LeapFrog Investments, a specialist investor in financial services in Africa and Asia, has exited from Ghanaian insurer Express Life, selling its majority stake to Prudential PLC for an undisclosed sum.
The transaction marks the entry of one of the world’s largest insurers into the fast-growing African insurance industry.
LeapFrog’s lead partner in Ghana, Doug Lacey, says: “Our experience with Express Life demonstrates the value of specialist fund managers who can source promising investment opportunities in emerging markets and work closely with these companies to create customer and shareholder value. And now we see that they become attractive to global players also committed to building sustainable and impactful businesses.”
When LeapFrog invested in Express Life, the company was reaching some 60,000 people. Today, the company reaches over 730,000 people, most of them first-time users of insurance and savings products.
Express Life CEO, Mokobi Aryee, says: “From the start, LeapFrog provided us with strategic support and operational know-how. As a hands-on investor, they helped us lay the platform for a promising future. Now, as part of Prudential we can achieve our common vision: to lead the insurance industry in Ghana, in service delivery and in meeting the needs of our current and future clients.”
LeapFrog announced the USD204m first close of its most recent fund in September 2013.
LeapFrog also has investments in insurance underwriters and distributors in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and India.
Founder and president Dr Andrew Kuper says: “We believe that the emerging consumer represents a tremendous opportunity for financial services businesses, and insurance in particular. Given the size of the underserved market, visionary financial services businesses that provide scalable solutions can be expected to provide top-tier investor returns.”