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Linklaters PE head to join LeapFrog as GC

Stuart Bedford – who has led more than $40bn of transactions across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe – joins the impact investment firm as general counsel from UK law firm Linklaters.

LeapFrog Investments has hired Stuart Bedford as general counsel. Bedford joins the impact investment firm from UK law firm Linklaters, where he was head of the London corporate division and the private equity group.

During his tenure, Bedford has led more than $40 billion of transactions across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, including major M&As, IPOs and placings, according to a statement. He has worked with a number of firm’s including Carlyle, TIAA-CREF, Khazanah, Temasek and Standard Chartered Principal Finance. Earlier in his career at Linklaters he was head of the corporate division for Asia.

Bedford has two decades of legal experience across financial services, food and beverages, mining, infrastructure and energy. In his new role, he will oversee all of LeapFrog’s legal functions.

LeapFrog’s founding general counsel, Tom Brunner, will stay on with the firm as partner.

“Stuart is a star performer and exceptional leader in his field globally, bringing deep pattern recognition and multi-market capabilities,”said Andrew Kuper, CEO and founder of LeapFrog. “His distinctive expertise further strengthens LeapFrog’s governance, risk management and transaction capabilities.”

LeapFrog typically looks to invest between $10 million and $50 million in financial services businesses in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Since last year, LeapFrog has been increasing its headcount and promoting partners as the firm prepares to launch its third fund, according to sister publication Private Equity International. Richard Brandweiner, chief investment officer at Australian superannuation fund First State Super, stepped down last month to join the firm, Felix Olale joined as a partner in February to lead African healthcare investments and Karima Ola joined the firm in January as a partner focused on African investments.

In 2015, the firm made a string of hires including Vaughan Lindsay, who joined as a director to lead LeapFrog Labs, the firm’s research and development hub; Simon Martin, who joined as a director to help drive value-creation initiatives across LeapFrog’s portfolio companies; and Akua Owusu-Akonor, who joined as associate director to work on human resources, recruiting and change management for LeapFrog’s portfolio companies.