Top staff from bus companies have already been poached by their big-spending new rival New World First Bus Services, just a day after its franchise win. First Bus said it had assembled a management team made up of former Citybus, KMB and CMB senior staff. The team also includes staff from First Bus' parent companies, the New World Group and FirstGroup. Operations director Mark Savelli refused to reveal how many former rivals had been taken on but said they had brought a wealth of experience. 'We have recruited some managers from CMB, KMB and Citybus - these are people with a lot of bus experience in Hong Kong,' said Mr Savelli, a former operations manager for Citybus. 'We have a good line-up of management staff and will have a strong team of managers coming out from England. 'We have access to a big pool, over 22,000 staff in the United Kingdom.' FirstGroup chief executive officer Moir Lockhead said that some of his British-based staff would be sent to Hong Kong on secondment. 'We need to bring people out as we have to get the thing set up, get new vehicles in and make sure services are up and running smoothly,' Mr Lockhead said. A team of experts and technicians will arrive in Hong Kong over the next few days, including specialists in road safety and garage design. FirstGroup divisional director for bus operations Peter Hendy said 'one or two' British experts would remain in Hong Kong once operations began. 'What we are looking to do is supply a level of technical expertise,' Mr Hendy said. 'Obviously there is a large quantity of new vehicles which will be arriving and we are going to help with their introduction and in designing new garages and advising on safety.'