Fimat Group, the brokerage arm of Societe Generale, is transferring several senior officials to Hong Kong in response to growing demand for prime brokering and other services from across Asia.

The firm has been putting resources into regional hub Hong Kong to develop its operational infrastructure, especially in the areas of risk, legal and compliance, and e-trading.

Wessel Van der Scheer has moved to Hong Kong as CEO Asia-Pacific to oversee the regional expansion. He replaces Alain Bozzi, who has been promoted to Fimat Group vice chairman and CEO in Paris. Van der Scheer had previously served as Asia managing director from Sydney since 2002.

He takes the helm following a busy 2004. Fimat has become a major player in executing futures on the Hong Kong Futures Exchange and in electronic trading of Nikkei futures in Singapore. It opened an office in India and became the first foreign member of the Tokyo Commodities Exchange. An office in Taiwan is in the works for this year.

To support this activity, the firm has transferred a number of executives to Hong Kong. Carl Dietzal moved from Australia to serve as CIO, although he will continue to service Australian clients. Thierry Estimbre has moved from Tokyo, where he had been IT manager, to Hong Kong as deputy CIO and head of electronic trading. And Christian Regis, previously internal controller in Paris, has moved to Hong Kong as deputy COO under current Asia COO, Jens Winter.

In addition, Philippe Eme has moved from Seoul, where he had been branch manager, to be head of sales and marketing for the region. Thibault Mudes, his COO in Seoul, replaces him as country head. And Mike Gilbert, previously managing director at ORC Software in Australia, has joined as clearing sales manager for Asia Pacific.

All of these are newly created positions, says Fimat.