Prudential, the U.S. insurance giant, is partnering with emerging markets private equity investor, LeapFrog Investments, in a $350 million investment vehicle which will target life insurance sector deals in Africa. The new investment platform, which will be managed outside LeapFrog’s existing buyout funds, will look to deploy the capital over the next three to five years in the continent’s more buoyant economies, notably Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.
Prudential, which is also an investor in LeapFrog’s latest private equity fund, is keen to tap into the growth of Africa’s middle class and rising demand for insurance products. According to Charles Lowrey, the EVP and Chief Operating Officer of Prudential’s International business, the partnership offers them access to LeapFrog’s investment expertise in the emerging markets financial services sector.
“This investment expands Prudential’s footprint into Africa, a continent that we believe offers tremendous potential for growth over the long term,” he said. “We are delighted to partner with LeapFrog Investments, given their deep experience in Africa, and their impressive record of success as insurance investors focused on emerging consumers.”
The new vehicle will allow LeapFrog to make investments in larger and more established assets than it can with its private equity funds, further diversifying the firm’s capabilities as an alternative investment group.