US firm Pyramis Global Advisors is searching for a new head of institutional sales for Asia (ex-Japan) following the departure of Shen Tan, AsianInvestor can confirm.

The $187 billion subsidiary of US house Fidelity Investments created the Asia sales role in 2010 and hired Tan from Deutsche Asset Management to fill it, as reported.

That came shortly after Pyramis opened its distribution office in Hong Kong, talking up plans for a global expansion and build-out of its global equity research and portfolio management teams.

Just last month it hired equity analyst Tom Quarmby, who focuses on Asian financials. He was formerly at Barclays Capital. Last year it also added William Pang from ING Investment Management and Bruce Macdonald on the investments side.

But Tan left Pyramis in February. It is understood he is taking time out before deciding his next move, although he declined to comment when approached by AsianInvestor.

Cloe Park, who has worked at Pyramis for the past two-and-a-half years in Hong Kong and is head of Korea sales, is taking over Tan’s accounts on an interim basis.

The institutional investment firm now has two sales staff based in Asia. Last August Pyramis announced an expansion of its global distribution team.

It hired Colin Fitzgerald from Robeco Group as head of international distribution (i.e. ex-North America). Based out of London, his focus is on expanding in Europe and Asia. He had been global head of key accounts and consultants at Robeco.

Fitzgerald will look to figure out the next steps that Pyramis will take in Asia, and that includes finding a replacement for Tan.

Tan had been at Pyramis in Hong Kong for close to three years, with a focus on developing solutions for sovereign wealth funds, central banks and other institutions.

When he started his focus was on global long-only and long-short equity strategies – particularly in the small-cap sector – and fixed income investments.

Formed in 2005 to focus on institutional investing, Pyramis had $187.5 billion in AUM globally at end-2012.

Equity accounts for $87 billion (46%), fixed income $71 billion (38%), US equity $25 billion (13%) and alternatives $3.6 billion (2%). It does not publicly break out its Asia numbers.

Its alternatives bucket includes real estate debt and Reit investment strategies, US, international, global and sector market-neutral strategies.