through Africa. Not sur­pris­ingly, he has taken his fam­ily on trips to the Galapagos, both poles and the Amazon.

Wierzy­cka re­laxes “with two hours of gym first thing each morn­ing” and once trained by run­ning on a tiny airstrip in the mid­dle of the Amazon jun­gle.

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