The first vote for directors at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing was a victory for the status quo, as five out of the six winners served on the former exchanges' ruling bodies. 'Brokers wanted experienced ones to sit on the board to protect their interests,' a broker said. The six elected directors will work with eight Government-appointed directors and chief executive Kwong Ki-chi to form the 15-member board. Their term will last from next Monday until April 2003. The election was also a victory for the Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association (HKSA). Four candidates it supported led the poll. John Seto Gin-chung, chief executive at HSBC Broking Services, received the largest number of net votes with more than 300 million. Dannis Lee Jor-hung, former chairman of the association, ranked second, with 294 million net votes. Yue Wai-keung, dealing director of Luen Fat Securities, got 247 million net votes. HKSA chairman Paul Fan Chor-ho got 246 million net votes. Mr Seto is a former vice-chairman of the stock exchange, while the other three are former stock exchange council members. Vincent Lee Kwan-ho, managing director of Tung Tai Group, is the only new face. He received 115 million net votes. He was supported by another broker's body, the Institute of Securities Dealers. Bill Kwok Chi-piu, a former futures exchange vice-chairman, got 700,000 net votes. The remaining candidates lost, as they received more negative votes than supporting votes from brokers. A total of 413 brokers voted, representing 65 per cent of the 500 stock brokers and 130 futures brokers. Each stockbroker seat carried 805,000 votes and each futures broker seat carried 1.39 million. The votes are equal to the number of exchange shares held. The brokers could vote for or against the candidates. The only candidate from an international broker, James Sheridan, of Goldman Sachs, was not elected. Fung Chi-kin, a legislator representing the brokerage industry, criticised the election. Mr Fung said that the board had too much Government influence. He pointed out that all 10 candidates were nominated by the Government. However, exchange chairman Charles Lee Yeh-kwong argued that all 10 candidates were experienced brokers, and they would represent brokers' interests. He also pointed out the Government would not be involved in the next election for directors. 'At that time, all shareholders of the exchange can nominate the candidates for the election,' Mr Lee said. 'The board of directors will also be able to nominate candidates.'