Indosuez WI Carr's high-flying futures-trading team lost two associate sales directors and two floor traders yesterday to a developing operation at South China Brokerage. 'This move will greatly strengthen the business and introduces us to a different kind of clientele,' said a founding member of Hong Kong-listed South China. WI Carr's futures-trading team has gained the No 2 position in market share, after Merrill Lynch. During the past month, however, the brokerage has been beset with staffing problems in the high-stress futures-trading division. In mid-June, five floor traders and execution staff stomped off before being lured back the next working day with a richer compensation package. Sources said WI Carr offered to up the pay for the most recent departing group, and that South China may have had to deliver a counter-offer. For South China Brokerage, the hires spell a drive to create an institutional client base in one of the few growing markets in Hong Kong. Volumes in futures trading from January to June rose 34.5 per cent against the same period last year. Thus far, South China's futures business has primarily been retail. One of the departing members of WI Carr's team, Tony Moore, said: 'It's pretty exciting, for ourselves and South China . . . everything seems to have fallen into place perfectly.' Also departing is associate director Dominick Moynihan and two floor traders. There are about 12 members of WI Carr's derivatives team, of which about eight are dedicated to futures. Mr Moore predicted WI Carr would quickly recover from the loss of half of its futures team. 'No doubt, they'll rebound strongly,' he said. WI Carr is owned by the French bank Credit Agricole Indosuez.