A growing trend of appointing government officials to senior management posts at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) is causing concern among brokers and legislators. They warn that increasing reliance on bureaucrats will inhibit its development as a profit-oriented private company. They also fear that the former government officials could foster a bureaucratic culture that would reduce the exchange's administrative efficiency and overall competitiveness. Another worry is that these employees could increase the Government's influence at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. Principal Assistant Secretary for Financial Services Bryan Chan is the latest official to resign his government post to accept an exchange position, according to sources at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. He will join the exchange on August 1 as a senior executive in the listing division, they said. The Civil Service Bureau confirmed that Mr Chan had resigned but refused to disclose any other information. Brokers were expecting the secretary-general of the Construction Industry Review Committee, Jessie Ting Ip Yin-mei, to join Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing as its information technology head at the end of the year. The sources confirmed Ms Ting had been approached by the exchange, but she denied the speculation and said she had no intention of working there. Brokers said Ms Ting was approached because of her technology background. She was Kwong Ki-chi's deputy from July 1998 until he resigned as Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting to join the exchange as its chief executive in March. Brokers believe Mr Kwong would like to solve Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's brain drain by luring government cronies to join the exchange with higher salaries. The loss of key staff is a major concern for Mr Kwong. Alec Tsui Yiu-wa, Hong Kong Clearing and Exchange's chief operating officer will leave at the end of the month to join Regent Pacific Group as its chief executive. Also, the sources said, stock exchange senior executive director Wong Siu-fun would leave the exchange soon. 'What we could see is a trend of exchange executives joining the private sectors and Government officials filling the vacancies,' a broker said. Democratic Party financial affairs spokesman Sin Chung-kai said he was worried too many former government officials at the exchange could turn it into a 'government exchange'. 'The Government should avoid having too much influence at the exchange and should allow it to run as any other private company,' he said. The company already has a Government-dominated board. Eight of the 14 board members are government appointees, while the rest are brokers. A Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing official refused to comment on any appointments and said all vacancies were filled after open, fair recruitment procedures.