Jim O’Neill, chair of Goldman Sachs Asset Management is set to retire later this year.

Known for having coined the term BRIC to describe the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, initial reports claim his departure could be linked to his growing frustrations over the status of Goldman Sachs Asset Management within the bank

Chief executive and chair of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement: ‘After nearly 20 years of outstanding service, Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, has decided to retire from the firm later this year.'

‘Jim is an influential economist and thought leader, and is regarded as an expert in the world’s foreign exchange and bond markets.'

‘In each of his roles at the firm, Jim has served our clients by formulating views on global economic and market themes and helping them to be positioned for the most significant investment opportunities.'

O’Neill joined Goldmans in 1995 as a partner, chief economist and co-head of global economic research, and was appointed head of global economic, commodities and strategy in 2001.

He joined the company’s European management committee in 2006 and was appointed chair of the asset management division in 2010.

O’Neill also gained public fame in the UK as leader of the Red Knights, a campaign group opposed to the leveraged-buyout of Manchester United football club by the US-based Glazer family.

However he was eventually required to step down from the role over a conflict with the Goldman Sachs’ banking relationship with the family. He had previously served as a non-exec at the club.