Ping An Insurance has appointed Jonathan Larsen as chief innovation officer of the group and chairman and CEO of a new $1bn fund, the Ping An Global Voyager Fund, which will invest in fin-tech and health-tech opportunities globally.
Larsen will be responsible for bringing new technologies, platforms and business models to Ping An’s businesses in China and internationally. In addition he will seek to leverage Ping An’s technology capabilities to add value to companies in which the Ping An Global Voyager Fund invests. Lastly, he will be responsible for identifying new platforms to support Ping An’s international growth.
The Ping An Global Voyager Fund will be managed from Hong Kong and will invest in fin-tech and health-tech businesses globally (largely ex-China). The Initial size of the fund will be $1bn with the ultimate goal to be an internationally leading technology investment pioneer.
The fund will provide potential access for investee companies to Ping An’s 138 million customers, 1.2 million agents, 6,000 branches and extensive digital distribution assets in mainland China.
Larsen brings nearly 30 years of experience in the finance industry to Ping An. He spent 18 years at Citigroup where he was most recently global head of retail banking.
Other roles performed by Larsen at Citi include head of the Asia Pacific consumer business, CEO of Citibank Singapore, head of wealth management Asia and head of business development for Asia-Pacific.
Larsen led many innovations at Citi including important contributions to the firm’s digital platforms, new distribution models and a wide range of new product offerings. Prior to joining Citi, Larsen was a principal in the global management consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton, advising financial institutions across Asia and globally.
Commenting on his new appointment, Larsen said: “Ping An is the most innovative financial group in China, and a leader in China’s fin-tech and health-tech sectors. I look forward to helping Ping An access global innovations in finance and technology and build a global presence in fin-tech and health-tech. I feel privileged to be a member of Ping An’s leadership team and part of this unique organisation.”
Ping An is the third largest insurance company in the world. It has RMB 5.5trn ($798bn) in total assets and, in 2016, achieved annual revenue of RMB 774.4bn and annual profits of RMB 62.4bn.
As an example of Ping An’s innovation, Ping An Good Doctor, provides health management services for 140 million users, with the peak number of monthly active users at 18.79 million.