China's Ping An launches $1bn global FinTech fund

China’s largest insurer Ping An Insurance Group is moving beyond its home market by launching a debut overseas fund for global investments in FinTech and healthcare technology.

The $1 billion Ping An Global Voyager Fund will be based in Hong Kong and is headed by CitiGroup stalwart Jonathan Larsen (pictured), who has joined the Chinese giant as Chief Innovation Officer. As the global head of Citi's retail banking operations, he spearheaded many of the bank's digital innovations, including voice biometrics for authentication.

Unlike its existing venture capital business, which focuses on early-stage investments in China across a broad range of sectors, the new fund will look specifically to FinTech and healthcare monitoring tech across the world over the next three to four years as part of an ongoing drive to build up its expertise in these arenas.

The Shenzhen-based group has already garnered experience in the FinTech space via its Lufax subsidiary, China's biggest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and wealth management platform. It has also invested in Good Doctor, the health app worth $3 billion in a 2016 funding round.

Established in 1988, Ping An was the first Chinese insurer to have a shareholding structure and foreign shareholders and employs about 870 000 life insurance sales agents and 275 000 full-time employees. Ping An is the world's largest insurance company by market capitalisation and fourth largest by total assets.