Indosuez WI Carr Securities yesterday saw most of its futures team walk out in a defection rarely seen, while the broking industry undergoes a slump. The departures forced the brokerage to suspend futures trading for the day, as it scrambled to put together a team to begin executing orders next week. Managing director Nakhli Zeidan, head of the derivatives team, said five of the eight dedicated futures dealers and sales executives had left. 'They are pursuing other opportunities,' he said. The team is believed to have been poached by a United States bank seeking to enter the market. The bank could not be reached for comment yesterday. Last December, the brokerage fired about 12 per cent of its staff and in January offered the remaining employees pay cuts that averaged about 10 per cent, according to staff members. Sources said the defection might have been linked to pay and working-hours issues. '[The defecting team] had been working really hard . . . because their market share was up,' said a former WI Carr employee working at a European brokerage. Among those who left was the senior floor trader, who had been with firm for more than four years. This year, volumes have been booming in futures, in contrast to lacklustre turnover on the stock exchange. Futures exchange volumes are up more than 30 per cent this year over last year. Observers expect WI Carr to face little difficulty replacing its team, given the current bear market. 'In this market, you can pick up good people. [WI Carr has] been gaining market share. It can poach people if it needs to.'