Petra Trust

Ghana’s recently liberalised pensions industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. LeapFrog’s investment in 2014 was predicated on the shifting financial services landscape of Ghana – at the time of investment, only 19 percent of the population had ever used a formal savings product. Investing in Petra Trust was a recognition of the market potential as much as it was a vote of confidence in Petra’s dynamic leadership team.

The Petra team has a long shared history: Co-founders Kofi Fynn and Chris Hammond, and Head of Operations Helena Poku were school friends before studying in the US, at Harvard and MIT. Later they returned home to Ghana to start Petra, inspired by the social need for pensions, and the market opportunity this represented.

Launched in 2011, Petra was the first trustee approved and licensed by Ghana’s National Pensions Regulatory Authority in 2012. Today Petra is the largest independent pensions trustee in Ghana, and one of the two largest by assets under management.

Petra has benefited from LeapFrog’s support in consumer research, marketing, governance and strategy and IT infrastructure.

Kofi Fynn, Managing Director, said, “In partnership with LeapFrog, we have made key changes to the business, including introducing a world-class governance structure, diversifying our product offering, and opening up access to high quality, affordable savings for Ghanaians. Our work together has set the foundations for the provision of financial security for millions of emerging consumers in Ghana.”

The LeapFrog and Petra team rapidly grew the business into the leading independent pensions trustee in Ghana with over 1.4bn GHS (USD 310m) in assets under management (AUM). The company has achieved average annual revenue growth of 76 percent across the period of investment. LeapFrog successfully exited in 2018.

Express Life

LeapFrog’s majority investment in Express was, at the time, the largest private foreign investment in Ghana’s insurance industry.

At the time, the company was in difficulty, but LeapFrog saw the opportunity in Ghana’s burgeoning insurance market. The country is one of the fastest growing economies globally, with the life insurance sector alone growing 40% per annum. Yet less than 2% of the country’s 25 million people had access to insurance, offering a compelling opportunity for quality, relevant and affordable products to fill this gap.

LeapFrog set to work, with the objective of restructuring Express and then transforming it from insignificance to a dominant position in the mass-market.

LeapFrog helped Express Life to create a completely new product range: more affordable, better quality, and more relevant to the emerging customer. LeapFrog supported the implementation of a new IT system, enabled customer service improvements and ensured the viability of low-cost insurance policies. Over 350 team members underwent sales and management training, including a large new agency force.

Crucially, LeapFrog promoted connections across the portfolio by introducing Express to BIMA, a dynamic mobile distributor and LeapFrog investment. Read about this partnership here.

When LeapFrog invested, Express had 12,000 clients. Within two years, Express Life had catapulted to 423,000 clients, reaching almost 900,000 people, family members included.

This transformed company attracted the attention of Prudential PLC, who were looking to establish a footprint in Africa. By March 2014, Express – now a healthy and growing company – had been acquired by Prudential PLC. The successful LeapFrog exit was a remarkable demonstration of how profitable investing can go hand-in-hand with deep social impact.