LeapFrog Investments, a “profit-with-purpose” emerging markets private equity firm, named two partners to spearhead the firm’s expansion into healthcare investments. Dr. Felix Olale, MD, PhD, who joins LeapFrog as a partner, will lead African healthcare investments. Dr. Olale was previously the chairman of the Excelsior Group, a US and Kenyan-based advisor and developer of healthcare systems. 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
London & Johannesburg, 18 February 2016 – 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.
Tom 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.
About Dr Felix Olale, MD, PhD
Dr. Felix Olale is an entrepreneur, innovator, physician-scientist and advisor, renowned for his work building businesses and investing in healthcare in emerging markets. Felix has led and advised on transactions of more than $100 million in financing across Africa.
Prior to Leapfrog, Dr. Olale was Executive Chairman of the Excelsior Group, a US and Kenyan-based advisor in emerging markets. While at Excelsior he co-founded Wellness Group, a specialty consultation and medical diagnostics company. Dr. Olale was also a founding member of the Healthcare Advisory Board for Safaricom, the leading Kenyan telecommunications and mobile money operator.
Dr. Olale began his career as a physician-scientist at Skirball Institute of Bio-molecular Medicine in New York, where he cloned two genes involved in organ patterning and regeneration. He also worked as a venture capital analyst at New York University’s Office of Industrial Liaison and Applied Research Fund. Later, he was an Associate Partner and a leader in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Products and Global Health practices at McKinsey & Company in New York.
Dr. Olale holds a Bachelor of Arts, in Molecular Biology, with honors, from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a University Scholar. He received his Medical Degree and Doctorate from NYU School of Medicine. He holds a number of board appointments, including chairing the Governance Committee of PATH, the leading global health innovator, and chairing the Advisory Board of the Institute for Healthcare Management at Strathmore Business School in Nairobi.
About Michael Fernandes
With 20 years of experience in operations, consulting and investing, Michael co-leads LeapFrog’s work in South and Southeast Asia. Michael has led several of LeapFrog’s landmark investments, including IFMR Capital in India and Reliance in Indonesia.
The former Country Head for India for Khazanah Nasional, Michael led the global healthcare team, also focusing on financial services and infrastructure. Michael was responsible for over $700 million of investments in India, including Yes Bank, L&T Finance and Uniquest; and served on the boards of IDFC and Apollo Hospitals. He managed the Khazanah healthcare portfolio, ranging from hospitals to health insurance providers, that was consolidated under IHH Healthcare and listed in Singapore for a $7 billion valuation.
Previously, Michael led the $250 million global custom manufacturing business for the Piramal Healthcare Group, focusing on global acquisitions, business development, supply chain management and talent.
Michael was a partner and spent 12 years with McKinsey & Co, where he focused on healthcare and consumer sectors across South and Southeast Asia, and also worked out of the firm’s offices in the UK, Singapore, Israel and South Africa.
About LeapFrog Investments
LeapFrog Investments is a specialist investor in emerging markets, seeking the growth opportunity presented by two billion emerging consumers in Africa and Asia. LeapFrog’s portfolio companies currently provide insurance, savings and pensions products to 52 million people across 21 markets including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and The Philippines. LeapFrog uses a profit-with-purpose approach to investing to generate strong results and change many millions of lives. LeapFrog has unlocked over a billion dollars of investment from leading global institutions that share this vision. Visit www.leapfroginvest.com and follow LeapFrog on Twitter @LeapFrogInvest.