VENTURES AFRICA – Global impact investing funds company, LeapFrog Investments has established a strategic partnership with Asset and Resource Management Company Limited (ARM), Nigeria’s largest non-bank financial company, following the latter’s recent acquisition of a majority stake in CrystaLife Assurance Plc.
While CrystaLife intends to expand its successful group life insurance offering and to develop a new retail offering, the partnership is expected to make CrystaLife an industry leader in Nigeria.
LeapFrog’s support, drawing on its extensive team of insurance experts and actuaries, is expected to help CrystaLife cover millions of Nigerians and tap the vast opportunity of Africa’s emerging consumers. In Africa, the fund has previously made investments in insurance providers across Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
“Nigeria is one of the continent’s jewels. We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with ARM, a reputed and fast-growing leader in financial services in the country,” Dominic Liber, LeapFrog partner who leads the fund’s work in Nigeria, said.
CrystaLife Managing Director and CEO, Oluseyi Ifaturoti, also collaborated that “The market opportunity for insurance in Nigeria has grown rapidly, requiring businesses to rethink product design, pricing, and distribution strategies to effectively reach the increasing pool of potential customers. LeapFrog’s extensive experience building insurers in emerging markets will help CrystaLife seize the moment, stimulating significant growth in both value and reach.”
Commenting on the partnership, LeapFrog founder, Dr. Andrew Kuper, said “Africa’s time has come.” “It is the place for investors to find top-tier returns, and make an enormous difference too. The accelerated growth and increased stability over the past ten years is nothing short of phenomenal. The world is just beginning to understand that Africa is home to hundreds of millions of consumers, workers and entrepreneurs. They are actively acquiring products and services, lifting families and nations out of poverty.”
A report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that real GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa has averaged 5.4 percent annually over the past 5 years. Foreign direct investment in the continent has grown by over 2o percent each year, pushing Africa’s share of the world’s investment to almost a quarter. Even in this context, Nigeria has been an outperformer at an average 7 percent growth for the past decade. With 162 million inhabitants, it is also Africa’s most populous nation.