Institutions flock to emerging consumer fund

MetLife and Christian Super are amongst a number of insurers, global banks and asset managers to have invested over $200 million into LeapFrog Investments' emerging consumer fund which has been closed to new money following eight months of capital raising.

The LeapFrog Fund II will invest in eight emerging markets in Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia that provide financial services, such as insurance, savings, pensions and investment products to consumers.

"There are 1.9 billion emerging consumers in LeapFrog's target regions, and their spending power is forecast to rise from $2 trillion today to $5 trillion in the coming decade," said Dr Andrew Kuper, LeapFrog Investments president and founder.

"Financial services are crucial springboards for households and businesses, but access is very limited. LeapFrog backs the best companies to serve this vast and untapped market."

Other institutions to invest in the fund include Prudential (USA), XL Group, Achmea, PartnerRE, Swiss Re and JP Morgan Chase & Co. The European Investment Bank, FMO and Oikocredit also invested into the fund.

Many investors also put money into LeapFrog's first ‘profit-with-purpose' fund.

The new fund aims to invest up to US$60 million in equity markets in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, where growth in financial services was on average 17.4 per cent in 2012 — over four times the nominal global GDP growth.

"Crucially, 12 million of the 18 million people our companies have reached so far are emerging consumers, living on less than US$10 per day," said Kuper.

"We are demonstrating that smart businesses that provide empowering products actually grow faster and are more competitive than their peers."

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