(Originally published on News.Prudential.com)
It takes more than money to make a difference. It takes smart money.
Prudential Financial, Inc. (No. 15 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) made a $1.5 million cornerstone investment in the LeapFrog Talent Accelerator, a program designed to develop chief executive officers, C-suite executives and middle managers for rapidly growing financial services and health care firms in Africa and Asia.
The program by LeapFrog, the global investment firm that has attracted more than $1 billion in capital to develop financial and health care businesses in African and Asian emerging markets, addresses a major issue faced by these fast-growing companies – developing and retaining leadership talent. By investing in the program, Prudential is helping to bring financial stability to consumers rising toward the middle class in these developing countries.
"Prudential was founded on the principle of pursuing inclusive growth that benefits shareholders, customers and society through financial services,'' said Lata Reddy, Prudential senior vice president, Diversity, Inclusion & Impact. "The LeapFrog Talent Accelerator transports that ethos to some of the world's fastest growing emerging markets. Through our support, we are helping to develop a cadre of transformative leaders that are delivering innovative solutions to consumers in Africa and Asia, ultimately creating opportunities for financial security for more people."
The program will begin during the first quarter of 2018 in Mumbai, with 70 participants from four of LeapFrog's financial service partner firms. They employ 12,000 people and reach 42.5 million in Africa and Asia:
- IFMR Capital, a financial services company in India, bringing credit and finance to 7.5 million consumers
- Magma Fincorp, which provides insurance and financing to consumers in rural and semi-urban India for vehicles and housing
- Resolution Insurance, one of the largest health insurers in Kenya
- UT Life, which provides life insurance in Ghana and has an 80-percent annual growth rate
Kshama Fernandes, founder of IFMR Capital, said developing talent at high-growth companies like hers is a priority. "The role of leaders is not to create followers, it's to create new leaders," Fernandes said.
The program will be grant-based for three years and limited to LeapFrog partners, then will become self-sufficient as it is opened to more participants.
"We see investment in people as one of the most important elements of building commercially successful and impactful businesses," said Andy Kuper, LeapFrog CEO. "Leveraging talent management to build enduring teams capable of a high level of operational efficiency benefits participating individuals, their organizations and our investors."
For more information about the LeapFrog Talent Accelerator, contact Caitrin O'Sullivan.