Morgan Stanley has announced that Jon Fouts is to return to New York after a two-and-a-half year stint in Asia as head of GCM. His departure has been long expected, since the firm always viewed his time in the region as a two to three year rotation and he now returns to his home town to take up an as yet unspecified senior role in US GCM.

GCM is the firm's term for its integrated debt and equity platform and Fouts has largely been responsible for establishing the Asian operations. He leaves behind a very lean team of 14 run by co-heads Danny Palmer and Max Blandon.

In turn they will report to Mike Berchtold, Morgan Stanley's head of Asian Investment banking, as well as Jon Anda and Walid Chammah, global co-heads of GCM.

Palmer, who comes from equities side of the business and Blandon, who comes from the debt side, have three executive directors underneath them. The team is run along geographical lines, with Crawford Jamieson covering Greater China, Kate Richdale South East Asia based out of Singapore and Marcus Fanning Australia.

Beneath them are two vice presidents - George Taylor, who runs equity syndicate and Alexandra MacMahon, who is based in Australia. There are also two associates including Saab Dash, who runs debt syndicate and five analysts.

Fouts, who has worked for Morgan Stanley for nine years is described by colleagues as energetic, enthusiastic and a natural optimist. He names his two favourite deals as Korea Telecom's secondary placement and China Telecom's IPO, both of which were executed during difficult market conditions.

However, he seems most proud of the team he has put together. "I feel I'm leaving a really strong bench in Asia," he says. "Danny and Max have been doing a great job and they have a great team to lead."