A senior member of BlackRock’s Asia distribution team, Heather Pelant, is set to return to the US, having transferred to Hong Kong 18 months ago to take up a newly created role, say sources.

It is unclear whether the fund house will be making a hire to replace her as head of retail and private bank distribution for Hong Kong, Singapore and Southeast Asia. Damien Mooney, Asia ex-Japan head of retail, is expected to assume Pelant's. Her transfer to San Francisco is expected to happen within the next few months.

BlackRock declined to comment.

Pelant had moved to Hong Kong from the US in September 2012 as part of a revamp of the Asian distribution team, as reported by AsianInvestor.

The reshuffle was based around the notion that clients such as private banks as well as institutions were being faced by too many product specialists, marketing active or passive strategies in equities, fixed income and alternatives.

The original plan – as reported in September 2012 – had been for BlackRock's Taiwan head, Chang Lin-Yun, to relocate to Hong Kong as retail head for Asia ex-Japan.

Chang has since left the firm, around November last year, with Mooney taking on his regional duties. Leo Seewald, former Taiwan chairman at Manulife Asset Management, came in to assume Chang's role as Taiwan head.

Under Chang and Pelant, the firm had sought to consolidate its interfaces with consumer and private banks, in order to have a more strategic, less product-orientated discussion with clients, covering passive, active, quantitative and alternative approaches.

Pelant had joined BlackRock in 2003, initially at Barclays Global Investors, which merged with BlackRock in 2009. She ran distribution for iShares’ US private wealth business, as well as headed up iShares’ Canadian business.

She has also worked for Morgan Stanley Asset Management and the Morgan Stanley Consulting Services Group. She grew up in Malaysia and studied in Japan.