LeapFrog Investments, the Profit with Purpose investment firm, has acquired a 16.94% stake in Ghana’s largest privately-owned bank, Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited 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. It is expected that LeapFrog will leverage 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 standards 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. 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.
Remarking on the development, 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.”
Laurent Demey, Managing Partner at Amethis, added, "We are proud to have supported a successful and leading bank like Fidelity over the years. The journey has been rewarding thanks to the vision of Edward and his team. We are grateful that we could partner with other investors like Africa Capital, LLC to be part of the growth story of Fidelity. We wish them the best and encourage them to remain driven by the ambition to serve their clients.”
Expressing similar sentiments, Samuel Pinto, Board Member of ERES, stated, “We are grateful to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with Fidelity, a move which resonates with our Financial Services investment theme and the long-standing involvement of the Edmond de Rothschild family in the financial industry. Fidelity’s has been a fantastic story of business growth. We have been impressed by how Edward Effah and his management team have built a very strong platform with a low tolerance to risk from scratch. We wish Edward Effah and Julian Kingsley Opuni, the Managing Director of Fidelity, further success in their new growth phase.”
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.”
PwC acted as financial advisor to Amethis and ERES while KPMG advised LeapFrog.
Fidelity Bank Ghana
In a little over a decade, Fidelity Bank Ghana has grown from a discount house to a Tier-1 Bank and is now the largest privately-owned Ghanaian Bank in Ghana. The bank currently serves its approximately 2 million customers in 75 branches across Ghana and is a leader in the digital banking revolution. The bank has two subsidiaries, Fidelity Asia Bank Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary in Malaysia and Fidelity Securities Limited, an asset management firm. In a short period of time, Fidelity Bank has become a household name in Ghana by adopting a customer-centric culture and delivering consistently on the promise of making a difference in the lives of all stakeholders. www.fidelitybank.com.gh
Amethis is an investment fund manager dedicated to the African continent, with an investment capacity exceeding €800m. Amethis has been created through a partnership with Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity. Amethis brings growth capital to promising midcap champions in a diversity of sectors throughout the African continent. As an active shareholder, Amethis offers key support and expertise through its international network, its opportunities of external growth and its value-added governance. www.amethisfinance.com
About Edmond de Rothschild
As a conviction-driven investment house founded upon the belief that wealth should be used to build the world of tomorrow, Edmond de Rothschild specializes in Private Banking and Asset Management and serves an international clientele of families, entrepreneurs and institutional investors. The group is also active in Corporate Finance, Private Equity, Real Estate and Fund Services. With a resolutely family-run nature, Edmond de Rothschild has the independence necessary to propose bold strategies and long-term investments, rooted in the real economy. Created in 1953, the Group now has CHF 173 billion (€ 160 billion) in assets under management, 2,600 employees and 32 locations worldwide. www.edmond-de-rothschild.com
ERES is an investment strategy of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity dedicated to midcap companies with a thematic approach and the conviction that collaboration amongst management and shareholders is key to harnessing complementary talents and expertise and maximizing value creation. ERES helps its portfolio companies grow, expand abroad and structure their organization and governance. Over the past 20 years, ERES has developed a disciplined investment process delivering a strong risk-adjusted-performance.
LeapFrog invests in exceptional businesses in Africa and Asia, partnering with their leaders to achieve leaps of growth, profitability and impact. Founded in 2007, LeapFrog’s companies now reach 221 million people across 35 countries with healthcare or financial services. LeapFrog investee companies have also grown on average at 26 per cent annually from the time of investment. They now provide jobs and livelihoods to 130,000 people. Inspired by LeapFrog’s strategy of Profit with Purpose, LeapFrog has raised over US $2bn from global institutional investors, including $500m recently committed by Temasek to LeapFrog and future funds. LeapFrog was ranked by Fortune as one of the top five Companies to Change the World, alongside Apple and Novartis, the first private investment firm ever listed. For more information on LeapFrog, please visit www.leapfroginvest.com
Fidelity Bank Ghana
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