February 18 2016

LeapFrog appoints industry leaders to drive healthcare expansion

18 February 2016, London & Johannesburg

LeapFrog Investments today announced the leaders of a global team to spearhead the firm’s expansion into healthcare investments. LeapFrog’s companies so far serve 52 million people across 21 markets with financial services, and the firm intends to achieve similar large-scale results in healthcare. This announcement follows OPIC’s recent announcement of a commitment to LeapFrog of up to $200m for investments in healthcare and financial services.

African healthcare investments will be led by Dr. Felix Olale, MD, PhD, who joins LeapFrog as a Partner. Dr. Olale is an entrepreneur, innovator and physician-scientist with wide experience building businesses and investing in healthcare across Africa. He has led and advised on over $100 million of healthcare investments across Africa. Before joining LeapFrog, Dr. Olale was previously the Chairman of the Excelsior Group, a US and Kenyan-based advisor and developer of healthcare systems. He also co-founded Wellness Group, a specialty consultation and medical diagnostics company. His experience with private equity and healthcare spans across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.

Asian healthcare investments will be led by LeapFrog Partner and Co-Head of Asia, Michael Fernandes. Prior to joining LeapFrog, Michael managed Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s healthcare portfolio, consolidated under IHH Healthcare and listed in Singapore for a $7 billion valuation. He also led the $250 million global custom manufacturing business for the Piramal Healthcare Group, focusing on global acquisitions, business development, supply chain management and talent. He too has served on diverse boards including for the likes of IDFC and Apollo Hospitals.

Dr. Andrew Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog, said “These two healthcare leaders have a distinctive combination of experience as investors, operators, advisors and medical innovators. They have successfully executed at the highest level and across several continents. LeapFrog aims to generate the same extraordinary results in healthcare as we have in financial services. These formidable leaders have what it takes to achieve those high ambitions, shaping industries and changing lives.”

Four expert roles on the global Healthcare team were also announced.

Matthew Myers, Director at LeapFrog and a qualified actuary, will play a core role, leading thinking on health insurance into healthcare. Previously, at Health Monitor Company, South Africa’s largest independent actuarial healthcare consultancy, Matthew advised private health insurance schemes and employers on pricing and product development and the management of healthcare funding.

Thomas Verghese, an Associate Director, will play a pivotal role in Africa investments. He previously focused on healthcare transactions for CDC and for Excelsior Group, where he was part of transactions teams, and advised leading private equity firms focused on Africa.

Kavitha Subramanian, also an Associate Director, will be central to Asian investments. Previously at Actis, she focused on healthcare transactions in South Asia, including significant investments in Symbiotec Pharmalab and Asiri Hospitals. Prior to this, she focused on healthcare at McKinsey & Company.

LeapFrog also recently hired Roshni Bandesha, charging her with measurement, reporting, and insights into healthcare globally. She was previously a Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co in New Delhi, where she covered healthcare across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and co-wrote a field-defining global health advocacy report.

Healthcare in emerging markets remains both a pressing social need, and a major market opportunity. Figures from the World Health Organization show the difference in the Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) in emerging countries compared to economically more developed ones: Luxembourg has a 72 years HLE; India 58 years; Ghana 54 years; Kenya 53 years; South Africa 52 years; and Nigeria just 47 years.

The World Bank estimates that over 4 billion people worldwide are earning under $10 per day Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). This population is rising toward the middle class, but lacks access to essential services like healthcare. LeapFrog is uniquely positioned to serve this demand, with deep team specialisation in both healthcare provision and financial services, a track record of success in delivering relevant and affordable products to emerging consumers, and a wealth of data and insights on the emerging consumer market.

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