EP 37 – Jonathan Larsen – Ping An Group – Technology Was Largely an Inhibitor

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Michael Waitze has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective. Michael worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo. Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia while building the biggest and fastest-growing listener base in the region. His flagship website, AsiaTechPodcast.com, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.

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In this episode, Michael Waitze talks to Jonathan Larsen Chief Innovation Officer at Ping An Group and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Ping An’s Global Voyager Fund. Ping An, founded in 1988, is a world-leading technology-powered retail financial services group and one of the largest financial services companies in the world. If you want to learn more about Ping An, Rahul Mathur analyzed the company in this blog post The Insurance Incumbent Turned Technology Giant.

Jonathan talks about Ping An’s Five Ecosystem Strategy and the benefits of plugging in micro-services. He gives an overview of the journey of the 31-year-old company and the meaning and implications behind the decision to be a technology-first company. Ping An has developed digital processes throughout the insurance value chain and has strong capabilities in data analytics, AI and blockchain. Jonathan also touches on what it takes to be a technology-first company from changes in the mindset of management to HR strategies and hiring tech talents. 

Michael and Jonathan then talk about the expansion of the Global Voyager Fund globally and the investment hypothesis of the group. Jonathan elaborates on some of the investments they have made and what role those companies will potentially play in the Ping An Group.

Other companies mentioned in this episode:

AutoHome, Airdoc, Riverain, and Alibaba

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