LeapFrog Strengthens Climate Strategy with Key Appointments and Support from Temasek, EIB

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New partner and senior advisors complete climate leadership team, following Temasek commitment and EIB Support

  • Souleymane Ba joins as Partner and Co-head of Climate
  • Gina Domanig joins Climate Investment Committee
  • Steve Howard, Mike Berners-Lee and Damilola Ogunbiyi join Climate Advisory Board

LeapFrog Investments (“LeapFrog”), the profit with purpose investment firm, has appointed Souleymane Ba as Partner and Co-Head of Climate Strategy. Souleymane brings with him an impressive track record in responsible investment and emerging markets and will become Co-Head of LeapFrog’s Climate Strategy, alongside Nakul Zaveri who joined LeapFrog in November 2022.

LeapFrog also announces the appointment of senior advisors to help implement its Climate Strategy. Gina Domanig has been appointed as an independent member of the Investment Committee to the Climate Strategy, while Steve Howard, Mike Berners-Lee and Damilola Ogunbiyi, are appointed to LeapFrog’s Climate Advisory Board to provide guidance and networking capabilities for the climate investment team and portfolio companies.

With nearly 20 years’ experience across venture, growth and buyout investing in both developed and emerging markets, Souleymane joins LeapFrog from leading climate fund Just Climate, where he served as Partner and member of the Executive Committee and Investment Committee. Prior to his role at Just Climate, Souleymane was a Partner at Helios Investment Partners, supporting companies that provided essential services across Africa’s food, agriculture, financial inclusion and distributed infrastructure sectors.  Before Helios, Souleymane spent nearly a decade in principal investing and investment banking in the US, notably at Warburg Pincus and Carlyle Group, where he focused on industrials, including transportation and energy storage, key sectors in the green transition.

Souleymane has held several Non-Executive Director roles, including at Solevo Group where he served as the Chair of the Board, Africa Specialty Risks, and Hytech Seeds.

With 35+ years of international business experience, Gina is currently Managing Partner of Emerald Technology Ventures, and is a board member of several climate related organisations, including Actnano, GeoDigital International, Urgently, Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy, and Innovation Insights, World Energy Council. In addition, Gina is also a member of the Global Future Council on the Future of Food and Water Security (World Economic Forum).

Steve is Vice Chairman of Sustainability at Temasek. Steve is also Founding Chair of the We Mean Business Coalition, former Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group, and was Founder and CEO of The Climate Group, a global NGO that has built networks of cities, states, regions, and businesses committed to a net-zero carbon world.

Mike is founder and director of Small World Consulting Ltd, and a professor at Lancaster University, where his research includes supply chain carbon modelling, sustainable food systems and the environmental impact of ICT. Mike is the author of acclaimed books, including There is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years, and How Bad Are Bananas? The carbon footprint of everything.

Damilola is the CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. She is a member of the World Bank’s Private Sector Investment Lab, a member of the Global Leadership Council of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, and a member of the Development Advisory Council of the US International Development Finance Corporation. She is a global leader and advocate for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is passionate about achieving SDG7, which calls for access to reliable, affordable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.

All are newly created roles and will support LeapFrog as it seeks to deliver the Firm’s climate pledge to invest $500m for green tools and technologies in emerging markets. The news follows the release of the firm’s latest research, the Investor Roadmap for Inclusive Green Growth, which details the $330B per year opportunity to invest in green solutions in agriculture, built environment, energy, and mobility.

Souleymane Ba, Partner and Co-Head for Climate Strategy, saidI am convinced the path to robust, low-carbon growth for the four billion consumers in Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia is through breakthrough business models that both protect the planet and enable greater prosperity. I am thrilled to join LeapFrog, and to work with Nakul to help scale the innovative technologies and business models that can deliver our mission in global growth markets.

LeapFrog’s impressive track record of growing businesses that deliver real impact, and unrivalled understanding of the needs of emerging consumers, positions it uniquely to help support and deliver a green transition that benefits low-income communities. I am excited to be part of the next stage of LeapFrog’s profit with purpose journey.

Nakul Zaveri, Partner and Co-Head for Climate Strategy, LeapFrog Investments, said: “Souleymane has made impactful investing a lifelong mission, and I’m looking forward to working with him to accelerate a green leap in emerging markets. At the same time, we have also attracted incredible global talent to our investment committee and advisory board, creating an experienced and passionate team to rapidly scale clean, efficient, affordable climate solutions for emerging markets.

Gina Domanig, Managing Partner of Emerald Technology Ventures, said: “With 20-years experience investing across clean technologies in sectors like energy, agriculture, mobility, and urbanisation, I’m very excited to support LeapFrog’s commitment to bring these breakthroughs to low-income families in emerging economies. LeapFrog’s climate strategy is targeting the fastest growing markets in the world, scaling green tools and technologies to serve billions of emerging consumers. The most exciting part of this is that so many of these technologies are both price competitive, and better quality, than the fossil fuel alternatives that exist today. This strategy will enable a rapid, low-carbon growth trajectory for low-income families as they rise into prosperity.

Steve Howard, Vice Chairman of Sustainability, Temasek, said: “The green discount in many climate technologies presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for emerging markets to leapfrog towards green, prosperous, and equitable futures. I am thrilled to join LeapFrog’s Climate Advisory Board and contribute to the company’s endeavour in accelerating a wave of green investments into emerging markets. There is a lot to be optimistic about where we go from here, and how we can play a transformative role in the lives of emerging consumers and catalyse the global race to net zero.

Mike Berners-Lee, Founder of Small World Consulting, said: ”A sustainable future is packed with investment opportunities. LeapFrog are seeking to scale businesses that are sustainable from the start, and can drive systematic change across global growth markets. Aspiring to maximise financial value is no longer on its own a legitimate business mission, we need a wider definition of profit with purpose, and I’m excited to be helping Leapfrog identify purpose-driven companies to champion the green transition.

Related Article: LeapFrog To Commit Over $500 Million To Climate Solutions for 50 Million Low-Income People

Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, said: “It is an honour to join the LeapFrog Climate Advisory Board. I am inspired by LeapFrog’s purpose-driven businesses and its ambition to accelerate a clean energy transition for consumers while helping build the competitive, high-tech and low-carbon economies of the future. I look forward to supporting LeapFrog to move beyond carbon intensive business models and seek clean, renewable alternatives, while supporting the integration of climate as a core tenet of its strategy.