The Fintech Finance 40: Jonathan Larsen
Chairman and CEO, Ping An Global Voyager Fund
Currently ranked: 38
Previously ranked: PNR
Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China is aiming to be a global pioneer in technology, investing with a strategy designed to help its own business benefit from the best innovation.
The giant insurer stepped up fintech investing in a big way with its May announcement of the $1 billion Ping An Global Voyager Fund. The new investment pool, which is managed from Hong Kong, targets tech companies in finance and health care that are largely outside China.
“The primary rationale for the fund is strategic . . . to find capabilities, ideas, business models, and technologies that can be valuable to Ping An,” Jonathan Larsen, chairman and chief executive officer of the new fund, told Reuters at a conference in Hong Kong in July.
Larsen also serves as chief innovation officer at Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., which at the end of June had $917 billion in assets. The Shenzhen-based company has a track record in backing successful fintech businesses, including health care services app Ping An Good Doctor and Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co., which offers peer-to-peer lending and wealth management services as Lu.com.
Ping An Global Voyager Fund announced in September that for its first deal it had led a £34 million ($45 million) series A funding round for 10x Future Technologies, a London-based banking technology firm founded in October 2016 by former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins.
The start-up is “a wake-up call to banks everywhere,” said Larsen, who was previously Citigroup’s global head of retail banking, in the announcement. “We are looking forward to working with 10x Future Technologies to bring the company’s capabilities to Asia, given the vast local demand for innovative technologies that will transform the finance industry.”