LeapFrog acquires 16.94% stake in Fidelity Bank Ghana
24-08-2021 12:19:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 1148 | Tags:

LeapFrog Investments has acquired a 16.94% stake in Ghana’s largest privately-owned bank, Fidelity Bank from Amethis, an investment fund manager dedicated to the African continent, and Edmond de Rothschild Equity Strategies (ERES), a mid-cap growth and buy-out franchise affiliated with the Edmond de Rothschild Group, with a global investment mandate.

LeapFrog will leverage on its decade of investment experience  across Africa’s financial services sector to  build upon the  outstanding success achieved by Fidelity Bank in financial inclusion and general business growth. 

Following the investment from Amethis and ERES in 2014, Fidelity Bank embarked on an expansion drive via the acquisition of Pro-Credit Savings and Loans to widen its network across the country and solidify its presence in the SME and micro-business sector. The Bank also established a state-of-the-art customer contact centre and upgraded its technological platforms to best-in-class standard through a collaboration with IBM.

This served as the basis for continued business growth marked by impressive financials and remarkable pioneering strides in inclusive banking. The Tier-1 universal bank now offers a full suite of transactional, lending and banking services, positioning itself alongside international banks as one of the top financial institutions in Ghana. A key contributor to Ghana’s socio-economic development, the bank operates 75 branches across Ghana and serves approximately two million customers. Its innovative range of financing solutions and product offerings have enhanced capacity development across the domestic banking landscape.

Karima Ola, Partner and Leader of African Financial Services Investments at LeapFrog, commented: “We are thrilled to embark on this next phase of growth with Fidelity Bank. We are partnering with and supporting an industry leading, highly experienced management team with a strong track record of delivering profitable growth for this Tier-1 home-grown bank.  Moreover, Fidelity Bank’s “Inclusive Banking” and “Building Lives Through Finance” initiatives strongly align with LeapFrog’s impact, sustainability and performance strategy. With LeapFrog’s robust expertise in financial services and impact measurement and reporting, we look forward to leveraging our combined capabilities to accelerate Fidelity Bank’s sustainable and profitable growth. LeapFrog will support the bank’s leadership team to deliver on its growth and innovation agenda through customer insights, digital transformation, governance, and partnerships.”

Fidelity’s successful journey has been driven by good governance, superior products, a customer-focused approach and key investments in technology. Consequently, the bank  has won several prestigious local and international awards which further cements its position both as a key player in Ghana’s banking industry and as a world-class institution.

Today, four in ten of Ghana’s adult population lack access to formal banking services. The bank’s Inclusive Banking division has had great success in acquiring and serving unbanked and underbanked customers and continues to make significant progress in this area. In the next three years, Fidelity will continue to work with its partners, including LeapFrog, to enhance its inclusive banking portfolio by adding on an array of innovative,  affordable and relevant products, including transaction accounts and mobile money offerings to the unbanked and underbanked customer segments in Ghana.

This is in line with the Ghana Country Financing Roadmap (CFR) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative recently launched by the Ghanaian government in partnership with the World Economic Forum. Fidelity Bank is also one of the first 24 signatories to the Ghana Sustainable Banking Principles (SBPs), which includes the principles of gender equality, financial inclusion, and environmental and social risk management (ESRM).

In collaboration with Amethis and ERES as well as other investment partners, Fidelity Bank has emerged as a leader in digital innovation and financial inclusion. It is expected that LeapFrog’s involvement will mark a new chapter of continued growth and further success for Ghana’s largest privately-owned Bank.

Edward Effah, Chairman of Fidelity Bank, said: “Amethis and ERES have played a pivotal role in the success and growth of Fidelity Bank. We are grateful for their support and their unwavering belief in the potential of Fidelity Bank. We look forward to working with LeapFrog Investments to build on the strong foundation that we created with Amethis and ERES.”

PwC acted as financial advisor to Amethis and ERES while KPMG advised LeapFrog.