LeapFrog Investments hires Souleymane Ba as co-head of climate strategy

Steve Howard, vice chair of sustainability at Singapore state investor Temasek, is also joining the private equity firm’s climate advisory board.

Souleymane Ba leapfrog
LeapFrog Investments has named Souleymane Ba partner and co-head of climate strategy. Image: LeapFrog Investments

LeapFrog Investments has named Souleymane Ba partner and co-head of climate strategy, the London-based asset manager that focuses on Asian and African markets announced Tuesday.

Ba joins alongside four new senior advisors, who will keep their concurrent roles in other organisations. Steve Howard, Mike Berners-Lee and Damilola Ogunbiyi are appointed to LeapFrog’s climate advisory board, while Gina Domanig enters the climate investment committee.

Howard is vice chairman of sustainability at Singapore state investor Temasek, which has a minority stake in LeapFrog and previously committed US$500 million to the firm. Berners-Lee, brother of the World Wide Web’s inventor, is professor at Lancaster University and founder of sustainability advisory Small World Consulting. Ogunbiyi is chief executive of the United Nations-backed global initiative Sustainable Energy for All. Domanig is managing partner of Emerald Technology Ventures.

Ba has spent nearly 20 years in the private investment space, most recently at green fund Just Climate. He has in the past managed funding for Africa’s food, agriculture, finance and infrastructure sectors, as well as in transport and energy storage in the United States.

Ba will lead climate strategy alongside co-head Nakul Zaveri, who joined at the end of 2022.

“I am convinced the path to robust, low carbon growth for the world’s five billion emerging consumers is through breakthrough business models that both protect the planet and enable greater prosperity,” said Ba.

LeapFrog said the new roles complete its climate leadership team, and supports its US$500 million sustainable funding pledge in emerging markets. The financier believes there is a US$330 billion per year opportunity in greening the agriculture, buildings, energy and mobility sectors – on top of saving 8 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases and generating 90 million new jobs by 2030.

The European Investment Bank is also currently appraising an estimated US$60 million financing package for LeapFrog’s climate strategy. 

The private equity firm has offices in South Africa and Singapore. It had been focusing mainly on the financial services and healthcare sectors before the latest climate foray. Most of its Asian portfolio is based in South Asia.

Globally, over US$6 trillion a year is needed annually to get to net-zero emissions by mid-century, up from about US$1 trillion today. Emerging markets continue to face a disproportionately large shortfall despite many being at the forefront of growing climate risks.


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