The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund’s five-year plan will be financed with $385mn
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund announced that it completed its latest funding round on 10 April, raising US$385mn in long-term debt capital.
The financing will be used to fund the public private partnership’s five year business plan – the core strategy being to mobile the private sector capital to enhance infrastructure investments.
KFW, FMO, Standard Chartered Bank, and the African Development Bank all returned to fund EAIF.
Allianz, the financial services company based in Germany, invested money in the fund for the first time.
“We believe in Africa’s growth potential and will invest across different asset classes across the continent,” stated Sebastian Schroff, Global Head of Private Debt at Allianz Investment Management.
“The partnership with EAIF and Investec Asset Management is an important contribution to this initiative and illustrates how to create attractive risk and return profiles with the necessary downside protection for our policyholders.”
“We are delighted to put our infrastructure debt expertise to work to help facilitate Allianz’ investment strategy in Africa,” commented Nadia Nikolova, Director of Infrastructure Debt at Allianz GI.
“Over the last five years, our global infrastructure debt platform has invested over €10 billion into infrastructure projects across the globe.”
“As Africa unlocks its economic potential, the continent will become increasingly important for institutional investors.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.