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Sunday, Sep 8
Financial services firms eye up world's poorest as potential customers
- MetLife (MET), Prudential (PRU), Swiss RE (SSREY.OB, SSREF.OB), and JPMorgan (JPM) are among those investing in a new $400M P-E fund being put together by Leapfrog Investments to sell financial services in developing countries.
- The group will disclose Monday it has raised $204M thus far and plans to raise another $200M in coming months.
- The fund is looking at prospective investments in India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, as well as parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
- It's no secret developed market insurers have looked to emerging economies for growth, but those efforts previously were aimed at hitting relatively prosperous emerging middle classes, and avoiding the high volume, low margin business of offering financial services to the world's poorest people. This has changed of late and Leapfrog says the big players are increasingly interested in this area. "We see decades of opportunity ahead," says Leapfrog founder Andrew Kuper.