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3 Dec 2009

Alternative Investor LeapFrog Invests $6 Million in AllLife

HedgeCo News Archives - LeapFrog Investments has announced a ZAR 50 million (over $6 million) investment in AllLife, one of Africa's most innovative insurance businesses. The announcement took place after World AIDS Day.

Launched with President Bill Clinton in 2008, LeapFrog has raised $47 million to date from leading banks, funds, and microfinance and insurance investors. Its profit-with-purpose investment approach has been hailed by many global leaders as a new frontier for alternative investment and microfinance.

"AllLife has developed a distinctive and profitable business model, reaching customers that other insurers have been unable to access," says Gary Herbert, a LeapFrog Principal. "LeapFrog is providing AllLife's team with support to grow their client base by several multiples, and expertise to help management cascade their unique systems into new products and markets."

AllLife, a pioneer in continuous underwriting, links insurance products to an adherence management program. The program ensures clients manage their health appropriately, routinely alerting them to potential health concerns and helping them take action to maintain their wellbeing - such as regularly testing and taking anti-retroviral medications. As a result, AllLife offers more competitively priced products, and covers people whom the insurance industry has often regarded as uninsurable.

"No one who is willing to manage their disease appropriately should be denied life insurance," says Ross Beerman, Managing Director of AllLife. "These are potential policyholders, willing to pay for reasonably priced insurance, and willing to take steps to manage their disease so that they lead long and productive lives. From a business risk and profitability perspective, of course they're insurable - we simply had to invent systems to monitor and support them in the right ways."

AllLife's world-class team and strong strategic plan position it to continue a rapid growth trajectory - its client base grew by 250% last year. AllLife targets reaching 50,000 HIV+ and diabetic policyholders in just a few years, generating strong profits and significant social impact.

In total, 250,000 policyholders and dependents will enjoy the financial security that insurance provides. Most have been unable to obtain insurance or could do so at very high cost - preventing them from taking out home loans, starting businesses, or engaging in other economic activities requiring insurance. Access to insurance has also been shown to reduce stigma associated with HIV, and measurably improve health outcomes. According to Beerman, the company sees an average 15% improvement in clients' health, just from having an AllLife insurance policy.

"We saw in this extraordinary company an opportunity to generate meaningful profits for investors while ending the exclusion of thousands of families from life insurance and participation in the economy," says Ingo Weber, an Investment Committee Member of LeapFrog and a former Managing Director at Swiss Re. LeapFrog's Founder and President, Andrew Kuper, concluded: "For anyone wondering if it's possible to do well by doing good, today that question is answered."

Long/Short Equity Hedge Fund Sector Fell Short in November - Credit Suisse

HedgeCo News Archive - Based on November performance for the Credit Suisse Long/Short Equity Liquid Index (LAB Long/Short Equity Liquid Index), Long/Short Equity funds did not fully capitalize on November's equity market rally since many funds are maintaining more conservative positions in anticipation of year-end, according to Jordan Drachman, Head of Research for Alternative Beta Strategies at Credit Suisse.

"Long/Short Equity hedge funds underperformed most global equity markets as managers maintained relatively neutral exposure to equity markets and many began to lock in profits before the end of the year." Dr. Drachman noted, "Global Macro hedge funds experienced positive performance this month as managers capitalized on increased macro-economic activity. The LAB Long/Short Equity Liquid Index was down -0.75% (net) for the month, while the Credit Suisse Global Macro Liquid Index (LAB Global Macro Liquid Index) finished up 2.23% (net) in the same period."

LAB (formerly known as Alternative Index Replication or AIR) is a series of indices that seek to replicate the aggregate return profiles of alternative investment strategies using liquid, tradable instruments. The LAB umbrella currently includes the Long/Short Equity Liquid Index and the Global Macro Liquid Index which enable investors to gain liquid, transparent insight into the Global Macro and Long/Short Equity sectors of the Credit Suisse/Tremont Hedge Fund Index.