LeapFrog boosts leadership team ahead of fundraise

The social impact investor has appointed two partners following the announcement of a $200m commitment from OPIC in December.

Profit-with-purpose investor LeapFrog Investments has appointed two new partners as it looks to begin fundraising for its third vehicle.

Karima Ola joins the firm from the African Development Corporation (ADC), a German-listed emerging pan-African banking group, where she was chief investment officer and a member of the board, according to a statement from LeapFrog. At ADC Ola initiated the company’s entry into Nigeria and led several substantial transactions across Africa.

Nick Moon, head of co-investment and investor relations at LeapFrog, has been promoted to partner. Moon oversaw the oversubscribed fundraising of LeapFrog’s second fund, which closed on its target and hard-cap of $400 million in September 2014, 12 months after its $204 million first close.

“These individuals illustrate LeapFrog’s ability to attract extraordinary and ethical leaders, and to cultivate a deep bench of talent,” said LeapFrog founder and CEO Dr. Andrew Kuper in the statement. “We will continue to grow and hire across our markets in 2016, building a diverse team united by our shared philosophy of profit with purpose.”

LeapFrog made several new hires over the course of 2015, including Vaughan Lindsay, previously CEO of UK charity Dartington Hall Trust and of McKinsey & Co, who joined as a director to lead LeapFrog Labs, the firm’s research and development hub; Simon Martin, who joined as a director to help drive value-creation initiatives across LeapFrog’s portfolio companies; and Akua Owusu-Akonor, previously a senior HR business partner at Vodafone, who joined as associate director to work on human resources, recruiting and change management for LeapFrog’s portfolio companies.

The firm’s rapid expansion comes as it gears up to launch its third fund, which is expected to target $800 million. In December LeapFrog announced that it had received a commitment of up to $200 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), its largest commitment ever to an impact fund.

The commitment pushed LeapFrog’s received capital beyond $1 billion, allowing the firm to become the first billion-dollar fund aimed at equity impact investing, Private Equity International reported at the time.

LeapFrog typically looks to invest between $10 million and $50 million in financial services businesses in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Investors in its current fund, LeapFrog Financial Inclusion Fund II, include the European Investment Bank, Dutch development bank FMO and UK development finance institution CDC, along with some of the world’s largest insurers and re-insurers, including Swiss Re, PartnerRe, AIG, MetLife, Prudential Financial and AXA.

LeapFrog’s second fund is now 75 percent committed and reserved, the firm said. Investments in the vehicle include a stake in India’s IFMR Capital, a financial services business operating across 24 Indian states, a majority stake in East African general insurer Resolution Insurance, and an investment in Indonesian financial services company Reliance Capital Management alongside FMO and PartnerRe.