State Street Global Advisors’ head of exchange-traded funds for Asia Pacific, Frank Henze, has exited the firm after almost four years, AsianInvestor has learned.

It is understood Henze left in the past two weeks, with the firm moving to unite its ETF business with its broader intermediary business group.

Sources indicate that Henze's responsibilities will be taken over internally by James MacNevin, who has just been unveiled in a new role as head of intermediary business for Asia Pacific, as reported by AsianInvestor.

However, a spokeswoman for SSgA tells AsianInvestor that MacNevin is not a direct replacement for Henze.

MacNevin himself is quoted as saying: "We have taken some key steps toward better positioning our business to capture growth opportunities in the Apac intermediary space. More specifically we will be uniting the ETF business together with the broader intermediary business group."

An SSgA spokesperson said separately: "Having a single lead in the intermediary space under the strategic direction of James MacNevin will enable us to holistically coordinate resources, identify growing opportunities and, more importantly, address the growing needs of our clients."

MacNevin remains based in Sydney and retains his role as chief operating officer for Asia Pacific, reporting to Lochiel Crafter, head of Asia Pacific, and Jim Ross, global head of SPDR exchange-traded funds and intermediary distribution.

From 2009 to 2012 MacNevin was SSgA’s international head of operations and technology based in London. He returned to Australia in 2012 to take up the COO role, having started his career at SSgA in 1994 as Asia-Pacific head of investment operations.

“This is part of a move by SSgA away from its current product organisation to more of a client segmentation,” notes one senior recruitment executive based in Asia.

SSgA had initially poached Henze from HSBC in December 2010 to oversee its ETF expansion strategy in the region, including Japan and Australia. His remit was to increase the size and visibility of SSgA’s range of SPDR ETFs. It formed part of SSgA’s commitment to growing its ETF business globally, with a strategic focus on Asia Pacific.

A German national, Henze had previously been responsible for global ETF product development at HSBC based in London. Before that he spent five years with iShares in Europe, latterly as European head of product development.

SSgA is the largest ETF provider in Asia Pacific ex-Japan in terms of assets with $13.6 billion via its range of SPDR ETFs, equating to a 15.3% market share, according to data from London-based research firm ETFGI.

In total SSgA has 18 exchange-traded products and 22 listings in the region. However, it has seen its net new assets decline by $215 million this year to end-May, having also seen a $149 million decline in net new assets last year.

SSgA, the investment management business of State Street Corporation, introduced ETFs in Asia Pacific in 1999 when it launched the Tracker Fund of Hong Kong. That product is currently the second largest ETF in the region by assets, with $7.11 billion as at the end of May this year.

It was usurped from top spot this year after seeing $161 million in net outflows since the start of 2014. It has been replaced by the iShares FTSE A50 China Index ETF, which has $7.15 billion in assets and has attracted $892 million in net assets this year.

The second largest ETF provider by assets in this region is iShares with $9.4 billion and a 10.5% market share, followed by Samsung Asset Management with $8.7 billion and a 9.7% share.

Together the top three ETF providers including SSgA account for 35.6% of Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) ETF assets, according to ETFGI.