LeapFrog adds former Aus PM, Singtel and Ayala execs to advisory council

Former Australia PM Julia Gillard. Photo: Gillard's Facebook page

Emerging markets-focused private equity firm LeapFrog Investments has announced the appointment of former Australia prime minister Julia Gillard to its global leadership council.

The firm, which invests in Asia and Africa, also named Simon Israel and Jaime A Zobel de Ayala as new council members.

Israel is chairman of Singtel, a leading Asian telecommunications firm reaching 750 million customers, and a former president at Singapore state investor Temasek. Meanwhile, de Ayala is chairman and CEO of Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation.

Gillard, Israel and de Ayala join former AXA chairman and CEO Henri De Castries on the council. The advisory body provides strategic insights and guidance to support LeapFrog’s goal to extend essential services to 1 billion people by 2030.

“These three global leaders bring distinctive experience at the highest levels of financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, digital disruption and government relations – especially in Asia. Their insights and networks will be invaluable as LeapFrog continues to grow dozens of purpose-driven companies that are reshaping industries, countries and millions of lives,” said Dr Andrew Kuper, founder and CEO of LeapFrog Investments.

LeapFrog, whose backers include billionaire George Soros, has interests in healthcare and financial services businesses across 149 Asian and African markets.

The private equity firm, which has operations in Johannesburg, Singapore and the UK said that its companies currently reach 188 million people with healthcare or financial tools.

In May, LeapFrog Investments announced the largest-ever private equity fund by a dedicated impact fund manager, exceeding a $600-million target to mop up $700 million. The new fund will invest in healthcare and financial services companies.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.