Dr. Frannie Leautier


Frannie is the Senior Partner and CEO SouthBridge Investments, an investment firm that works across Africa, and has held senior positions at the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

Frannie 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.

She 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. 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, Frannie 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).

She is skilled in Development Finance, Sustainable Development and Climate, Strategic and Analytical Skills, Investing in Emerging Markets, International Business, International Relations, and Management.