Goldman Sachs Asset Management confirmed today that Oliver Bolitho will leave his role as Asia-Pacific chairman at the end of the year after 15 years with the firm.

He will remain with the US fund house as an advisory director for an unspecified length of time, but industry observers expect him to resurface in a new post at some point. It is believed that Bolitho will not be replaced as regional chairman.

The move came as little surprise to the market, given that Sheila Patel took over from him as Asia-Pacific ex-Japan head last November, after which Bolitho assumed the chairman role.

Patel also took up the role of head of GSAM’s international operations based in Singapore. She had previously been co-head of GSAM for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) with Andrew Wilson. Her responsibility now stretches to all GSAM operations outside the US – that is, Emea and Asia Pacific ex-Japan.

GSAM declined to comment on Bolitho’s departure.

A Hong Kong-based recruiter says: "He’s a heavyweight in the market and has presided over significant growth of their business over the years. And there are not many places as big as GSAM he could move to."

Prior to moving to Asia, Bolitho was head of GSAM’s UK and Irish business from 2001 to 2006. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1998 and was named managing director in 2003 and partner in 2008.

Bolitho's departure follows that of several senior executives from the investment banking side of Goldman in Asia this year.

In July, David Ryan, Goldman’s president for Asia ex Japan, announced plans to retire and return to the US later this year.

Then news came out in October that Mike Evans, head of the bank’s emerging markets business and a potential candidate to succeed chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, is also leaving the bank, although Evans reportedly plans to stay on as a senior director.

And most recently, it was revealed that Daniel Dees, co-head of investment banking in Asia Pacific ex-Japan, will return to the US to take on a global role, likely within the next two to six months.

GSAM has over $800 billion in global AUM, of which Asia Pacific accounted for $97.2 billion as of September 30, 2012.