NEW YORK, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In the Closing Plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative 2009, former President Bill Clinton featured LeapFrog Investments®, which raised the world's first microinsurance fund. Before an audience of 1000 global leaders, President Clinton drew a direct link between the work of Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus to bring microcredit to millions of people, the 'Banker to the Poor,' and the work of LeapFrog as the global leader in microinsurance: "LeapFrog is quickly becoming the 'Insurer to the Poor'. Just like Yunus, [LeapFrog] is the first out of the gate, the first microinsurance fund in the world."
The President noted that "LeapFrog invests in insurance businesses that serve low-income people in Asia and Africa" and that through its portfolio companies, the fund "aims to reach 25 million vulnerable people in the next 10 years," 15 million of them women and children. He stressed that LeapFrog is a for-profit venture, led by former CEOs and insurance experts, and emphasized the fund's first-mover advantage: "LeapFrog's team is widely recognized as having opened up a new frontier in microfinance and alternative investment." The fund has raised $44 million from both private and public investors, towards an ultimate target of $100 million.
Pierre Omidyar, Founder of EBay, immediately concurred with a post on Twitter, saying that it was "Great to see LeapFrog . . . recognized by President Clinton for work in microinsurance." The Omidyar Network is a lead investor in the fund, together with the European Investment Bank, FMO, Triodos, and Accion International.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also speaking in the Closing Plenary, pointed to the impact of microinsurance on agricultural productivity and world hunger, and committed the Obama administration to advancing the microinsurance industry: "We will invest in everything from research to develop better feed and seeds, to innovative insurance programs, so small farmers are protected against bearing the entire burden of risk inherent in agriculture."
In his address at the Closing Plenary, Dr. Andrew Kuper, President and Founder of LeapFrog, pointed to the rewards from large-scale microinsurance investment: "For those 25 million clients, LeapFrog means the ability to leap out of poverty permanently. For our portfolio companies, LeapFrog means leaping to the next stage of growth and impact. For our investors, LeapFrog does mean the next frontier of microfinance and alternative investment." LeapFrog's fund is now developing investment opportunities in key emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya.
The Closing Plenary of CGI can be viewed at: www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/webcast. President Clinton speaks about LeapFrog from the 50th minute.
A "CEO Q&A" with Andrew Kuper is available from CGI at: http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/commitments/commitments_feature_leapfrog.asp
SOURCE LeapFrog Investments