This paper introduces a modeling framework for distributed regression with agents/experts observing attribute-distributed data (heterogeneous data). Under this model, a new algorithm, the iterative covariance optimization algorithm (ICOA), is designed to reshape the covariance matrix of the training residuals of individual agents so that the linear combination of the individual estimators minimizes the ensemble training error. Moreover, a scheme (Minimax Protection) is designed to provide a trade-off between the number of data instances transmitted among the agents and the performance of the ensemble estimator without undermining the convergence of the algorithm. This scheme also provides an upper bound (with high probability) on the test error of the ensemble estimator. The efficacy of ICOA combined with Minimax Protection and the comparison between the upper bound and actual performance are both demonstrated by simulations.