Christopher Reddy has just packed his bags for the wintry plains of Des Moines, Iowa. The 10-year Asia veteran is returning to the United States with Principal Financial Group to head up the domestic defined benefit business.

"For those of you that know me well, you may be surprised to hear that my next posting will be in our corporate headquarters in Des Moines," he wrote in a farewell letter. Surprising indeed, given Reddy's love for the Asia region. He made the most of his opportunities here, stretching a normal three-to-five year expatriate tour of duty to a decade, says his Hong Kong boss, Rex Auyeung, managing director and CEO for Asia. "It was time to move him back," Auyeung says.

Reddy's last position was COO for Asia, in which he helped Auyeung establish and grow businesses in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan, Reddy's three posts during his tour. He was also active in India and China.

Auyeung says he will be replaced in February by JC "Cam" Tupling, who will relocate to Hong Kong from Des Moines as COO. Tupling is currently vice president for business development in Latin American and Asia, and has supported Auyeung from the head office for a number of years. Tupling has also served as country heads at several Latin American offices while working at AIG as well as in Spain for Principal. He has been travelling regularly to Asia for several years.

Says Auyeung: "We started small in all the Asian markets but now all of these operations can stand on their own. I now need an executive who can help me make the operations more efficient." Tupling, an accountant by training, will be involved in India, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan, and support the firm's moves into China as well.