Ping An Insurance taps Citigroup exec to lead VC unit

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Ping An Insurance Company of China has appointed Jonathan Larsen as chief innovation officer and CEO of its new Global Voyager Fund, created to invest in fin-tech and health-technology startups.

As leader of the $1 billion fund, according to the insurer. Larsen will look to bring new platforms, and business models to Ping An’s global operations. Among other benefits, Ping An will provide startups access to 138 million customers, 1.2 million agents, and 6,000 branches, it says.

"Ping An is the most innovative financial group in China, and a leader in China's fin-tech and health-tech sectors,” said Larsen, in a statement. “I look forward to helping Ping An access global innovations in finance and technology.”

Larsen comes to Ping An by way of Citigroup where he most recently served as global head of retail banking. Other positions held over his 18 years at the banking giant included head of the Asia-Pacific consumer business, CEO of Citibank Singapore, and head of business development for Asia-Pacific. Larsen resigned from Citigroup on Dec. 19, citing personal reasons.

"Mr. Larsen has a strong reputation as an innovator in the financial sector in Asia and globally,” said Peter Ma, Ping An’s chairman and CEO. “He brings a rare combination of global insight and management experience in both finance and technology. We are very pleased to have him as part of our leadership team."

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