Citigroup Asset Management's Gary Jackson, senior vice president and director of DC plans for Japan, is leaving Tokyo at the end of the month and returning to the United States. The other four members of his team, assembled in preparation for Japan's leap into the DC world, have been reassigned to other units of Citigroup.

The move is symptomatic of problems common to many foreign fund managers in Japan. Firms have, to date, spent up to $100 million in preparation for the DC law, which has been postponed several times since last year, a hostage to the gridlock politics of the Mori administration.

Jackson, who served in Tokyo for about two years, is also said to have had personal reasons to want to return to the US with his family. Given the likelihood of more delays to the legislation, now seemed like a convenient time for him to up sticks and go.

However, Graham Chan, Jackson's Hong Kong-based counterpart for the rest of Asia, stresses the ease with which the organization can send someone from New York to restart the division once the legislation passes. He also says that Japan is the first market outside the US in which Citigroup and State Street wish to market their US strategic alliance, CitiStreet. This offers administration, outsourcing and investment management services to pension, health and welfare funds.