LeapFrog Investments, a specialist investor in financial services in Africa and Asia, has sold its minority stake in Apollo Investments Limited to Swiss Re. Apollo, through its wholly owned insurance subsidiary, APA, is one of the top three regional insurers in East Africa, providing a broad array of insurance solutions across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The transaction follows LeapFrog’s recent successful exit from Express Life in Ghana, which it sold to Prudential PLC, marking Prudential’s entry into insurance in Africa.
LeapFrog partner Doug Lacey, who led both investments, said, “Our experience with both Apollo and Express has shown that investors with specialist skills and intimate knowledge of the market can add tremendous value to local businesses. The resulting growth and profitability benefits customers, management and shareholders, and contributes significantly to job creation.”
LeapFrog recently raised a new $400m fund for investing in financial services businesses in Africa and Asia. Up to $100m of the fund will be available for investment in East Africa, which is “an increasingly attractive investment destination,” said Lacey.
Apollo CEO, Ashok Shah, said “LeapFrog provided more than capital; the team helped us to scale our substantial health insurance offerings. They helped us to launch a number of products for underserved clients, including last needs and hospital cash insurance. These innovations will be crucial not just for Apollo, but for regional development.”
Said Lacey: “LeapFrog worked closely with Apollo management as true partners in building an enduring institution. We are delighted to have worked with Apollo CEO Ashok Shah and his team, and are confident they will enjoy continued success.”
LeapFrog also has investments in insurance underwriters and distributors in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and India. The group’s portfolio of companies currently reaches over 22 million people across 16 countries.
Says Dominic Liber, Partner and actuary at LeapFrog, “The underserved market for insurance, savings and payments is especially vast on our continent. We believe that the hundreds of millions of emerging consumers in Africa present a tremendous opportunity for financial services businesses. Visionary businesses that provide sustainable solutions to their customers, at scale, will transform many lives and deliver top-tier returns to investors.”