Ben Rudd is set to leave his role as head of overseas investment at Ping An Asset Management to join a newly set up single-family office (SFO) as chief investment officer, AsianInvestor can reveal.

He is working out his notice and is due to start at Hong Kong-based Caravel Asset Management on March 10 alongside two other professionals, with a remit to build the team. He will initially have an investment team of up to five reporting to him.

Rudd will oversee $500 million to $1 billion within the asset management division, mainly in public equities and credit but also with an alternatives allocation, including hedge funds and private equity.

Caravel was set up last year by Harindarpal ‘Harry’ Banga, formerly vice chairman emeritus of commodities trading house Noble Group. The family office is based on three pillars: an asset management and private equity platform; an umbrella covering all Caravel’s maritime operations – such as ship management, owning and chartering; and a resources and commodities section.

Banga started Caravel with his sons Guneet and Angad, putting over $1 billion into the firm, which – in addition to investment management – will focus on strategic asset ownership and trading and logistics of dry bulk raw materials.

Caravel is an “institutionalisation” of the existing FO setup, which has been in existence for some time, given that the pool of money has been growing rapidly, say sources. At the moment, the family has no plans to raise third-party capital.

As head of overseas investment at Ping An AM Hong Kong, Rudd runs the foreign portfolios of Ping An Insurance, China’s second biggest insurer by AUM. This accounted for around 2% ($3 billion) of Shanghai-based Ping An’s $149.3 billion as of end-2012. The firm also manages or co-manages several external funds for clients amounting to assets of $500 million to $1 billion.

Rudd also runs the Hong Kong office, with all team heads reporting to him, including for investment, business development, finance and human resources. Nixon Mak, head of fixed income at Ping An AM HK, is expected to assume Rudd's responsibilities, at least in the interim.

Ping An declined to comment. 

Rudd has been head of overseas investment since 2010, having joined Ping An AM HK in 2008 as head of global investment strategy. He is a member of Ping An’s asset allocation committee.

Before joining Ping An, Rudd was portfolio manager at Acacia Research, a London-based multi-family office, and before that a macro analyst at UK macro hedge fund Caxton Asset Management. He also worked in London as a strategist for both ABN Amro for five years and HSBC Investments, where he also did a stint in sales trading.