AFRICA – SouthBridge Group, a leading pan-African financial services firm offering solutions to public and private clients across Africa, has appointed Dr. Frannie Léautier as the Senior Partner, having successfully served as a non-executive Board member and Chairperson of the Group’s Board Risk & Audit Committee.  

Dr. Léautier will be responsible for new business development and will pursue the Group’s ambitious strategy of growth in markets with demand for advisory services as well as taking on responsibility for investment activities. 

Dr. Léautier is a highly experienced and well-known finance and development expert, with long-standing global experience leading and transforming organisations in the private, public and non-for-profit spheres.  

She has held various leadership roles at The Trade and Development Bank (TDB) Group, including Vice Chair of the Board, Special Advisor to the President before becoming TDB’s first Chief Operating Officer. She also led the Asset Management business of TDB, including the recent launch of a unique product for trade finance in Africa. 

Dr. Léautier graduated from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) with both a Masters of Science in Transportation and a PhD in Infrastructure Systems. She went on to work at the World Bank Group (WBG), where during her 15-year career she held senior financial positions across the Group.  

Frannie served as Vice-President for nearly seven years of her tenure at the WBG where she also won several awards for her outstanding support and contributions. She was also Senior Vice President at the African Development Bank (AfDB). 

She has also founded two companies: The Fezembat Group, which was dedicated to providing risk management and support through advisory services to top leadership of companies investing in mining, infrastructure and energy in developing and emerging markets; and, 

Mkoba Private Equity Fund, which was founded to invest in small and medium size enterprises in Africa in response to the emerging market opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

In addition to her extensive career, Dr. Léautier holds advisory and governance roles on several boards, including the UN Foundation, OCP Group, Orca Explorations, AZA Finance, and ARC (African Risk Capacity) Ltd. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Regional Advisory Group for Africa and has previously served as co-Chair for the Global Agenda Councils of the WEF.  

Other advisory and board roles she has held include with MIT, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Institute for Security Studies (ISS), King Badouin Foundation US (KBFUS), and Nelson Mandela Institute for Science and Technology (NM-AIST).  

 “On behalf of the Group, I am delighted to welcome Dr. Léautier as Senior Partner. A consummate businesswoman with vast expertise, she is no stranger to the Group having successfully served in a number of capacities with us.” Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Managing Partner of SouthBridge, commented on the announcement. 

“As we continue to experience high growth, Dr. Léautier will leverage her experience to help us deliver strategies that ensure we meet our objective of bridging global excellence with local knowledge.” 

“The Group has enjoyed excellent growth in recent months due to market demand for the services which we offer. This growth in singularly because of the talent we have in house, and we are pleased to have Dr. Léautier’s skillset to complement this,” Lionel Zinsou, Managing Partner of SouthBridge, commented. 

“As we seek to pursue further growth across our service offering, her diverse background will be essential to ensuring the Group appropriately refines our strategy as well as investment activities.” 

“SouthBridge is an exemplary purpose-led organisation, which despite being founded only three years ago, has already delivered innovative solutions to public and private sectors across Africa. I therefore look forward to on-boarding my experience to the Group in a full-time capacity, focusing primarily on strategy development for new business,”Dr. Frannie Léautier, also commented on the announcement. 

“Moreover, as we enter a period of uncertainty due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, I remain cautiously optimistic, not only for the Group’s ability to continue delivering growth, but also to provide solutions on how to surmount and mitigate its impact.”