Tina So has decided to return to her native Hong Kong after two years of working in Shanghai as managing director and CIO at Bank of China International Investment Managers, a joint venture between BoCI and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

In a note to contacts in the industry, So says, ôThis has been a fascinating journey for me. Not only I have the pleasure to live and travel around the country, professionally, I am also very fortunate to have the chance to experience first-hand some of the most profound financial reforms in China and witness the exciting structural transformation of the mainland capital markets. I do firmly believe that the financial markets in China are about to enter a positive cycle of accelerated development and its impact will be felt deeply by us in Hong Kong and Asia.ö

So had joined the newly established JV to set up its investment management team. With her departure, the firmÆs CEO, Chen Ru, will oversee investments until a permanent replacement is found.

The BoCI-IM role saw her return to fund management after a two-year stint as a director at Hong KongÆs Securities and Futures Commission, working under executive director Alexa Lam. Prior to that, she had served as Asia CIO for Schroder Investment Management.

Her time at the SFC was regarded as an experiment, by bringing in a market practitioner to oversee the development of the asset management industry. She played a role in drafting a regulatory framework allowing retail hedge funds and real-estate investment trusts. She had been tipped by some observers as a possible SFC liaison to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, but she had preferred to return to the private sector and the opportunity to work in ChinaÆs emerging funds industry.

But her family remains in Hong Kong and she is now returning for personal reasons. When asked, she declined to comment on future plans in the industry.