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December 6 2017

LeapFrog launches programme to tackle the talent development challenge in emerging market growth firms

  • First private equity firm to create bespoke development programme for CEOs, C-suite executives and middle managers of emerging markets growth firms
  • Emerging market CEOs identify talent development as the single greatest challenge to business growth
  • Within its first three years, the LeapFrog Talent Accelerator aims to develop 300 leaders and enable an incremental $50m USD in revenue and cost savings annually for participating companies
  • Four LeapFrog partner companies representing 12,000 employees to form the 2018 inaugural class

London 6 December 2017:

LeapFrog today announces the launch of the LeapFrog Talent Accelerator (LTA), the private equity industry’s first talent development programme for CEOs, C-suite executives and middle managers in emerging market growth firms.

The programme is backed by U.S.-headquartered Prudential Financial Inc., one of the world’s largest financial institutions, with a cornerstone investment of $1.5 million. Lata Reddy, Senior Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion & Impact, Prudential Financial, Inc. commented, “PFI was founded on the principle of pursuing inclusive growth through financial services. The LeapFrog Talent Accelerator transports that ethos to some of the world’s fastest growing emerging markets. Through our support, we are helping to develop a cadre of transformative leaders that are delivering innovative solutions to consumers in Africa and Asia, ultimately creating opportunities for financial security for more people.”

“In seeking to solve the challenge of talent development within our partner companies, we commissioned a study that revealed no in-market programmes existed in the African and Asian markets in which we operate, that could address the concerns being raised by our CEOs,” said Vaughan Lindsay, Executive Director, LeapFrog Labs. “The LeapFrog Talent Accelerator was developed in response to tackle these unmet needs, and enable sustainable growth through investment in people.”

A survey of the CEOs of LeapFrog’s firms found that talent development is the single greatest challenge they face. This is consistent with EY’s findings in sub-Saharan Africa which found a critical gap in the skills required for succession planning and developing talent. Institutional training and education programmes are critically important in many emerging markets where there is still low take up of formal degrees. In Kenya, for example, only one per cent of the population have been awarded a university degree, compared to an equivalent figure of 32 per cent in the US.

The LTA is designed to help bridge this gap and unlock significant growth for companies, markets and economies in the process. Research from the Boston Consulting Group demonstrates that companies with strong leadership and talent management training increase their revenue more than twice as fast and their profits one and a half times faster than those without access to skills programmes.

LeapFrog developed the LTA’s bespoke curriculum with EY. It sets a new standard for executive and managerial education in emerging markets by providing a tailored programme that mixes formal classroom and technology-based learning, with mentoring, coaching, sponsorship and peer-to-peer learning between participating companies over a 12 month period. The three target populations who will participate in the LTA are: the CEO, C-suite (CxO) and middle managers. Additionally, the LTA will also offer services aimed at professional skills development; initially around actuarial and underwriting skills.

The first class of the LTA will convene 70 individuals from LeapFrog’s partner companies. This first cohort are financial services companies in the growth markets of Africa and Asia. They support jobs and livelihoods for 12,000 and reach 42.5 million people:

IFMR Capital: A leading Indian financial services company, bringing credit and finance to 7.5m emerging consumers
Magma Fincorp: The company reaches emerging consumers across rural and semi-urban India with vehicle finance, housing finance and general insurance
Resolution Insurance: One of Kenya’s largest health insurers and a rising star in East Africa’s fast-expanding general insurance markets
UT Life: A leading provider of life insurance to emerging consumers in Ghana. The award-winning firm is growing at 80% per year

Kshama Fernandes, founder of IFMR Capital, a successful financial inclusion business in India that provides capital market access to financial institutions serving low-income consumers, comments, “LeapFrog’s Talent Accelerator will be leveraged by IFMR Capital to offer training and development opportunities not available to our team until now. The curriculum, distinct in the marketplace, offers the right combination of operational and leadership training to help ensure that our team is enabled for the growth trajectory IFMR Capital is on.”

“We see investment in people as one of the most important elements of building commercially successful and impactful businesses,” said Andy Kuper, CEO, LeapFrog Investments. “Leveraging talent management to build enduring teams capable of a high level of operational efficiency benefits participating individuals, their organisations, and our investors.”

The LTA in its initial phase will be grant funded, however will transition to a self-funded model by year three, when it will be opened up to the benefit of the wider market.

About PFI

PFI (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with more than USD 1 trillion of assets under management as of March 31, 2017, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. PFI’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., the company’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. PFI of the United States and its subsidiaries are not affiliated in any manner with Prudential plc, a company incorporated in the United Kingdom. For more information about PFI, please visit www.prudential.com

“PFI was founded on the principle of pursuing inclusive growth through financial services. The LeapFrog Talent Accelerator transports that ethos to some of the world’s fastest growing emerging markets. Through our support, we are helping to develop a cadre of transformative leaders that are delivering innovative solutions to consumers in Africa and Asia, ultimately creating opportunities for financial security for more people.”

Lata Reddy, Senior Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion & Impact, Prudential Financial, Inc.