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FO R H R , G LO BA L MA N A GERS & RELOCATIO N PR OFESSIONALS

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Re:locate Section heading

Summer 2013

Healthy global growth What it takes to succeed Europe debate

Africa

Impact on UK relocation

Potential and challenges

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1 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

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11

Contents 35

68

20

News, Analysis & Events Re:editor’s letter 4

Global Management 11 Re:Africa

Exploring mobility in the context of this diverse continent’s huge potential for growth.

34

18

Re:international health

Fiona Murchie looks at what’s in store this issue.

Re:book club

Reading to keep you informed – share your views.

35 Re:awards

To ensure successful assignments, organisations must invest in preparing families for life overseas.

Celebrating the winners of the 2012/13 Re:locate Awards in a 26-page special supplement.

72

Re:news & views

Developing people: themes from this year’s international spring conferences.

24 Re:trends

Key industry happenings, personalities and comment.

26

Hot topic 6 Re:EU debate

34 Re:women

The UK’s place in Europe continues to dominate the national political and business agenda.

Features 9 Re:immigration

Is the UK in danger of damaging its competitiveness by bowing to pressure for further curbs on immigration?

16 Re:health

Wellness programmes may hold the key to a productive workforce and help fulfil employers’ duty of care.

32

Re:property investment

As the world’s wealth heads eastwards, smart investors’ money is on property.

Re:Asia Pacific

Key trends influencing relocation in, and to, this growth region, plus the latest hotspots. Join the lean in debate

Policy & Practice 20 Re:repatriation

Myths and realities of repatriation support and its outcomes.

Employee SUpport 61 Re:property

The latest on the UK residential rentals sector, with comment from experts.

63 Re:education

68

How parents can help their children to prepare for the challenge of a new school.

Re:APAC education

Schooling options, including the rapid growth of international schools.

relocatemagazine.com | 3


The Team

your markets “at Connecting both ends is vital. We will

Managing Editor: Fiona Murchie editorial@relocatemagazine.com Design: Gulp Creative hello@gulpcreative.com

assist in solving the people management issues that are at the top of business agendas globally

Sub Editor: Louise Whitson Advertising: Sara Clark ads@relocatemagazine.com

Address Re:locate Magazine Spray Hill Hastings Road Lamberhurst Kent TN3 8JB Tel: +44 (0)1892 891334

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Re:locate Charity Party, Thursday 28 November To celebrate our Gift of TIme charity initiatives and fundraising drive (see p62), we will be holding a party on Thursday 28 November. This will be a great way to thank your team for their efforts and start the Christmas festivities.

W

ith more entries than ever before and record attendance, relocation took centre stage at this year’s Re:locate Awards Gala Dinner. Our special 26-page supplement is packed with inspiring stories of success, as we celebrate those from across HR and relocation who offer a shining example, overcoming challenges and driving through change.

Our keynote speaker, international broadcaster and foreign-affairs authority Stephen Cole, spoke of the need to “get serious about business”. With the question of the UK’s place in Europe continuing to dominate the national political and business agenda, we put EU membership under the spotlight, and consider whether further immigration curbs would damage the country’s competitiveness. To succeed in the global race, connecting your markets at both ends is vital. Our Asia Pacific coverage examines issues for companies planning inbound and outbound assignments, plus education options for relocating families, including the rapid growth of international schools. Keep up with the latest developments via our website. Africa’s 55 countries are all developing at different rates, thanks to varying geographic, social and political challenges. As a new report predicts continued growth, we examine mobility in the context of this diverse continent’s huge potential, and ask if a rising tide does indeed lift all boats. Our policy article looks at the essential, but often overlooked, subject of repatriation, and how companies can avoid losing valuable talent to competitors when an overseas assignment ends. Re:locate is here to assist in solving the people management issues that are at the top of business agendas globally, and to help the relocation industry to make connections and grow. To do this, we need your support! Please share your views and comments on the economy, the political situation, and on-the-ground trends and opinions in your region via social media, email and our website. Fiona Murchie Managing Editor

For further details, see relocatemagazine.com If you can donate prizes for a raffle or help in any way, please contact Vanessa McConnell on +44 (0) 1892 891334

© 2013. Re:locate is published by Profile Locations, Spray Hill, Hastings Road, Lamberhurst, Kent TN3 8JB. All rights reserved. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of Profile Locations. Profile Locations accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. ISSN 1743-9566.

Coming in the Autumn 2013 issue of Re:locate magazine OIL & GAS FOCUS

International industry special

COUNTRY PROFILES

Focus on the USA and Canada

Assignees & ELDERCARE

Supporting the ‘sandwich generation’


Section heading

FIRST RIGHT LLOYDSTSB

relocatemagazine.com | 5


hot topic

EUROPE THE GREAT DEBATE

Regardless of whether or not the 2017 in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union takes place, Europe, and the UK’s place in it, continues to dominate the political agenda. David Sapsted examines the debate.


Section heading

I

t is a simple enough question: “Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union?” But behind the question is an issue that is sending tremors through British politics and causing ructions across Europe and the Atlantic. Theoretically, it is the question that the UK electorate will be asked to decide in a referendum in 2017. Except that that referendum might never be held unless a Conservative majority is returned with an outright majority at the general election in two years’ time. But, regardless of whether or not the vote ever takes place, Europe, and the UK’s future in it, is dominating the political agenda as never before. Prime Minister David Cameron promised in January to hold such a referendum, in an attempt to placate Eurosceptics within his own party whose disillusionment with the EU’s influence in such matters as banking regulation and employment laws had been heightened by the crisis in the Eurozone and its knock-on effect on Britain’s economic fortunes. Mr Cameron’s tactics backfired, however, mainly because the right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP), which has long called for an EU pullout, successfully exploited the public’s concerns over what is regarded as EU meddling in domestic matters, and over the immigration of workers from new member states in Eastern Europe. In May’s local elections in England, UKIP stunned political pundits by securing almost a quarter of the votes cast. Suddenly, nervous Conservative MPs, fearing for their seats in the 2015 general election, began demanding a referendum much sooner than 2017, or, at the very least, for legislation to be introduced setting out the legal framework for such a vote in four years’ time. No such thing happened. Instead, May saw the government introduce a draft referendum bill which had little or no chance of becoming law. That did little to quieten the voices demanding withdrawal from the EU, despite the concerns of business leaders and proEuropean politicians that, by even discussing a pullout, the UK was harming the prospects of inward investment.

Political parties divided Lord (David) Sainsbury, former head of one of Britain’s largest supermarket chains and science minister in the last Labour government, describes the debate over a possible UK exit from the EU as “extraordinary”. “You can normally rely on the Conservatives to be pretty sensible about commercial issues, and issues of power and influence. The commercial case for staying in Europe is overwhelming,” he says. “A lot of our inward investment is from companies coming to this country in order to export into Europe.

The commercial case for staying in Europe is overwhelming

Lord Sainsbury

If we are not part of Europe, they are not going to be interested.” And even as the debate rages, many doubt that the promised in/out referendum will ever be held, not least because Mr Cameron’s plan for such a vote is surrounded by so many caveats and immersed in so many imponderables. Eurosceptic Michael Portillo, a former Conservative Defence Secretary and unsuccessful candidate for the party leadership, says, “I have not been impressed by Mr Cameron’s pledge. Given his party’s electoral prospects, I doubt if he expects to have to deliver on it. But in any case, he seems to have decided already that Britain should stay in.” Mr Portillo’s criticism centres on the fact that Mr Cameron’s promise of a referendum is dependent on the Conservatives – currently the senior partners in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats – securing an outright majority in the 2015 general election and, after that, on the new government’s being able to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s membership of the EU. While the divisive nature of the discussion has so far been concentrated in Conservative ranks, there have been signs recently of its spreading to the Labour Party, the main opposition group. Until now, party leader Ed Miliband has publicly eschewed an in/out referendum,

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HOT TOPIC

but, in the spring, emerged a new campaign group of MPs and peers called Labour for a Referendum. One of the group, MP Keith Vaz, a former Europe minister, explained, “I believe that it is the democratic right of the people to make that decision [on staying in Europe] for themselves. I support Labour’s call for the party to support a referendum in our next manifesto.” Even Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls insists that Labour will not rule out a referendum. “I think [a commitment to a referendum] is the wrong thing to do now, but I don’t think we should set our face against consulting the British people,” he said in a recent TV interview. Only the Liberal Democrats remain resolutely committed to Britain’s remaining in the EU. The other two main political parties feel they have little option but to respond in some way to UKIP’s growing electoral appeal and to opinion polls showing growing disillusionment with the EU among the public In a recent YouGov poll for The Sunday Times, 47 per cent said they would vote to leave the union if a referendum were held now, with only 30 per cent saying they would opt for staying in. Interestingly, though, when asked how they would vote “if new terms were negotiated to protect our interests”, only 32 per cent said they would vote to leave, with 45 per cent saying they would want to stay.

by a generation of voters who will determine the economic consequences for generations to come. “Whatever the emotional appeal of exiting the EU may be to some in our society, there are key facts that we must all remember: UK membership provides unfettered access to a single market of 500 million people, which today is our largest export customer. “UK membership attracts inward foreign investment from both banks and industry capitalising on the open-market culture, skills, rule of law, flexible labour force, language and time zone. The UK is often the preferred bridge into Europe. Departure would undermine jobs, dilute international relationships and damage national wealth.”

CBI: fair balance of argument needed

Cameron’s dilemma

It is a position reflected, at least in part, by many in the business world. Earlier this year, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) asked more than 4,000 businesses for their views on EU membership, and found that the option favoured by almost 64 per cent of firms was for the UK to stay in but to renegotiate the terms of membership, particularly in getting employment and health and safety laws, along with regional development policies, returned to national control from Brussels. “Companies believe that renegotiation, rather than further integration or outright withdrawal, is most likely to deliver business and economic benefit to the UK,” says John Longworth, director-general of the BCC. Sir Roger Carr, president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and chairman of Centrica, agrees that “we must not pretend the EU is a perfect structure”, and says it requires streamlining, de-layering and deregulating to be a truly effective institution. But he adds, “With a few facts and much prejudice, there is a real and present danger that we move towards a referendum with the risk of ‘in’ or ‘out’ as stark choices. “It becomes increasingly important, therefore, that those with a view – whether political or industrial – speak up to ensure a fair balance of argument is heard

In Europe itself, several politicians and EU officials have voiced scepticism over what they see as the UK’s bid to achieve an ‘à la carte’ membership of the union, picking and choosing which parts the British want to subscribe to. Concerns, too, have been expressed by US President Barack Obama over the possibility of the UK’s leaving. After meeting Mr Cameron in Washington this year, Mr Obama said that, while the question of continued membership was a matter for the British people, “David’s basic point – that you probably want to see if you can fix what is broken in a very important relationship before you break it off – makes some sense to me. “I think the UK’s participation in the EU is an expression of its influence and its role in the world, as well as, obviously, a very important economic partnership.” All of which leaves Mr Cameron on the horns of a dilemma as he tries to balance the pro-European sentiment of British business and foreign allies with the growing disenchantment over the EU in his own party’s ranks and among the general public. Right now, he might be regretting ever promising to pose that simple question.

Keep up-to-date with daily news from David Sapsted, our business correspondent, on relocatemagazine.com 8 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


Immigration

problem or opportunity? Is the ongoing debate on the pros and cons of immigration tarnishing the UK’s reputation as an economy that is open for business, asks David Sapsted.

F

or decades, immigration was the ‘elephant in the room’ of mainstream politics in Britain. While far-right groups attempted to exploit the issue, almost everyone else avoided it, for fear of being branded xenophobic or, worse, racist. But not any longer. Politicians of all stripes are now falling over themselves as they attempt to convince a sceptical electorate that they have the answers to reducing the flow of bodies into an already overcrowded island. The reason is simple: the electoral success, in the past year or so, of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), whose primary appeal rests on its demands for the UK to pull out of the European Union and, allied to such a withdrawal, on its plan for a five-year moratorium on immigration. Pressure has been increased because, at year’s end, existing restraints on the numbers of Bulgarians and Romanians allowed into the UK will lapse, leading to

fears – many of them overstated – of a fresh influx of new arrivals. The current debate on immigration is inextricably linked to that over the UK’s continued membership of the European Union (see page 6) and the rights of people within the union to live and work in any other member state. Yet, according to census data from the Office for National Statistics, only 2.3 million of the approximately 7.5 million foreignborn people living in England and Wales are actually from EU nations. Nevertheless, much of the current anti-immigration rhetoric surrounds public fears over the arrival of people from the so-called A8 nations – the eight relatively poor Eastern European states who joined the EU in its 2004 expansion – plus Romania and Bulgaria. Restricted as it is in its ability to stem the flow of these A8 arrivals, the current, Conservative-led coalition government has turned

to a pledge based on reducing net immigration from non-EU countries (282,000 of whose citizens arrived on Britain’s shores in the year to June 2012) by imposing stricter visa requirements. And, under legislative proposals introduced this year, it would be simpler to deport foreign criminals and limit migrants’ access to the National Health Service. Businesses caught employing illegal foreign workers, and landlords who house them as tenants, would also face stiff fines. These measures are aimed at lowskilled workers or people coming to Britain with an eye to exploiting state benefits. Nobody – not even UKIP – is proposing to stop the inward flow of foreign professionals who possess the skills that Britain needs to boost its industrial and service sectors. However, there are fears that antiimmigrant sentiments among the general populace and the posturing

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Immigration

of politicians – particularly Conservative ones who feel under pressure to talk tough on the issue – could create the impression abroad that the UK is, at best, an unwelcoming place in which to live and work. Business Secretary Vince Cable, a member of junior coalition partner the Liberal Democrats, is all too aware of the damage this could cause to British industry and commerce. He wants to see as few visa restrictions as possible for overseas visitors who come to the UK for business or as tourists. And he describes the fact that tighter visa conditions have led to a decline in the number of students heading for Britain, particularly from the Indian sub-continent, as “a problem rather than a success”. “What I think it is important to set out, setting aside the prejudices

and anxieties, is acknowledging that, in some areas, immigration makes an extremely important contribution to the UK,” Mr Cable says. “If we wish to maintain our reputation as an economy that is open for business – there are millions and millions of people who come here to do business, to shop as tourists, to visit family, relatives and friends – it is important that we do that with as few visa restrictions as possible and making sure that, where there are visa restrictions, they are done quickly and effectively. “The government is currently working hard, particularly in relation to countries like China, to make sure that the system works better.” It is a message echoed by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in a report published recently. “While the

immigration debate is an emotionally charged issue, all evidence suggests that migration benefits London’s economy,” it stated. “EU workers in particular are net fiscal contributors, paying more in taxes than they receive in public services.” The LCCI called on the government to “neutralise the increasingly negative public debate” over migration. But many politicians seem unlikely to heed such calls in an era when, according the annual Transatlantic Trends survey of US and European public opinion, 57 per cent of Britons now believe there are ‘too many’ immigrants in the country. And the survey found that the British were more likely than those in any other nation to believe that migrants were more of ‘a problem than an opportunity’.

See the Immigration & Visas section of relocatemagazine.com for updates and practical advice

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AFRICA

africa a rising tide

Generalising about mobility on any major continent is tricky enough – the more so if that continent comprises 55 countries and 20 per cent of the world’s landmass, and could, the anecdote goes, accommodate China, India, Eastern and Western Europe and the US within its boundaries. Yet one thing is certain: there is ‘one Africa’ when it comes to a growth success story. Ruth Holmes explores mobility in the context of this diverse continent’s huge potential. relocatemagazine.com | 11


africa

A

frica’s economy has tripled since 2000. Demand from newly emerged and emerging economies for raw materials from this resource-rich continent has spurred growth rates, helping to fuel the continent’s annual average 6 per cent GDP rise. But this ‘shared destiny’ with BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) accounts for just some of the growth. Better governance, steadfast political will, and, therefore, a more investment-friendly environment must also be credited with playing a key role in the continent’s rise.

Opportunity knocks The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, which reflects the efficiency of the regulatory environment, shows that, since 2005, Sub-Saharan Africa has accounted for the largest share – a third – of the top 50 nations with the biggest improvements. It also advises that some of the continent’s lowest-ranking nations could, with a legislative tweak here and there, easily lift themselves into the ranking’s higher echelons. These positive sentiments are echoed by the International Monetary Fund and in reports such as Ernst & Young’s Africa Attractiveness annual benchmarking series. The financial services company’s 2013 survey, Getting Down to Business, shows that, while the number of African foreign

direct investment (FDI) projects declined slightly after growth in the previous two years (in a year that showed large falls internationally), Africa actually increased its share of global investment from 5.4 per cent to 5.6 per cent over the last year. This single-figure share might seem relatively insignificant, but it hides the fact that, according to the Economist, FDI into the continent has tripled in recent years. Coupled with consumer spending that is set to double within the next 10 years among the continent’s relatively young one billion population, the number of countries where monthly incomes tops $1,000 is also predicted to grow, from almost a half currently to three-quarters in the same timeframe. These all represent plentiful opportunities for companies looking for new horizons.

New trends emerging According to Ernst & Young’s report, intra-country investment and cross-border migration are two of the key stories. Cross-border investment with Africa has been growing at a compound rate of 32.5 per cent since 2007. BRICS member South Africa is “at the forefront of growth in intra-African and broader emerging market investment, and was, notably, the single largest investor in FDI projects in Africa outside of South Africa itself in 2012,” says the report.


“Sectors that show the most cross-border activity are shipping and transportation,” notes Andrea Elliott, senior counsel at immigration law specialist Pro-Link GLOBAL, perhaps underlining the growth in the movements of goods and raw materials as economic growth continues apace. China, with Brazil, is also a significant investor in Africa. While it is hard to pinpoint the exact figures, estimates suggest that its investment stock is worth around $45 billon and set to grow further. Trade flows have risen significantly, from $10.6 billion in 2000 to a reported $220 billion in 2012. The destination profile for investment has also changed its emphasis, according to Ernst & Young. “There has also been an important shift in emphasis in investment into the continent over the past few years, in terms of both destination markets and sectors. While investment into North Africa has largely stagnated (mainly due to recent political dynamics), FDI projects into Sub-Saharan Africa have grown at a compound rate of 22 per cent since 2007.”

Hotspots – horns of plenty? With the BRICS building their investment portfolios in Sub-Saharan Africa, key winners, according to Ernst & Young, have been Ghana and Nigeria in the west, and Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Mauritius and South Africa in the south and east. In terms of how this plays out in global mobility, Andrea Elliott reports that the top destinations, in her experience, are indeed Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, with Angola, Algeria and Morocco also key. Located in the region described as the Greater Horn of Africa, Burundi and Tanzania have been praised by the World Bank, alongside three other members of the fivestrong East African Community, for their economic reforms. Even in such close proximity to what is widely regarded as a global trouble spot, here, too, it seems that prospects for growth are good, with GDP in both these low-income countries tracking the continent’s average at around 5 to 6 per cent per year. In the Horn of Africa region itself, current Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s mandate to maintain the strong institutions and balanced relationships with both the US and China forged by the late premier, Meles Zenawi, have also received a boost in the last few weeks. Attracted by a skilled labour force and preferential export tariffs into the EU and US to build a long-term global manufacturing hub, one of China’s largest shoe exporters announced in June that it was planning a multimillion-dollar factory expansion in an industrial zone on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, potentially creating 100,000 jobs in the process, as suppliers and associated services populate the area. While Somalia – another ‘frontier destination’, so named both for its geographic location in relation to the emerging

financial and commercial centres of the Middle East and for its relatively new arrival on the international investment scene – is unable to produce reliable official figures (the country hasn’t held a democratic election in over 40 years), grassroots and anecdotal evidence suggests growth and the return of hope – along with its diaspora. Reporting in The Financial Times, Katrina Manson gives a sometimes-graphic account of how the improving security situation in the capital is bringing some recovery. She writes that Mogadishu’s Chamber of Commerce says it registered 260 companies in the past four months alone, bringing the total to 351, in sectors ranging from internet services to agricultural exports. More than 35 per cent are owned by diaspora,” says one-time refugee and Chamber of Commerce managing director Abdi Dorre.

Mobility impact This new pattern of intra-country and overseas investment and mobility reflects that, while the energy and extractive industries (minerals, oil, gold, and so on) are still important, they represent less than a third – and a declining proportion – of Africa’s growth. As ICT and mobile phones fuel expansion and incomes rise rapidly, the growing services and telecoms sectors are set to serve a burgeoning number of consumers. Indeed, as we went to press, French supermarket giant Carrefour became one of the latest multinationals to announce its intentions to enter Sub-Saharan Africa markets, joining other big European and US names like Walmart, Unilever and Diageo. Mathieu Dunod, Santa Fe Group’s regional director for Africa, has spent 12 years in Africa and seen these trends first hand. Moreover, in the last 12 months, he calculates that his company has seen a 20 per cent increase in enquiries around assignments to Africa, as clients grow their activities in up-and-coming sectors. “Traditionally, most assignees we have moved have been from the aid sector, diplomatic service, oil, gas and extractive industries,” Mr Dunod explained. “While these still make up a large number of today’s assignments, a new type of assignee is emerging with the development of local markets. As a result, we are experiencing more initiations from the banking, fast-moving consumer goods and mobile telecommunications sectors.” Mathieu Dunod has also noticed the return of recent diaspora populations, and takes that as another positive sign. “The question that most companies consider when they enter Africa is one relating to human resources and talent: should we utilise local skills or transfer in skills from overseas for more control? One trend that we are seeing more of, as a relocation company, is the return of African nationals who had previously left the country and are now returning home. As part of the maturation of the more established destinations in Africa, we have noticed a lot of first- or second-generation diaspora returning from Europe,

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africa

Andrea Elliott, senior counsel, Pro-Link GLOBAL Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General recently stated, “Africa’s profitability is one of the bestkept secrets in today’s world economy.” The world is starting to take notice of the continent, and Africa’s time to shine has come. Rapid growth and emerging opportunities have, however, exposed the difficulties companies face when trying to invest and build a presence in Africa. For HR professionals, solid preparation will help ease your company’s move into the continent. It is important to realise just how large a continent Africa is and the many challenges size alone creates. Dealing with the size of Africa – approximately 17,100,000 square miles, or 44,300,000 square kilometres – is one thing; take a closer look and you realise that you are actually dealing with 55 individual countries. Each brings with it its own set of business regulations, tax structures and immigration processes, creating a complicated web of potential red tape that must be conquered before a company can open its doors. Companies are also often ill-prepared for the cultural challenges they will face when expanding their footprint into Africa. For example, within the continent, nearly 6,000 different languages are spoken and up to six different languages are used in business, depending upon the region in which a company is located. Organisations new to Africa might also have expectations of beginning operations by a certain date, only to find out that Africa has another timeline in mind. Such delays in operations are the result of Africa’s presenting companies with challenges they may not be

used to facing: corruption, infrastructure inadequacies and increased security concerns are but a few. It is important for companies to be in tune with the time needed to properly address these unique challenges, so that proper expectations can be established as to when the company will actually become operational. As companies need to move workers to Africa to establish their African operations, immigration is a unique challenge. The immigration processes of many African countries have not kept up with demand, changes in technology or the global nature of today’s expat. Many countries within the continent only offer immigration processes that attempt to be ‘one size fits all’, but today’s business culture demands immigration categories and options depending on the type of work being performed. Many African countries have also not codified their immigration regulations, so it is difficult to obtain immigration information from an official source, and, without codification, the process is often administered differently throughout a particular jurisdiction. The lack of a formalised process and/or processing times often leads to moving start-dates for the expat. A company’s HR team must be in sync with company leadership, to allow enough time to secure correct immigration documentation for expats, so that the business is not hindered. When developing a strategy for success in Africa, advance planning and flexibility are required. The challenges a company will face will be unique and often more complicated than appears at first glance. The rewards for the correct strategy are limitless, however, and, as more and more companies turn their focus upon the continent, Africa’s resources and consumers are waiting to be discovered.

the US and Canada. They are returning with sophisticated skillsets and have been recruited to fill senior and highly specialist positions.” Yet the hardship element to African assignments very often remains. Accommodation and living costs in Angola’s capital, Luanda, for example, are some of the highest in the world, and education is also a real issue for expat families. Security continues to feature prominently, both in the news and in surveys of assignee concerns – a fact that has been noted in the 2013 www.GlobalMobilitySurvey.com, which found that 96 per cent of organisations with employee assignments to Nigeria identified security/safety as being their primary challenge. Lee Niblett, crisis management underwriter at Liberty International Underwriters, says that this year’s kidnappings of Westerners in Nigeria and Cameroon, as well as the highprofile In Amenas hostage crisis in Algeria, which took the lives of up to 37 foreign oil workers, have moved employee security on the continent up the agenda.

“Naturally, there’s some optimism around the changes in Africa, and companies are looking at the commercial opportunities, but with that comes danger. The pace and unprecedented nature of change in the past few years, particularly in North Africa with the Arab Spring and its aftermath, mean that companies risk being caught off guard by fast-changing situations. “When assessing risk, it’s not just a question of taking and assessing individual and organisational threats, it’s also a case of where and how the company is operating,” advises Mr Niblett. “I’d be very alarmed, from a kidnap and ransom insurance perspective, if high-profile Western businesses were operating in environments such as Tripoli with only light security. Any security policy and insurance cover should be fit for purpose and pitched at the right level. Terrorists and criminals are opportunists and seek to exploit perceived vulnerabilities.” For more on how employers are meeting their duty of care towards international assignees, see p16.

Immigration issues

Meeting Africa’s unique challenges

14 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


Building a presence in Africa As we’ve seen, FDI is just one strand of Africa’s growth story. African nations are rising on their own, and with a new confidence about their role in the globalised economy. With this self-confidence, a discussion is taking place around how foreign investment can be made sustainably in each country’s own best interests, to generate jobs, local wealth and infrastructure. Perhaps emblematic of this is the Gabon government’s June announcement that it was planning to take assets back from three overseas oil companies, including a subsidiary of China’s Sinopec. Foreign investors in Africa, therefore, need to think smarter and more strategically about what value they can offer, especially in terms of knowledge transfer. The continent’s returning first- and second-generation diaspora will go some way to build talent pools, or refill or deepen existing ones, but investment and raising living standards can also improve the relatively low levels of education and high unemployment rates, especially among young people. Diana Layfield, Africa CEO, Standard Chartered, writing in the Ernst & Young Getting Down to Business report, suggests investors in Africa take up a four-point plan geared towards harnessing this opportunity and managing the risks. • Invest with a long-term agenda, both in respect of time and in conscious contribution to the economy and society

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• Build local understanding by taking the time to build local relationships and teams. Says Ms Layfield, “98 per cent of our staff in Africa are African, and many of our client relationships are multigenerational” • Hire and train the best in the market • Be prepared for ‘bumps in the road’, as investors who take the time to understand the nuances, risks and opportunities in Africa will be rewarded Sante Fe, too, recognises the value of local knowledge, and has set up a new service, Africa Connect, to bridge the gap to local markets. Says Mathieu Dunod, “When relocating to anywhere in Africa, it’s really important that you have the inside knowledge and contacts to navigate and work with the infrastructure that is there in this vast continent. This approach develops understanding on both sides, and makes life easier for all concerned.” Despite a critical mass of nations – some perhaps surprising – experiencing, and continuing to experience, fast-paced economic growth, Africa still has more than its fair share of the hardship and civil unrest that blight opportunity. Nevertheless, even in countries perceived as being in the grip of turmoil, the prospects for growth remain good, reflecting the saying that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. With the stability and will that have enabled other nations to grow, growth in the even the most ravaged nations is still a realisable goal.

See the Africa section of relocatemagazine.com for updates and practical advice

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health

Wellness at work Why it makes sound business sense Following on from the Summer 2012 issue of Re:locate magazine, Louise Whitson considers the progress global organisations are making in meeting their duty of care towards employees, and how the increasingly popular concept of ‘wellness’ fits in to the bigger picture.

I

n the Summer 2012 issue of Re:locate, we looked at how, as well as helping to fulfil employers’ duty of care, protecting assignees by mitigating the health and security risks they faced in their destination country could help to promote successful international assignments. Encouragingly, the results of a survey by medical and security services company International SOS on the top concerns of security, travel and HR executives, suggest that businesses are increasingly aware of their duty-ofcare responsibilities. Says Tim Daniel, group executive vice-president, “They’re far better at preparing employees, keeping them connected, and ensuring their health and safety. Technology has brought us a long way, especially with the advance of travel-tracking solutions, apps, and social media.” It seems, however, that there is still work to be done to educate global organisations about meeting their duty of care. In some cases, it appears, companies and staff may simply not be sufficiently aware of the risks of travelling to some international destinations, or are not taking steps to combat them. Research by International SOS, for example, shows that, despite a 61 per cent increase over the last three years in the number of business travellers visiting malaria-endemic countries in Africa, malaria was the leading cause of hospitalisations and medical evacuations among its travellers and expatriates in Africa in 2012. Cost is another key issue. Jelf Employee Benefits reports growing anecdotal evidence of companies facing hefty bills because the medical insurance cover they have taken out is inadequate. Sarah Dennis, Jelf ’s international healthcare director, says that failure to keep up with regulatory changes, lack of knowledge of treatment costs, and poor financial planning are among the reasons for this. Almost a quarter of respondents to a recent survey by international private medical insurance (IPMI) provider Expacare wanted to provide international health insurance for staff working abroad but could not afford to do so. Comments MD Beverly Cook, “The research shows a lack of understanding amongst employers of how best to care for their staff working internationally. Due to costs, some employers are simply not offering international health insurance to employees working abroad. Meanwhile, others risk omitting some crucial elements from the cover.”

16 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Such short-termism, as James Cooper, sales director at William Russell, explains, can be hugely damaging to a business, affecting competitiveness, performance and profitability through expensive medical claims and costly sickness absences.

Range of services increasing To help companies safeguard the wellbeing of their international assignees, IPMI providers offer a growing range of services, including employee assistance programmes (see p19), which, by focusing not just on physical health but also on the psychological and social aspects of moving to a new country, can help to promote assignment success. Pre-assignment assessments (see p18) and medical screening are other examples. Healix International points out that, in many cases, assignees and their families are sent overseas with little or no knowledge of how to manage chronic health conditions in their destination countries. Its screening service reduces risk by ensuring that: assignees understand the ability of host-country healthcare facilities to deal with pre-existing conditions; prescription regimes are feasible, and legal, in the host country; appointments with specialists can be arranged; workplaces can be modified if necessary; and ongoing medical advice, support and second opinions are available. It also enables employers to understand the potential medical costs associated with specific assignments in high-cost or high-risk locations, helping them to make informed decisions.

Change in employer mindset needed In its latest Talent Barometer Survey, Talent Rising: High Impact Accelerators to Global Growth, consulting firm Mercer points out that, increasingly, having a healthy, productive workforce involves not only investment in prevention but also a change in employer and employee mindset around wellbeing, energy and resilience. The report shows that there are still shortcomings in organisations’ efforts to develop comprehensive health management strategies. Most respondents said that their employees had ‘reasonably easy access’ to health resources, but few said that health and wellness were incorporated into business values and strategic priorities.


Typically, only the most basic elements of a health management programme were in place. These included ensuring a healthy workplace and establishing health-related policies and procedures. Strategic planning, leadership support, and active measurement were found to be lacking.

Incentivising wellness As well as helping employers to meet their duty of care, promoting good health in the workplace, rather than tackling problems as they occur, is increasingly seen as making sound sense. In addition to reducing individual employers’ costs, it could, says the UK’s Society of Occupational Medicine, have a wider impact, by reducing the national social-security bill and improving public health. Welcoming the government’s introduction of tax relief on up to £500-worth of health-related interventions funded by employers, designed to tackle long-term sickness absence, the Society’s president, Dr Richard Heron, said, “Workplaces are where most people spend most of their working-age life. They are an excellent place to address health issues, support those with long-term conditions, and provide a holistic approach. Workplaces are also an ideal environment to tackle the lifestyle factors, such as obesity, that place an

enormous burden on the NHS [National Health Service].” Workplace wellness programmes range from relatively low-cost options, such as educating staff about diet, exercise and stress reduction, to onsite medical testing. Some larger firms have their own gyms or sports club. Smaller companies, for which this is not an option, may consider negotiating use of local facilities for their employees, perhaps at discounted rates. In the relocation sector, HCR, winner of the 2012/13 Re:locate award for Green/CSR Achievement, rewards those who walk, cycle, take public transport, or share cars for their daily commute. William Russell’s James Cooper says, “Some firms provide healthy snacks in their break room, such as fresh fruit or vegetables. Promoting healthy snacking is highly advantageous in terms of productivity, whilst bringing in a water cooler can also prove beneficial, encouraging employees to stay hydrated. Ensuring employees have ergonomic seating is another often overlooked option, reducing the potential for neck and back problems.” Mr Cooper also emphasises the importance of encouraging staff to take some time away from their desks each day, and ensuring they have adequate time off.

See the Health section of relocatemagazine.com for updates and practical advice


INTERNATIONAL HEALTH

Play a key role in the success of your

Overseas Assignments Failure of an assignee or their spouse to acclimatise to the local culture is the most common reason for the breakdown of overseas assignments. Organisations must invest in preparing a family for life overseas to ensure success.

O

nce, the traditional expat was a white male, 35 to 45 years old, married with school-age children, and the family’s sole breadwinner. Expatriate life was considered glamorous, with overseas employees usually assigned to a relatively stable and desirable location. Now, a broader cross-section of employees accept overseas placements to a variety of destinations. The expatriate of today might be male or female, aged between 28 and 60, possibly part of a dual-career couple, and with diverse family circumstances. The needs and expectations of assignees and their families are more wide-ranging and complex than ever before, and employers must work harder to ensure assignees are fully prepared for life overseas. MD of AXA ICAS Stephen Galliano says, “Organisations spend a great deal of money putting together attractive overseas packages for highly skilled employees. These companies are good at taking care of the practical arrangements – private healthcare, premium accommodation, country-club membership – but they often neglect the psychological and psychosocial issues which most commonly lead to the breakdown of an overseas assignment.”

Assessing assignee suitability An AXA ICAS pre-assignment assessment will determine an employee’s suitability for an overseas placement and help the assignee and their family prepare for life in their host country. The assessment will investigate an assignee’s motivations and expectations of moving abroad, and assess their ability to cope when challenges arise and their capacity to adapt to a new culture. AXA ICAS is part of global healthcare group AXA PPP International, one of the world’s leading expatriate health insurance companies. Stephen Galliano says, “There is no standard procedure, as the pre-assignment assessment is tailored according to the needs of the individual and their family. The adviser

18 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

will usually conduct a telephone interview or face-to-face meeting with the assignee and their spouse in a setting where they feel relaxed, which encourages them to be open about their concerns. “The assessment should ideally be conducted prior to the assignee accepting a position, as the interview will help determine whether life abroad will suit the assignee and their family. By conducting an assessment early, an organisation can pre-empt any problems and therefore vastly increase the chances of an assignment succeeding.” The assessment is likely to evaluate whether the assignee wants to accept an overseas position for the ‘right’ reasons. For example, the assignee who wants to further their career, experience a foreign culture, learn a new language, or give their family the opportunity to travel is likely to fare better overseas than the employee in search of a geographic cure for a bad work or personal situation. The adviser may also examine an assignee and their spouse’s attitudes to life overseas. Expatriates who are open-minded, tolerant, and flexible and possess good communication skills will probably make the necessary adjustments and form friendships in their host country.

Understanding cultural differences Thorough research into the host-country’s culture and customs is essential to ensure an assignee and their family are adequately prepared for life abroad. AXA ICAS is a global organisation with over 20 years’ experience preparing assignees for life and work overseas. Stephen Galliano says, “Assignees will encounter a range of cultural differences when working overseas. Business practices are highly influenced by culture, and assignees need an informed and non-judgemental approach if they are to avoid stress and frustration. Conduct which Westerners may perceive as rude may simply be down to cultural differences.


“For example, business associates may turn up late to meetings or not return messages for days on end. A timely response is very much a Western custom and should not be expected from other cultures. In Asia, it is commonplace for people to say ‘yes’ to indicate they have understood what the other person is saying, rather than ‘yes’ to show agreement. Assignees have frequently come away from discussions thinking they have secured an agreement, only to find no such agreement has taken place.” It is also important for overseas assignees and their families to consider how and where they might build social networks. A pre-assignment adviser may spend time asking an assignee about their social relationships and expectations of making friends overseas. The assignee might consider whether they will make friends through work or social clubs, what opportunities to socialise are available, whether it will be necessary to learn the language, and whether their spouse and children will make friends. A pre-assignment assessment will also examine whether the assignee’s spouse is prepared for life overseas. Organisations often forget the trailing spouse, but their happiness is crucial to the success of an overseas assignment. Stephen Galliano says, “A trailing spouse does not have the ready-made support network that an assignee may get from work colleagues or the children may get from school friends, which makes them very vulnerable. The spouse must be fully prepared for the reality of life overseas. An adviser may question whether the spouse wants to find a job and outline what kind of employment options will be available. “If the trailing spouse is female, it may not even be practical for them to find employment. For example, certain Middle Eastern countries prevent women from working or driving a car. If the spouse will not be working, they must have other meaningful ways of spending their time. Chatting through any issues will help prevent problems and alleviate the concerns of the spouse, as well as the assignee, who will naturally be anxious that their partner is happy.”

Providing ongoing support AXA ICAS can offer an overseas assignee and their family ongoing support when an overseas assignment begins. A pre-assignment assessment can include a bespoke followup programme which will help an expatriate family settle and tackle any issues as they arise. An adviser with expert knowledge of the assignee’s host nation will contact the family bi-monthly for a year to provide customised support. Similarly, an organisation may choose to negotiate an employee assistance programme (EAP) for its overseas assignees. EAPs offer counselling services to deal with personal issues such as relationship problems, stress or bereavement, as well as life management services which offer advice on legal, financial or work-related topics. Services are provided over the telephone, via video conference, Skype, or face-to-face if a suitable clinician is available in the assignee’s host country. The programme is supported

by online wellbeing services which offer information on a wide range of personal and work issues. Stephen Galliano says, “Overseas assignees are often unsure who to contact in the event of problems. They may prefer to speak to a native English speaker, or perhaps they have an issue which they feel unable to discuss locally. An employee assistance programme provides a much-needed outlet for overseas assignees who are particularly at risk of becoming isolated. An EAP helps assignees deal with issues before they impact on productivity, and provides access to outside expertise that perhaps managers or local clinicians do not possess. “EAPs have been proven to help prevent the breakdown of overseas assignments and, with failed assignments costing an average of 300,000 to 500,000 euros, it is an investment organisations cannot afford to overlook.” AXA PPP International has been looking after the international private medical insurance needs of expatriates and globally mobile people for over 40 years. In 2007, AXA PPP International acquired ICAS as part of its global strategy to broaden its healthcare business. AXA PPP International and AXA ICAS International work together to provide their clients with a total health-cover and wellbeing package.

Get award-winning international health cover For more information on international health cover, or incorporating wellbeing and health cover, please call us on +44 (0)1892 707984, or visit axapppinternational.com If you would like to find out more about standalone pre-assignment assessments or employee assistance programmes, please call our AXA ICAS head office on +44 (0)1908 521835 or your local ICAS office, or email contact@icasworld.com

relocatemagazine.com | 19


policy & Practice

Repatriation Managing career paths in uncertain times

International assignees are an expensive and valuable resource. It is widely assumed that repatriation concerns are a major cause of assignment failure, and that poorly managed repatriation is a driving force behind high levels of repatriate turnover. Sue Shortland explores the myths and realities of repatriation support and its outcomes, and reviews the potential for career-path planning to enhance repatriation success.

20 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


T

he financial and moral arguments calling for organisations to manage repatriation effectively have been a feature of the expatriate literature for several decades. While practitioners and academics lament the shortcomings of organisational policy to address repatriation, acknowledging the practicalities that, in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, no employer can promise a job on return, the potential link between the provision of employer support and repatriate turnover reduction remains speculative at best. While returning home to ‘nothing’, or to ‘warehousing’, is clearly demoralising, demotivating and disengaging, even with employer-provided repatriation support and a suitable job role, it must be acknowledged that repatriates (and their families) are changed by an expatriate experience. Their lives move on, their competencies are honed, and their horizons are broadened through successfully mastering the challenges of international mobility. Taking this viewpoint forward, perhaps it might be argued (somewhat controversially) that repatriation support serves little purpose?

Assignment failure and turnover Research in the latter part of the 20th century did suggest that worrying over repatriation was a cause of assignment failure (defined as ‘returning early’). It is, perhaps, a sign of the economic times (or one that reflects that jobs are not viewed as lifetime employment these days) that repatriation no longer appears to feature in lists of reasons given for failed assignments. For example, Brookfield’s Global Relocation Trends 2012 Survey Report notes that 6 per cent of assignments fail. The top reason for this – given by 19 per cent of survey participants – is the employee leaving for another firm. In second place is spouse/partner dissatisfaction (cited by 17 per cent), with family concerns reported by 11 per cent. It is notable that repatriation concerns do not feature as a reason for assignment failure today. Turning to repatriate turnover statistics, again, these are widely considered to be higher than those of the noninternationally mobile workforce. Recent data appears to negate this assumption as well. For instance, although the Cartus 2012 Trends in Global Relocation Survey notes, “Companies continue to indicate that they are losing trained assignees and their skills at a higher rate than their overall turnover numbers”, its statistical data indicates that exactly half of its survey participants make this claim; the remaining 50 per cent do not – indeed, 17 per cent report repatriate turnover as lower than overall turnover numbers, while the remainder report it as the same. The Brookfield report records average annual turnover for all employees in its respondent organisations at 13 per cent; for international assignees, the average figure is 12 per cent.

Are employers managing repatriation effectively? These data potentially could suggest that employers are doing a really good job in terms of managing repatriation (if we assume that repatriation support is critical to assignment success and turnover reduction on return). Yet equally, they might indicate that repatriation support makes little or no difference to assignment completion and reintegration on return. To explore this conundrum, the Cartus and Brookfield survey data are illuminating. For instance, Cartus notes that more than half (55 per cent) of its survey respondents handled repatriation well; 48 per cent believed that their company managed the transition from an international assignment to a new position after repatriation ‘somewhat effectively’, while 7 per cent believed that it was managed ‘very effectively’. A total of 45 per cent admitted less-than-optimal support being given – 41 per cent said that this process was not very effectively managed, while 4 per cent reported it was handled ‘ineffectively’. With respect to how effectively repatriates were retained and their experience used, employer performance was better – 60 per cent reported this was handled ‘somewhat effectively’, and 14 per cent said ‘very effectively’; just 25 per cent reported not handling this very effectively, and only 1 per cent said ‘ineffectively’. In essence, these data suggest that employers believe that repatriation is managed reasonably well.

Actions taken Turning to the actions organisations actually take to provide repatriation support, a less positive picture emerges. Cartus finds that, although over half of those surveyed (54 per cent) provide advance career planning (up from 48 per cent in 2010), just 37 per cent give post-assignment debriefing (no change on 2010), only 30 per cent provide post-assignment career tracking (but this is up from 21 per cent in 2010), 19 per cent provide cultural re-entry support (no change), while just 16 per cent support spouse/partner career reentry (down 1 per cent on 2010). In general, repatriation support begins just six months prior to return. Even though employers appear to have been increasing their repatriation support, repatriation and career management top the list of aspects of the globalmobility programme that employers are most interested in improving (58 per cent reported this). The Brookfield data also paints a mixed picture. While 71 per cent of the organisations surveyed had a formal repatriation policy and 94 per cent had repatriation discussions with their employees (down 1 per cent from 2011), almost half (48 per cent) held these discussions less than six months before the assignment’s end. Only 20 per cent discussed repatriation before the assignment began. If organisations wish to alleviate repatriation concerns during an assignment (and thus potentially reduce turnover

relocatemagazine.com | 21


policy & Practice

asked the employeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transferring department to identify a job for the assignee; only 19 per cent relied upon formal job postings to help the returning assignee locate a job on return; and 19 per cent used other means to assist employees. While Brookfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s survey respondents reported a range of actions to reduce repatriate turnover, it is notable that relatively few employers undertook them: just 29 per cent reported providing assignees with opportunities to use their international experience on return; 17 per cent reported offering greater choice of positions on return; while only 13 per cent reported providing greater recognition during and after the assignment. Of those assignees who did leave, 24 per cent did so within one year of return, 26 per cent within one to two years of return, and 28 per cent more than two years after return. or failure during this period), it would be expected that repatriation would be discussed up front. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Brookfield data in relation to assignee turnover records that, of those who leave, 22 per cent do so while on assignment. These data suggest that earlier intervention in respect of repatriation discussions might be beneficial in reducing turnover and/or failure on assignment. Brookfield also notes that 94 per cent of firms assist employees in locating a job upon repatriation. While this sounds positive, the survey reveals that this assistance tends to be informal. The most common assistance given (by 30 per cent) related to informal networking; 27 per cent

Career management and repatriation interventions Only 16 per cent of employers reported having a formal repatriation strategy linked to career management and retention with their companies (although this was up from 14 per cent last year). Interestingly, Brookfield reports no clear link between the provision of a career management process and the attrition of assignees. Yet its research finds evidence of a connection between turnover and formal repatriation strategies when linked with career management systems.

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It seems that the two policy areas need to be combined for maximum impact: of those firms in Brookfield’s survey which reported an increase in turnover, 91 per cent had no formal repatriation strategies linked to career management and retention. There is no straightforward answer as to why repatriation and career management interventions together appear to improve repatriation outcomes (while separately their impact appears more limited). However, potentially any career-path management system requires forward planning, continual communication, involvement and recognition, buy-in across the organisation, and, if linked to repatriation interventions, would ensure debriefing and cultural understanding, so that employees are well prepared to enter, on return, positions that make the best use of their international competencies. In addition, for any career management and repatriation support process to work effectively, it must be underpinned by support from top management. The data presents a complex and intriguing picture. Failed assignments and repatriate turnover, on the surface, do not appear to be linked closely to organisational repatriation interventions, a finding that contradicts expectations. Potentially, the state of the economy is reducing the scale and timing of repatriate turnover, thus masking the effects of repatriation strategy, policy and practice.

Employers, in the main, seem to believe that they manage repatriation relatively well. Yet, in reality, their actions appear rather last-minute and informal. Relatively little attention is paid to formal systems of career-path management, and the recognition and use of repatriate competencies also appears limited. Career management by itself does not appear to reduce repatriate turnover, yet when it is combined with a strategic approach to repatriation, repatriate attrition is reduced. Survey data suggests that there is a discrepancy between the perceived effectiveness of repatriation and career support (from the employers’ perspective) and its delivery and content in practice. While not openly admitting to poor repatriation management, this area, quite sensibly, tops employers’ policy improvement ‘to do’ list. Repatriate attrition has always been a thorny issue, and it appears that it will remain so for a while to come. However, with an understanding of the potential to improve the repatriation experience by integrating career-path management systems with repatriation support, managed at a strategic level, the potential for returning international assignees to enhance their careers and contribute most effectively to their sending organisations looks more positive.

See the International Assignments section of relocatemagazine.com for updates and advice

Policy

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Complicated Made Simple


Stepping up to the development challenge Global mobility conferences in recent months have been charting the growth of the sector as it responds to the challenges of operating in new locations. Ruth Holmes and Fiona Murchie report on the welcome emphasis on development, training and cultural awareness, for talent on the move and the talented mobilty professionals who support them. At a time when Africa’s story is overwhelmingly positive, delegates at May’s FEM Totally Expat Show in London had a great insight into how an already multicultural organisation like the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) developed its own cultural competencies to set up operations across North Africa and the Middle East – widely acknowledged as some of the most demanding destinations for Western businesses and organisations. The EBRD, which is owned by 64 governments and two intergovernmental agencies (the European Union and the European Investment Bank), has 20 years’ experience of supporting democratic and economic change. Established in 1991 following Eastern Europe’s wave of democratic uprisings, the bank now has a cumulative commitment of 71 billion euros, 77 per cent of which is financing private-sector companies, including SMEs, mainly in the energy, finance and infrastructure industries, and operates in 34 countries. The immediate aftermath of the Arab Spring was, therefore, a key opportunity for the EBRD to extend its work to support national transitions to transparent government and sustainable growth. With a mandate from the G8 at its 2011 Deauville meeting, the bank began to further its South and East Mediterranean (SEMED) operations from September 2012, investing in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordon. Velichka Aydarova, EBRD’s learning and development manager, talked delegates through the steps the EBRD took to ensure its workforce in the region was prepared, culturally and linguistically, to help the bank’s activities in supporting the private sector to build more capacity for innovation and risk-taking, add value to agribusiness, and promote sustainable energy and efficiency initiatives. This has combined to create a culture similar to an international civil-service environment that is characterised by “a highly diplomatic, consensus culture” despite many employees coming from the private sector. Within this unique context, the EBRD is working with Communicaid, a culture and communications skills consultancy, to help prepare and manage employees’

24 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

expectations for the inevitable challenges of setting up new operations in this diverse region, and to support them while in post. The aims are to ensure that the team is prepared for applying the lessons the bank has learned in the past 20 years as it seeks to support the process of economic and democratic change, improving language skills and broadening cultural understanding of the new SEMED locations. A key aspect of the intervention is management upskilling, in order that everyone, regardless of background, can give of their best and work to the bank’s goals. Alongside coaching and mentoring for the heads of the EBRD’s resident office, SEMED managers are offered additional intercultural training to support them in their understanding of the key cultural dimensions of Islam and their impact on business culture. All EBRD’s international employees posted to the SEMED offices are offered group, individual and blended (face-to-face and cognitive) French and Arabic language tuition. They are also offered intercultural training, including reverse cultural training for local hires that goes beyond “generalising and dealing with stereotypes”. This focuses on the key areas identified as key to success in the region: forming longterm relationships, including the fluid concept of time, the importance of recognising status, different communication styles, and language-learning challenges. Together, this language and cultural support is helping the EBRD’s professionals, irrespective of their own culture and background, to work successfully with each other, the bank as a whole, its partners and client companies in the region, in supporting the bank to meets its goals.

Talent top of the agenda for DSPs April’s EuRA Congress in Bucharest brought together more than 550 delegates from across Europe and further afield, including the USA, Canada, China, India, Australia and South America. Every year, there are more countries represented, which just goes to show that relocation as a profession is expanding and keeping pace with the new frontiers being explored by international companies in pursuit of global business.

EuRA Congress Dinner 2013, Bucharest

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES


EuRA members are service-driven, innovative and entrepreneurial by nature. It is no surprise that quality assurance is at the forefront of their membership initiatives with the EuRA Global Quality Seal. These people understand the value of collaboration and tick the all the boxes regarding both stimulating growth and responding to global growth. Knowledge and training are at the heart of the EuRA organisation, and the new Managing International Mobility Training (MIM) is another initiative which will help to ensure that EuRA members are ‘fit for purpose’ in this fast-changing environment. Such training should make it easier for clients to take on these local professionals, and the relocation management companies will be equally assured of the knowledge of those in the supply chain. Four modules cover the mobility industry, excellence in service delivery, managing assignments internationally, and cultural theory and intelligence. As Carmelina Lawton Smith, an academic at Oxford Brookes University and content director of the Relocation Coaching programmed said about module 3 of the programme, “The result is a brand new way of looking at service delivery in terms of the impact on relocation on the transferee and family”. With all the leading industry

surveys putting the importance of family support so high on the agenda for moving and retaining talent, this will be welcome news. The training promises to combine the academic and the professional practice approach with management theory in the relocation context. If it lives up to expectations, this blend should create a 21st-century approach to relocation that fully acknowledges cultural differences and enables members to provide the best possible support to assignees and their families. At the conference, Steve Cryne, CEO of the Canadian Employee Relocation Council, revealed some of the organisation’s 2012 survey results. Against a background of drivers of change, including demographic changes, globalisation of trade and the inevitable mobility of human capital plus the advance of technology, he pointed out that, globally, there will be a shortage of high skills. So, for the industry, this in an exciting time, and the skills of those managing and supporting global mobility will be much in demand. Next year’s EuRA conference will be held in Edinburgh. Find out how talent is being supported across Asia in our report on the Worldwide ERC Summit held in Shanghai in April on page 24.

Keep up-to-date with events across the global mobility spectrum via relocatemagazine.com

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ASIA

ASIA growth IS EVERYTHING IN THE GARDEN STILL LOVELY?

For hard-pressed Western economies, trade with Asia, and particularly China, offers the best hope of recovery. Organisations going for global growth must connect their markets at both ends if they are to survive and thrive, writes Fiona Murchie.

26 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


G

lobal growth is gaining momentum in many parts of the world, as can be seen from surveys charting mobility. In addition to large multinationals expanding into emerging markets, there are SMEs going into new markets worldwide. These activities are fuelling economic recovery, at different speeds and from different levels of knowledge base. The UK is an example of how trading patterns are changing. Over the last five years, Britain’s exports to the EU have increased by only 5 per cent, while its exports to the rest of the world have increased by around 35 per cent. Although Britain’s top five export destinations last year were the same as three years earlier, China is now its seventh-largest – up from ninth in 2009. This shift in markets is happening not only in the UK but also in Europe and the USA, and is reflected in mobility patterns around the world. A recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Global Outlook Report revised US growth expectations upwards after continued improvement in labour-market data. Developed economies in Europe and the Eurozone are faring less well, according to the report. Following weakness in first-quarter figures, the EIU revised downwards its 2013 GDP growth forecast for China, to 7.9 per cent from 8 per cent, saying, “The outlook should improve in the coming months, but China has now embarked on a permanently slower growth path as the economy matures and investment declines.” In India, GDP is down. Official figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the country has seen its lowest GDP growth in a decade, dropping to 5 per cent in 2012/13 amid concerns over corruption, high inflation, inferior infrastructure and weak government. Poor performance in the manufacturing, agriculture and service sectors is cited. So the picture is mixed. China and India are not doing as well as before, but, with the West, including the US, the UK and Europe, intent on a growth agenda, trade with Asia, and China in particular, is the best hope for recovery. It is, therefore, not surprising that politicians around the world are eager to woo Asian markets. As we went to press, President Xi Jingping of China was embarking on his first official visit to the USA, and foreign-policy experts were hopeful of a fruitful new relationship between Washington and Beijing. China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan, who accompanied her husband on the trip, was compared with Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge in terms of ‘soft power’. Sending her on the charm offensive was, perhaps, a sign that the Chinese are aware of the heavy-handed and bureaucratic image of the communist state, which may be getting in the way of business, particularly at a time when growth is slowing down. Recent Chinese government guidelines on behaviour abroad further

emphasise the seriousness with which the Chinese are viewing relationships overseas and the importance of cultural awareness. The gleaming new shopping malls of Chinese cities, combined with the lustre of the spending power of the Chinese élite coming to the USA and Europe, further illustrate the importance of cultural understanding and joined-up thinking at both ends of the trade routes.

European business raises alarm A survey of 550 European companies operating in China, undertaken by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and released in May, revealed that they were unhappy about the lack of a level playing field. Less than a third predicted a profitable outlook over the next two years, the lowest number since the survey began in 2004. Respondents cited rising labour costs, increased competition and slower growth in China and Europe as the main reasons. Davide Cucino, president of the European Chamber, said, “Meaningful changes need to be swiftly implemented to mitigate cost escalations through productivity increases, unlock market opportunities, and establish an efficient and well-functioning business environment that has equal competition at its core.” Charles-Edouard Bouée, president of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Asia, added, “Local players are continuing to improve in areas where foreign enterprises have long held dominance, and this competitive landscape will only get tougher. European companies are reacting by expanding operations and geographical reach to achieve greater economies of scale, and by strengthening in areas where they already hold advantages in order to maintain an edge over local competition.” With trade between China and the EU standing at £359 billion last year and the potential much higher, communication and negotiation need to be friendly without risking a trade war, as there are plenty of other competitors poised to take the Europeans’ place if they falter.

Dragons, tigers and talent A report from Lexicon Relocation in autumn 2012 supported the view that, while Asia Pacific continues to lead the way in terms of growth and opportunity, it also poses significant challenges. In Dragons, Tigers and Talent: Global Mobility in Asia Pacific, authors Avrom Goldberg, managing director, APAC and EMEA, and Deborah Wilkes, director, global consulting services, examine the region in the context of global mobility and the war for talent. Asia Pacific’s diversity and complexity, they point out, mean that it must be divided into at least five sub-regions if a successful regional strategy is to be formulated. Continues on page 28

relocatemagazine.com | 27


ASIA

Lexicon Relocation’s five APAC sub-regions: 1. Greater China: mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, all historically linked, yet each an economic powerhouse in its own right. 2. India: described by the report’s authors as “an opportunity-rich land of stark and confusing contrasts: a software superpower with a US$40 billion industry, 18 official languages, a population set to overtake China’s around 2025, yet with close to 400 million still illiterate”. 3. S  E Asia: this area spans key established emerging economies like Indonesia and Philippines, and important Tiger economies like Malaysia and Singapore, which was recently predicted to become the world’s wealthiest country per capita by 2050. The promise of a more open Burma (Myanmar) is yet to be quantified, as is the much-heralded rise in importance of Vietnam as a manufacturing alternative to China. 4. Japan and Korea: one still the world’s secondlargest economy, if in seemingly irreversible decline, the other arguably the most successful of the Tigers. Very different, yet linked from a Western perspective in terms of their unique business and corporate structures and traditional reluctance to embrace Western-based service providers as they expand around the world. 5. Australia and New Zealand: the region’s only genuinely English-speaking and Europeandescendant countries. Australia is the only country in the region with an established significant market in both domestic and international employee mobility.

The Global Professionals on the Move 2013 survey, conducted by business school ESCP Europe and published by global specialist recruiter Hydrogen, indicates a “reverse braindrain” emerging in Asia, with “Asians with international experience ... relocating back to their home countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, attracted there by generous incentives offered by governments and companies in the region”.

Domestic relocation in China The Worldwide ERC (WERC) Global Workforce Summit held in Shanghai in March highlighted some of the challenges facing HR based in China and the wider region, and provided a fitting platform for the launch of a new WERC training course, the GMS-T: Strategic

28 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Talent Mobility, which reflects the growing importance of talent mobility to global business. Shanghai is a growth city, fast-paced, focused and energetic. Powering its growth is a thirst for knowledge and expertise to take China to the next stage. Such growth necessitates domestic relocation, and HR and talent professionals in China and Asia are coming to terms with a whole set of issues, just as the mature relocation markets have. China is already forging ahead. Multinationals are keen to grow global talent, but the Chinese, with strong family bonds and commitment to their local community, are often reluctant to relocate to other parts of China, let alone to other Asia Pacific countries. Recruiting and retaining talent are key, with an emphasis on finding new streams of talent, developing a talent pipeline with global experience, and keeping that talent in a highly competitive market. The Eaton Corporation is typical of an organisation with a growing footprint of employees in China – 21,000 in its case. Agnes Tse, Asia Pacific vice-president of HR, explained how they managed a rotational assignment development programme across 28 major sites and five research and development centres. The company offers two-year rotational assignments for career development, and expects employees to work in different cities. It targets students from second- and third-tier cities, and hires from nearby cities. Career coaching is important, enabling employees to plan their careers to match company growth. Ms Tse admitted that they don’t have all the solutions, but hiring from local cities and grooming for success is certainly a creative approach to talent management. At the same presentation, Shanghai-based Winnie Ng, Greater China vice-president of human resources at InterContinental Hotels Group, highlighted the sheer scale of growth. The group now has 191 hotels in China, with a further 160 to be built in the next three years. It needs to create 30,000 positions, but the real challenge is the need to hire 110,00 employees by the end of 2015 because of the hotel industry’s high turnover. In terms of talent management, the key focus is on general managers. As hotels are opening at the rate of 30 to 40 per year, it is essential to have in place experienced managers with knowledge of opening a new hotel. Of the 178 general managers, 20 per cent have experience of moving in the last 12 months, with 66 per cent of movement among second-, third- and fourth-tier cities, and 90 per cent of the talent pipeline also in these cities. The managers are not all Chinese; 60 per cent are foreigners, some working in very remote locations. For the biggest hotel company with the biggest talent pipeline, there are still big challenges. The main hurdles to be overcome in moving general managers are quality


of life, children’s education, family circumstances, and the lack of a social network if one is the only foreigner in an area. How does InterContinental make mobility work for its general managers? Winnie Ng admitted they could do with longer lead times. Innovations include hotlists of candidates from nearby cities, and internal move guiding principles. The organisation obviously has an expatriate assignment policy, and tries to make compensation competitive and relevant – for example, by including more ‘R and R’ time for staff in hardship locations. Another secret of InterContinental’s success is providing robust onboarding and immersion, and a fasttrack development programme.

Keeping Gen Y in the loop Making the most of the new generation of globally mobile employees, or ‘Millennials’, is essential for multinationals going for global growth. The approach of a company like Kimberly Clark is to recruit those who are interested in working in multinational companies, explained its HR director, China, Naomi Monteiro, who has responsibility for 4,000 employees but currently only four expatriates. “We are looking for top talent who want to be global

leaders,” said Ms Monteiro. “We certainly don’t want them to be worried about what country they live in.” Gone are the days when expat policies and programmes designed for expats coming out of the US were appropriate. Equally, the view that the ‘mother ship’ goes out and teaches people in the regions how to do business is outmoded – as is the idea that you don’t get on a plane until you are at senior level. “Now, I learn more than I teach,” Naomi Monteiro explained. “We need people in China to grow into global leaders, not Chinese leaders.” She challenged, “Why do we need expats?” The answer is that we don’t, but we do need global leaders. Ms Monteiro saw her role as

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ASIA

Localisation – challenges and opportunities Companies are seeking alternatives to traditional expatriate assignments, as Weichert Relocation Resources’ recent Employee Mobility Survey (see p73) shows. Laura Levenson, Weichert’s director of consulting, revealed some of the trends, particularly highlighting the APAC region. Lim Hock Thiam, HR director of Flowserve, Singapore, a world-leading manufacturer of pumps, valves and seals, reflected on the realities of localisation and the need for local-plus packages in Asia Pacific. At Flowserve, localisation comes into play after five to seven years. Finding good people is difficult, so there is a need for flexibility, because of business requirements across the APAC region. Lim Hock Thiam’s case studies highlighted the realities of dealing in such competitive markets.

The value of mobility

encouraging talent to move out of China so that they could come back as potential global leaders. The irony of the situation is that the young Chinese are often reluctant to travel. They want global experience, but they want it to be short, because of strong family ties. The solution has been to introduce short bursts of global experience under a ‘swap’ scheme. The young people come back enthused, and spread the word. As Lexicon’s Avrom Goldberg confirms, “Today, the Asia Pacific region leads the way in assignment-type and demographic differentiation. China’s young urban professionals, traditionally, have had a low appetite for domestic mobility, and it has taken some time for Western employers to acknowledge that such professionals are, more often than not, dual-income families. Finding the right leadership and talent for operations in places like Chongqing, Nanjing or Ulaanbaatar has often meant hiring local third-country nationals or importing the talent required. A whole ‘new wave’ of domestic China mobility has been set in motion.”

30 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Wilson He, vice-president of HR, Asia, in the Shanghai office of US-headquartered industrial technology giant the Timken Company, reflected on the value proposition of international assignments. Timken now needs to develop local people to replace expatriates in the global context. Formerly, the role was to develop the skills needed to run the business within China, but now that is changing, with emphasis on developing employees to run the business from China. Where previously learning and development have focused on products and technical knowledge, now there is more emphasis on networking, understanding cultures and developing a global mindset. Chinese business leaders need the ability to integrate a China strategy with a global strategy. The Timken Company is now sending high-potential talent to countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East, to boost their confidence and give them experience of working with different cultures, not just the USA. After international assignments, employees are better prepared to take on corporate responsibility. Wilson He understood the important of finding real jobs for those on assignments, not just rotational experience but a true corporate function which would develop a broader mindset. Jason Limm, first vice-president of group HR at the Overseas Bank of Singapore, reflected on the importance of international experience. Set in the context of external trends, including those relating to global population, availability of education, global economic shifts and an ageing population, he pointed out that, as a company grows, the use of mobility advances. Mobility is challenging, but it brings employees together, creates and reinforces the values of organisations, works in line with other corporate and HR strategies, and provides and builds expertise.


The problem, said Mr Limm, was how to sell relocation to hardship locations such as Africa (see p11). The most important principle was to keep it simple. Getting it right was fundamental – right person, right skills, right cost, right time, and right place. Then everything would fall into place. This is a universal mobility truth facing not only the Asia Pacific region. It will be interesting to see how the Asia model plays out – and how quickly the Eastern and Western experiences blend into a truly global talent mindset.

Mongolia – opening up frontiers Santa Fe has opened an office in Mongolia, which is emerging as a key mining centre, with large mineral reserves and major mining projects in the pipeline. The country is a stable democracy, larger than Western Europe, but has a population of under three million. Now enjoying one of the highest growth rates in the world, it will inevitably attract attention from pioneering businesses, with the resulting requirement for mobility support. However, recent changes in the country’s regulatory environment, including stricter rules on foreign investment, may be cause for concern. In a new report, Santa Fe provides practical advice for organisations contemplating assignments to Mongolia. “In terms of quality of life for expats, Mongolia will have unique challenges and opportunities,” says Thomas Morocz, general manager of the new office. “First-time expatriates, and those travelling with children, will face an environment that presents new challenges on a daily basis. This will be especially true during the cold winter months, when temperatures fluctuate between a daily average of -32 and -19 degrees centigrade. “Experienced expatriates – specially those with prior postings in emerging markets or locations with extreme winter conditions – should be able to steer their way toward a successful and personally rewarding assignment in Mongolia if given appropriate destination support.”

Sectors moving towards Asia Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) latest Global Life Sciences Cluster Report shows that pharmaceutical multinationals are among those reinforcing their presence in Asia. Widening patient pools and increasing consumer demand in emerging markets are driving the growth of sales offices and manufacturing operations, as well as research and development facilities.

Cost is a key driver. David Wilton, JLL’s Asia Pacific regional director for industrial and logistics, says, “Beyond the cost of developing new drugs and treatments, facility and real-estate costs are among the highest expenses for life sciences companies, and such firms are optimising their real-estate and location strategies to capture market opportunity in Asia. It is also apparent that the industry is becoming more strategic with regards to site selection, choosing locations with rich industry resources, capital and a higher propensity for discovery and innovation.” Nirav Kothary, head of industrial services at JLL India, explains that the country is working to attract more funding into its biotechnology sector. The current rules allow foreign investors to start a company once they have obtained approval to take a share of a domestic drug company, on condition that they continue to manufacture cheap drugs and invest in research and development with Indian partners for five years. In China, British building research organisation BRE is working with one of the leading state-owned developers to give businesses an opportunity of showcasing innovative and sustainable technologies at Meixi Lake Eco-City, in Changsha, Hunan Province, one of 240 new cities planned for China. Jones Lang LaSalle’s China 50 report divides the potential cities into five tiers or more, and it will be interesting to see how global mobility keeps pace in the less-developed regions. The Cartus Biggest Challenges survey reveals that companies are already pretty sophisticated in their approach, with first- to third-tier cities not considered hardship locations.

Only connect … Connecting your markets at both ends is essential. Re:locate’s country and regional coverage will increasingly meet the needs of the inbound and outbound, particularly on the website, but also with the possibility of producing regional editions of our digital magazine and newsletters. We are here to assist in solving the people management issues that are at the top of business agendas globally, and to help the relocation industry to make connections and grow. To succeed, we need your support! Please share your views and comments on the economy, the political situation, and on-the-ground trends and opinions in your region via social media, email (editorial@relocatemagazine.com) and our website.

See education feature, p68.

relocatemagazine.com | 31


ASIA PROPERTY

Asia on the rise In an increasingly global world, where some economies are struggling and others thriving, and barriers to foreign ownership of property are being removed, it’s not surprising that investment in bricks and mortar – one of the most reassuringly solid and permanent of commodities – is becoming an increasingly cross-border affair, as Louise Whitson reports.

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owhere is the global nature of today’s property market more obvious than in London, where wealthy investors from the Asia Pacific region are eager to grab a piece of the action. Housebuilder St Edward, a joint venture between Berkeley Group and the Prudential, recently launched the latest phase of its luxury 375 Kensington High Street development – positioned as ‘an exceptional investment opportunity’ – to potential buyers in Hong Kong ahead of its release in the UK, a strategy that is becoming increasingly common. According to London-headquartered estate agent Knight Frank, 2012 was the central London office market’s strongest year for investment since 2007, thanks to a record level of purchases by foreign investors – £9.6 billion – accounting for nearly 70 per cent of total activity. In 2000, overseas buyers accounted for just 24 per cent of deals. This is not surprising at a time when, as Knight Frank investment partner Stephen Clifton points out, prime yields are 5 per cent on City offices, 4 per cent on West End offices, and only around 3 per cent on Hong Kong offices. Another London-headquartered estate agent with a global network, Savills, has restructured to provide twoway working with Asia Pacific, further reflecting the growing importance of this region. London Mayor Boris Johnson recently announced details of a £1 billion deal to transform the city’s historic docklands into a new business district, with the aim of forging trade links with China and other Asia Pacific economies and securing billions of pounds of inward investment. A 35-acre site at Royal Albert Dock is to be transformed by developer ABP China (Holding) into a gateway for Asian and Chinese business seeking to establish headquarters in Europe, as well as other businesses wanting to set up in the capital.

32 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Wealth heading east Knight Frank’s recent Global Cities Survey found that London and New York were still the most influential cities for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), defined as those with US$30 million or more in net assets, but that key Asia hubs were catching up fast. This is reflected in the ongoing expansion of the firm’s Asia Pacific network, which includes the recent creation of a London desk in Indonesian capital Jakarta, to satisfy what Knight Frank describes as the “substantial cross-border appetite for property investment that is beginning to emanate from Indonesia”. Across Asia, the report revealed, the number of HNWIs is set to rise by 88 per cent over the next decade, a rate of growth matched only by Latin America. Indonesia and Burma will see large increases, but India, China and Japan will have the biggest number of HNWIs by 2022. However, according to Savills’ recent World Cities Review, new investment may be less dominated by China, India and Singapore, as emerging nations such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines play an increasing part.

Prime residential rents rising Asia Pacific’s growing wealth and prominence on the world stage are shown by its having five of 2012’s top 10 growth markets for luxury residential property, according to Knight Frank’s Prime Global Residential Index. Indonesia leads, with prices in Jakarta up by 38 per cent and Bali by 20 per cent. Jakarta has benefited from continued strong GDP growth and a rapid increase in middle-class wealth. Increased access for non-resident purchasers could help sustain the trend through 2013, Knight Frank believes.


At a less exalted level, the company found that mainstream property prices in Asia Pacific rose faster in 2012 than in 2011, increasing by 6.7 per cent on average compared with 2.8 per cent a year earlier. Hong Kong, where prices rose by 23.6 per cent, recorded the largest rise, thanks to short supply and heavy demand from mainland Chinese investors. However, Knight Frank expects a return to more muted growth this year, following the imposition of recent stamp-duty increases and other measures aimed at cooling the property market. In other parts of Asia Pacific, the 12-month increase was China 9.3 per cent (based on Beijing and Shanghai), India 8.5 per cent, Malaysia 7.3 per cent, Indonesia 7 per cent, and Taiwan 9.7 per cent. Singapore and Japan saw growth of just 2.6 per cent. Given the attempts to cool some of Asia’s luxury residential sales markets, it’s no surprise that demand for rented properties is increasing – something which, with the consequent rise in rents, will not please companies needing to accommodate staff. Knight Frank research shows that, since Q2 2009, Hong Kong has seen the largest increase in prime rents – a huge 42.2 per cent. Prime rents in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing rose by 4.9 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 2.5 per cent in the final quarter of 2012, compared with -5.9 per cent, 0.1 per cent and 1 per cent in the last three months of 2011.

Hong Kong ‘most expensive’ city for business For companies starting up in Asia Pacific, Hong Kong remains the most expensive location in which to rent office space, followed by Beijing and Tokyo, Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) Asia Pacific Office Index for Q4 2012 has revealed. Jakarta experienced the biggest percentage increase in grade A office rents in 2012, up 37 per cent. Beijing saw the second-largest, with rents increasing by just over 20 per cent. In six other Asia Pacific cities, the cost of office space increased by more than 5 per cent: Bangkok (9.2 per cent), Bangalore (6.9 per cent), Auckland and Chennai (6.8 per cent), and Perth and Brisbane (5.6 per cent). By way of contrast, 11 of the cities monitored by JLL saw a rents decline in 2012, with the steepest falls in financial centres Hong Kong and Singapore, which saw falls of 11.1 per cent and 9.8 per cent respectively, and in Vietnam, where rents in Ho Chi Minh City also declined by 11.1 per cent and rents in Hanoi were down 7.5 per cent. The Savills World Cities Review found that Hong Kong was the most expensive world-class city in which to locate a business, with London in second place and New York a close third. The total real-estate cost of setting up a business in all three cities is now almost three times that in the most competitively priced world capitals, Shanghai and Mumbai.

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global management

Women – join the Lean In debate Making best use of the wealth of talent women bring to the workplace is something Re:locate is firmly behind. In the spring issue, our feature Women leaders: assigning the way to a more female future highlighted some of the challenges, and initiatives in place to help address skills shortages and develop women as future global leaders. We continue the discussion.

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new book by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, provides a really good read as well as fascinating insights into women, work, family and ambition. Described by The Times as “the business manual of the year”, Lean In is subtitled Women, Work and the Will to Lead. It was developed from a 2010 TED talk during which Ms Sandberg expressed concern that progress for women towards achieving leadership positions in business and government had stalled. She wrote the book, she says, to “change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can”. Having watched women pull back from their careers in response to both internal and external obstacles, Sheryl Sandberg examines the stumbling blocks and offers practical advice to help overcome them. As she says, “I wrote Lean In so women can increase their chances of making it to the top of any field or pursue any goal with gusto. And I wrote it for men who want to understand the challenges women face, so they can do their part to build an equal world.” As Sheryl Sandberg says at the end of the book, “My goal is that this book is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning.” She invites women and men of all ages to “keep talking”. Income from the book goes towards establishing leanin.org, a non-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging women to ‘lean in’ to their ambition. The book has sparked debate in the US and the UK since its publication this spring. For anyone looking to build the case for developing female talent in their organisation, the reference notes alone, which run to 35 pages, are worth the £16.99 investment in buying a copy. The book is published in the UK by WH Allen. If you are interested in joining with Re:locate to discuss and help further the development of women, including the active encouragement of more women

34 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

to take up international assignments, please email editorial@relocatemagazine.com and contribute to the debate via our website at relocatemagazine.com

Career support for partners Of equal importance is the provision of career development opportunities and job-search support for partners and spouses accompanying employees on international assignments or relocating domestically. There is no doubt that, even these days, the majority of accompanying partners are women, though the evidence suggests that this is changing fast. We are all familiar with the high cost of failed assignments and the percentage of failed assignments caused by unhappy families. Partner and spouse career support is included in the best policies, but, all too often, companies don’t know how to deliver practical support for partners. In the domestic context, this is equally critical, with most couples dependent on two incomes to the point where the loss of even a part-time job can make a relocation move unsustainable. Careers guidance and practical advice, CV review and interview technique coaching, plus networking and access to job vacancies, are of enormous benefit to partners and can make or break a relocation. With this in mind, Re:locate has developed a web resource that provides the perfect solution for accompanying partners. The standalone website also offers career counselling delivered by expert coaches online for worldwide use, and/or face-to-face coaching, as appropriate. For further details, see relocatemagazine.com/careers

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Awards Special 2012/13 This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Re:locate Awards were bigger and better than ever before! Find out what makes a winner, and share the global business insights of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fabulous keynote speaker.

Contents 38 Technological Innovation in Relocation 40 Inspirational HR Team of the Year 43 Relocation Service Provider of the Year UK 44 Relocation Service Provider of the Year International 46 Best HR & Supplier Strategy or Team/Relocation Team of the Year 48 Best Property Provider or Solution

50 Rising Star in Relocation 52 Green/CSR Achievement 54 Excellence in Employee & Family Support 56 Best International Destination Services Provider 58 Relocation Personality of the Year UK 60 Relocation Personality of the Year International


Re:locate AWARDS SPECIAL

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he Re:locate Awards 2012/13 Gala Dinner and Presentation Ceremony, held on Thursday 9 May at London’s Institute of Directors, attracted HR and relocation professionals in record numbers. In what was also the best year yet for entries to the awards, which have become the ultimate recognition of excellence in all aspects of relocation, both in the UK and internationally, more than 200 guests from across the relocation spectrum – including HR professionals and suppliers – networked the night away as they awaited the announcement of the winners. Speaking before the gala dinner, Fiona Murchie, managing editor of Re:locate, said, “With increasing globalisation, the need for mobility is also growing, so it’s no surprise that, following steady increases each year since 2007, when the awards began, this has been our best year yet for entries, with hot competition across all categories. “Here tonight, we have more international guests than ever before – from France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Spain, as well as the USA and even Australia – confirming that these awards are truly established in the international arena.” Between them, the 10 awards recognised individuals, teams, policy and innovation, with a choice of categories for HR and service providers. The high-calibre shortlist reflected the many different types of organisation involved in relocation. Re:locate is grateful to this year’s sponsors, supporters, and all the organisations that provided professional endorsements, and to our team of independent judges for their expert, impartial input. We also thank everyone who entered for supporting excellence in relocation and raising the profile of our profession.

A night to remember The evening began with a champagne reception and live music. International broadcaster and foreign-affairs authority Stephen Cole joined guests to celebrate good practice in all aspects of relocation. Mr Cole’s job as anchor of Al Jazeera English, moderator at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, and chairman of the Institute of Diplomacy and Business gave him a unique and fascinating perspective on global trends and events, which he shared with an attentive audience during an after-dinner speech that entertained and informed in equal measure, ranging from a hilarious description of the unofficial highway code in Qatar’s capital, Doha, where he is currently based, to his thoughts on how British businesses could compete in an increasingly global economy.

Sponsors

36 | Re:locate | Summer 2013 ISO Certified 9001:2008

Relocate Your Thinking

Inspiring keynote speech Acknowledging the leadership shown by Re:locate Awards entrants and winners, Stephen Cole said, “The fact that we are all here tonight is an acknowledgement that we have the skills, and obviously the creative thinkers, required to help companies and individuals succeed, and succeed well, in overseas markets. What we need now is leadership outside this room to broaden existing skills, increase the scale and create strategy to address the challenge.” Drawing on a broadcasting career that has spanned several continents and brought him unrivalled contact with world leaders, presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers, Stephen Cole offered unique experience and insight into how UK businesses – and the government bodies that support it – stacked up against the international competition. Government bodies responsible for supporting international trade could, he felt, do more to support and promote world-beating companies. Key cultural and language differences, British “squeamishness” about business, and low levels of young people currently aspiring to business management roles meant that UK companies were potentially missing out on opportunities to “bring international deals home”, said Mr


Award Sponsors

Section heading

Here’s why our sponsors were keen to support the Re:locate Awards 2012/13.

PwC

Sponsor of Technological Innovation in Relocation “Sharing information is essential to deploying an international workforce. In today’s demanding business environment, we are bridging the challenges through technology.” Alex Rubin

Cartus

Sponsor of Inspirational HR Team of the Year “To be recognised by Re:locate magazine at these prestigious awards provides each winner with a platform to showcase their industry-leading achievements.” Jane Bergman

Red Recruit

Sponsor of Relocation Service Provider or Team of the Year “As a specialist provider for the recruitment needs of the relocation, global mobility, HR, immigration, tax and serviced apartments arenas, Red Recruit Global is proud to be a Re:locate Awards sponsor.” Caroline Seear

Halo Financial

Sponsor of Best Property Provider or Solution “We are delighted to sponsor the Best Property Provider or Solution category, rewarding excellence and best practice in the industry.” Miki Reeder

SIRVA

Relocate Your Thinking

Sponsor of Rising Star in Relocation “This award recognises those professionals who significantly contribute to their business today and will continue to make a positive impact on the mobility industry in the future.” Steve Marshall

Cole, who was part of the team setting up new broadcast operations with CNN in the US and with Al Jazeera. “Language is important as communication, but also shows willing. With language understanding comes cultural understanding. We have to work a lot harder to build bridges with other countries and cultures.” The visa application process is another area which Mr Cole believes the government should focus on to improve global trade links and capitalise on UK companies’ unique assets and expertise. Bringing his introduction to a close, Stephen Cole set out the challenge ahead. “We have a choice: we can continue to muddle through as we do now, or the UK can reinvent itself as the powerful global trader that we used to be. “Britain has the imagination and the ability and the innovation. What we have to do now is get serious about business, and serious about helping it trade internationally. The winners of the awards here tonight are examples of the success story of business. We need to celebrate them.”

Supporters

Pro-Link GLOBAL

Sponsor of Green/CSR Achievement “As a core service provider for relocation professionals, we are proud to help recognise excellence in the industry.” Glenn Faulk

ISO Certified 9001:2008

Weichert Relocation Resources

Sponsor of Excellence in Employee & Family Support “This category focuses on the most critical aspect of any relocation: the successful assimilation of the valued employee and his or her family into the new location.” Tim McCarney

NatWest Global Employee Banking

Sponsor of Best International Destination Services Provider “This award recognises the value of providing the highest standards of professionalism and service in today’s fastmoving, global business world.” Neil Barsby

Paragon Relocation

Sponsor of Relocation Personality of the Year “Paragon celebrates our colleagues within relocation who advance our industry and raise the standards of excellence.” Liam Brennan

Professional endorsements

THE RELOCATION USERS GROUP

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SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

Technological Innovation in Relocation

Peregrine Immigration Management

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s in previous years, this category – which attracted a large number of high-quality entries – inspired lively debate among the judges, who were looking for evidence of real innovation in this fast-changing field. Global immigration consultancy Peregrine Immigration Management took the award for Immiguru, a web-based database containing information on more than 300 corporate-based immigration processes to more than 50 countries worldwide. “Managing global immigration is time-consuming and stressful,” says Peregrine’s managing director, Sophy King, “whether you’re a service provider in the mobility industry or a business with your own expatriate employees. “Companies and service providers can’t afford to be in the dark about immigration processes, but they can’t necessarily invest in in-house resources to research and keep on top of extensive data either. Immiguru provides an effective, affordable answer.” The judges agreed. “Immigration is an increasingly complex area for the layperson. Failures to observe the correct process can greatly delay a move, which impacts both employers and employees. “This new system captures all elements of the process. It is easy to access, and the information is clear and concise, broken down into clear steps which will enable HR, mobility and relocation companies to provide fast and accurate information to the business and employee.”

Sponsor

Moreover, explains Sophy King, the data is regularly reviewed by immigration experts worldwide, and can be analysed and presented in multiple ways, including via a reporting function, for easy comparison of immigration processes. The judges remarked on how readily Peregrine accepted feedback on the system, and the speed with which suggested improvements were made. Indeed, Sophy King’s enthusiasm for making Immiguru the best it can be shines through. “Our core business is unbiased consultation, not casework. We want to share our knowledge and to empower our clients to manage global immigration effectively. We are the first, and currently the only, company to offer this service. “We incorporate 15 minutes a day of free consultation into every licence we sell, because we believe that our clients should feel able to call us and ask questions without being worried that we won’t have time for them.” It was a proud moment for Sophy King when she collected the trophy. “Winning this award means a huge amount to Peregrine, and for our 74 (and counting!) partners across the globe. “At heart, Immiguru is a data collaboration project – we are bringing the expertise and knowledge of immigration specialists all over the world directly to the people who need it most. “We are delighted that, as immigration specialists, our contribution to the relocation process as a whole has been recognised.” www.peregrine.im

Shortlisted

Special award

HCR

Creative Application of Technology

MOVE Guides HIGHLY COMMENDED

Winner: mTROTTER

NuCompass Mobility Services SIRVA 38 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


Section heading

The stretch becomes the realistic

Stretch goals may not seem so far away if you saw things a little differently, or worked with a team who were able to bring a different perspective. Our job is to do just that. Technology is one key to making stretch goals reality. Truth be toldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;only a commitment to technology can truly transform the mobility space. PwC has long been a leading innovator in expatriate compliance technology, and we continue to make substantial investments. We recently launched TravelWatch to track frequent business travelers and Global Data Collect (GDC), which enables your organization to collect and report on your global workforce payment data. For more information on this new generation of PwC solutions, please visit www.pwc.com/us/ias Š 2013 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details. This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

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SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

Inspirational HR Team of the Year

Lloyds Register Group

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n a clear demonstration of the outstanding leadership, relocation excellence and inspirational practice this award celebrates, the People Stream team at Lloyd’s Register (LR) sailed to success for its challenging and ambitious project to move the company’s Marine business stream from central London to a state-of-the-art Global Technology Centre (GTC) in Southampton. Exemplifying for the judges how “HR can be truly inspirational in leading and shaping a major change process within a complex organisation in a highly demanding industry and external environment,” the People Stream team’s inspirational achievements have enabled LR to open a new chapter in its 250-year history. Among the measurable outcomes that gave the entry “a clear ‘wow’ factor”, and testament to the engagement, communication and robust processes the team created, are the above-anticipated relocation take-up rate (66 per cent, against 50 per cent), cost savings from an empowering directhire model (£275,000) and success in almost eliminating service-level agreement (SLA) issues with their destination service provider, from a 33 per cent infringement rate in year one to just 1 per cent in the first six months of year two.

Adapting to succeed These compelling results were all realised in a move that not only means a business-critical physical relocation in a highly specialised area where intellectual capital and engagement are crucial, but that also marks a culture change for the long-established business as it seeks to serve its global clients in the 21st century. Sponsor

“The move to the GTC is very much part of a much bigger culture change required to deliver the business strategy,” explains Bev Latham, People Stream lead. “The board has scoped an aspiration for the business of which a new customer-centric, responsive global marine business is just one part. The Southampton relocation project represents a tactical programme to deliver the overarching business strategy to reposition ourselves ahead of the curve, to be at the centre of the maritime world and to work in partnership with academia.” Co-located with the University of Southampton at the business heart of UK shipping in the Solent Marine Cluster, the GTC, when it opens on 1 July 2014, will put LR’s Marine business at the centre of a global research and development network Recognising the challenges, LR set up the People Stream team and its exacting targets in June 2011. The team brings together 15 HR experts across four areas (HR operations, relocation, engagement and communications, and resourcing). A clear project management framework provides an essential structure for the three-stage (design, implementation and handover), three-year project. The team’s remit is to design and deliver an end-to-end relocation strategy, with associated policies and processes, that builds on LR’s ‘expertise is everything’ ethos, supports the GTC’s effective launch, maintains business continuity, and enables LR to fulfil its aspirations. Powered by this clear vision, the team works closely with business stakeholders to map processes for every activity relating to the relocation. The team’s behavioural charter – ‘Team Spirit’ – is

Shortlisted BAT – Global Mobility Team

40 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


Re:locate Section AWARDSheading winner

Trusted guidanceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;anywhere, anytime. Now you can access your relocation information on your mobile device. CartusMobile SM connects you, employees, suppliers, and Cartus, delivering timely programme information and enabling you to easily keep track of needed actions. For business on the move, choose the trusted guide that never leaves your side. CartusMobile is now available for the iPhone and Android.

Scan now to watch CartusMobile in action. www.cartus.com | www.youtube.com/cartuscorporation Š2012 Cartus Corporation. All rights reserved. relocatemagazine.com | 41


SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

businesses are all the better for it,” says Bev Latham. As the People Stream team crosses the mid-point of the GTC project and increasing numbers of Marine business staff gear up to embark on their relocation journeys to Southampton, the team’s clear sense of purpose has been instrumental in the outcomes it is achieving and the challenges it is innovating to overcome. “A significant challenge facing the organisation is the loss of critical knowledge and expertise,” says Bev Latham. “While in no way, shape or form was the move a headcount reduction exercise, we had to understand at the outset that, sadly, the reality is that not everyone is able to move their lives from London to Southampton; over 70 per cent of the Marine Business lived a two-hour or more commute from Southampton. We had to find ways of responding to that in a culture that had never had to deal with it before.” Working closely with leaders, the team has designed and implemented plans to enable the Marine business to ensure service delivery and create talent pipelines that future-proof the organisation. A new resourcing model puts recruitment more in the hands of managers. It prioritises direct sourcing of candidates and incorporates a training programme, run wholly by the People Steam, which certifies managers to be licensed to recruit.

Positive impact

the touchstone for how it achieves this, communicating the “trustworthiness, respectfulness, honesty, support, collaboration and fun” the team always seeks to embed in its activities as it strives for high performance. These behaviours are all recognised in the quarterly Team Spirit award that celebrates the team member who has role-modelled these values most successfully. The team also actively seeks to be a high-performing team, and uses the Katzenbach approach to plot performance against goals and articulate actions.

Developing talent Underpinning all this is an unwavering commitment to the business-transforming power of personal and team development. Everyone has a personal development plan, and the team is now self-sufficient in key business support areas, such as workshop design and facilitation, and process mapping. “I absolutely believe that empowering people to grow and focus on their personal development means

42 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

This resourcing programme sits alongside an equally successful relocation strategy that deploys a range of activities – for example, relocation fairs, drop-in surgeries and a generous relocation package – to promote the GTC as a cornerstone for LRG’s future and support engagement in the evolving business. The activities are reinforced by a network of ‘change champions’ supporting colleagues through the change and providing a valuable channel of two-way communication. A catalogue of glowing testimonies from Marine colleagues at every level shows unequivocal praise for the People Stream team, how moves are being managed, and the positive impact on the business. Concluding, Bev Latham says, “From our point of view, the award is extremely exciting. We all really do believe that we can help to shape the organisation at every level and are leaving a legacy for the company. We have introduced this new model for resourcing and a more customer-focused approach to HR that are proving beneficial in terms of cost benefits and improving management capacity. “When the People Stream disbands in 2014, everybody in our team will also leave bigger and better, and ready for their next career step. Those are really powerful outcomes.” Together with, and supported by, the People Stream team, the Marine business and LR are undoubtedly flying the flag for inspirational leadership and high-performance teamwork. As a result, the Marine business and its new home in the GTC are set to navigate to a successful transition.


Section heading

Relocation Service Provider of the Year UK Connells Relocation Services

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his year saw the highest-ever number of entries and the best-ever standard in this category, leading the judges to award three trophies. UK winner Connells Relocation Services was praised for a well-written and presented submission with three powerful case studies. Domestic UK relocation has always been at the heart of the company. Connells provides the full raft of managed relocation services. Originally, it dealt purely with UK moves, but, in response to demand from domestic clients, it has grown internationally. As Simon Robins, Sales Manager pointed out the majority of corporate clients have a handful to 50 or 100 relocations a year and that is their market place, while still being equipped to deal with group moves of 1500. In the tricky area of home sale, the team’s knowledge of the fluctuating property market is underpinned by the expertise of the Connells property group.  Said client services director Helen Grierson, “We are very good at valuing and selling properties. This is extremely important for our corporate clients, as property sales are where huge losses can be incurred if they are not handled correctly.” A particularly impressive aspect of this award entry, said the judges, was glowing testimonials from three longestablished blue-chip clients Lloyd’s Register, Sainsbury’s and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, for which Connells

Sponsor

has managed major UK domestic group moves. As Helen Grierson points out, group moves are quite rare these days, and companies have lost the ability to handle them. Communication and persuasiveness are vital skills for the Connells team. At the heart of its success is a proactive approach. Said Helen Grierson, “I will tell a client when something has worked well for another client. We are happy to review a policy and keep clients updated on the property market. “When we take on a new client, the first thing we do is ask about their policy and when it was last reviewed. We ask, ‘does your policy reflect what your organisation does and what it wants to achieve?’ It’s also important to review policy regularly.” Face-to-face meetings are an important aspect of keeping connected. “We are a visible part of the Lloyd’s Register relocation team, and meet them once a week,” Helen Grierson explained. “It is very worthwhile. They have an encouragingly high conversion rate, and this is achieved by a combination of a good policy and a lot of commitment.” Speaking of the award, Helen Grierson said, “In 2002, we started with three desks, a phone and no clients. We have grown out of all recognition, and it is so nice to be recognised. The award is for all the team. We couldn’t have done it without them.” www.connellsrelocation.co.uk

Shortlisted Cartus

London Relocation

Chiltern Relocation

NatWest Global Employee Banking

HCR

Pro-Link GLOBAL

Into Somerset HIGHLY COMMENDED

SIRVA relocatemagazine.com | 43


SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

Relocation Service Provider of the Year International

Mobility Services International

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e were delighted to make an international service provider award to Mobility Services International (MSI), which is headquartered in Hampton, USA, and covers the EMEA and APAC regions from offices in London and Hong Kong. Deep-seated professionalism shone through the company’s entry, with a focused vision of its core strength in aligning talent management and workforce mobility strategies. The judges gave high praise to MSI’s entry form, which they said was the best ever submitted in this category. Carolyn Spencer, of the London office, collected the trophy at the Gala Awards Dinner. Speaking later from the US, CEO Timm Runnion acknowledged his 125-strong team’s role. “I would like to pay particular appreciation to our family of dedicated employees around the globe. Their commitment and teamwork help make this award possible. We are extremely proud of our relocation counsellors and international assignment managers, who have the direct interface with our customers. This is where the rubber meets the road.” MSI puts great emphasis on striving to learn and understand clients’ corporate culture, and, from this base, designing and building policy and programmes to integrate into that culture. A 97 per cent satisfaction score from relocatees and a 98 per cent client retention rate are testament to the effectiveness of this approach.

Supporting talent management is also fundamental to MSI’s ethos, Timm Runnion explained. “We look at talent mobility holistically – as an opportunity to give clients the ability to address both candidate development and the logistics involved in transitioning employees and their families throughout the physical relocation and assignment. This is a brand new approach in the mobility industry, and it sets MSI apart.” The importance of technology and tracking is high on the agenda, as is MSI’s ability to deliver cost control and savings for clients. The Re:locate Awards judges commented on the impressive evidence and case studies provided, which substantiated the company’s achievement in these areas. With a keen eye on reducing corporate risk, MSI illustrated how it was able to save a new client from making an immigration error that would have resulted in fines of around $50,000. Asked where the future lay for global mobility, Timm Runnion responded with the thoughtfulness that characterises his company’s approach. “At present, the global mobility industry is a subset of the broader HR function; however, this is already changing. Mobility is increasingly becoming an integral part of an organisation’s talent management strategy and planning, as companies recognise the need to support and develop their mission-critical employees.” With talent management so high on the agenda for many global organisations with a growth agenda – watch this space. www.msimobility.com

Sponsor

44 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Shortlisted Cartus

London Relocation

Chiltern Relocation

NatWest Global Employee Banking

HCR

Pro-Link GLOBAL

Into Somerset HIGHLY COMMENDED UK

SIRVA


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Best HR & Supplier Strategy or Team and

Relocation Team of the Year Newland Chase

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inners in this category must demonstrate innovating to overcome challenges, excellent service and effective resource deployment, all while contributing to, and positively impacting on, the HR team. This year’s winners, immigration lawyers Newland Chase, not only realised these exacting criteria to support their client to achieve business-critical goals, but did so in style, creating a solution the judges praised as “benefitting the UK economy as a whole.” Involved in high-stakes talks to secure a multi-millionpound energy project for its UK operations, the client’s “complex and urgent dilemma” was to ensure the 100 mobile workers key to the contract could enter and work in the UK, despite not meeting immigration criteria. Success would mean the project agreed, major investment during recession, and local job creation, so Newland Chase’s ability to look beyond the obvious meant that it was able to advise on specialist options for the client, says the firm’s Asma Bashir. Negotiating successfully with a number of government departments, the team ensured both that the workers’ status would be compliant and that the project did not go overseas. With the huge challenge of ensuring compliance resolved through its innovation, Newland Chase anticipated the administrative challenges to offer maximum skills and expertise to the HR team, ensuring accurate and efficient use of resources and achieving excellence in resource deployment.

As most HR teams dealing with inbound workers will agree, sponsoring around 100 assignees adds greatly to the team’s workload. Newland Chase’s solution was to work closely with HR to explain the processes, provide specialist software and implement supporting internal HR systems for compliance management. Reinforcing the positive impact on the HR team and ensuring the people aspect of the project was fully costed, accommodated in the current HR framework and therefore sustainable, Newland Chase also went the extra mile to inform the client of possible tax implications.. Dealing with the vagaries of international visas, interpreting fast-changing laws and responding to client’s business-critical strategies are a daunting prospect for even the most seasoned international HR or global mobility team. Asma Bashir said, “It’s often not obvious how complex immigration has become, but the laws are changing all the time. We can draw on experiences like these so that, if we are presented with a similar situation, it is no longer out of the ordinary. Our outcomes are testament to the team’s accuracy, and, in terms of resources, we can offer more streamlined service to our clients.” Newland Chase won the award for showcasing how, with teamwork, knowledge and insight to choose the right strategy, even seemingly complex challenges can be turned into world-beating solutions. It’s therefore not surprising that they bagged the Relocation Team of the Year award with similar aplomb. www.newlandchase.com

Shortlisted for Best HR & Supplier Strategy or Team AllianceBernstein & Pro-Link GLOBAL

European Bank for Reconstruction and

American Express

Development & FOCUS Information Services

DuPont & Weichert Relocation

Lloyds Register Group Paragon Relocation

46 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

The Newland Chase team, with Caroline Seear, Red Recruit, sponsor, Relocation Team of the Year

SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner


A big thank you to...

Section heading

... judges Elaine Crowe from Rank Group, Clare Harrison from Willis, Susie Inwood from Droveway Associates, Frances King from Marks & Spencer, Netta Reichenberg from American Express, Susan M Shortland from London Metropolitan University, Matthew Smith from Lend Lease, Sally Lockhart, Laraine Nee and of course the team at Re:locate Magazine...

...for naming us winners of both Best HR & Supplier Strategy and Relocation Team of the Year at this year’s Re:locate Awards!

What the judges said:

This worthy winner is inspiring – it made this judge want to work there!

The outcomes of this strategic approach have benefits not only for the client company but also for the UK economy as a whole.

Having a greater understanding of the client’s needs through close working relationships enabled Newland Chase to work better with government departments, explaining the benefits of the inward investment project for UK plc.

What our clients said:

We have had some complex issues arise and the team at Newland Chase helped overcome the challenges to a successful outcome.

Responsive, knowledgeable and customer-focused.

The comprehensiveness and the responsiveness won us. The advice given is always thorough and quick, which is really helpful.

Newland Chase is a specialist UK and global immigration firm, based in London’s Canary Wharf. We operate on the principle that the needs of the client always come first, whether it’s a complex relocation for a multinational organisation, an SME looking to open an overseas branch, or an individual looking to invest in the UK. +44 (0)20 7001 2121 enquiries@newlandchase.com www.newlandchase.com

If you or your company wish to use an award-winning team to handle all of your immigration needs, please contact us to discuss further.

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SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

Best Property Provider or Solution SilverDoor

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he judges described serviced apartment agent SilverDoor’s submission as “outstanding: a strong, succinct, fact-based, rich entry, with good case studies – impressive and comprehensive”. Among the factors they highlighted were the company’s independence – as it does not own any of the apartments it represents, its advice is unbiased – the quality of its training, its investment in a bespoke system to streamline administration, its apprentice programme, and its status as one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For 2012. SilverDoor represents more than 70,000 apartments in 300 cities and 60 countries worldwide. PR and marketing manager Engi Bally believes that the variety of areas and specifications offered allows the company to provide relocating professionals with exactly what they need, in the areas in which they need it. “All members of staff visit apartments regularly, in the UK and abroad,” she says. “Our account managers can offer comprehensive advice that takes into account transport facilities, schools, shopping facilities and other information that is extremely valuable for someone relocating to a new area.” The new administration system was introduced earlier this year. As Engi Bally explains, it brings together all parts of the booking process, from the property database to reservation confirmations. Account managers can immediately see a client’s preferences, including what kind of accommodation and facilities they prefer, the payment processes most convenient for them, and the longitude and latitude of areas of interest to them, such as their place of work. Sponsor

48 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Coming 17th in the Best Small Companies ranking is certainly an impressive achievement. Says Engi Bally, “We work hard to create a positive working environment, which we achieve through regular staff events in and outside the office, extensive staff benefits, and excellent facilities, which we think enhance our understanding of each other on a personal as well as a professional level, allowing us to work better as a team.” The apprenticeship scheme was introduced to provide support to SilverDoor’s busiest departments. Engi Bally says, “We’re growing rapidly, and we know that it’s paramount that we adapt the company structure to this growth whenever needed. This ensures that all staff have the resources they need, and that we make the most of their unique skills.” Believing that with growth comes responsibility to the wider community, SilverDoor has appointed young people’s charity Catch22 as its charity of the year – a collaboration which grew from Re:locate‘s initiative to get the relocation sector involved with nationwide charity project The Jubilee Hour. This allows the company to give back to the wider community, and provides employees with opportunities to learn new skills in their spare time. Collecting the trophy, SilverDoor’s MD, Marcus Angell, said, “Winning this award is a great honour. It recognises our efforts to continuously offer our clients an excellent service and represent apartments in countries and cities demanded by relocating employees and business travellers.” www.silverdoor.co.uk

Shortlisted BridgeStreet Residences Serviced Apartments Suites

Go Native

Chiltern Relocation

The Apartment Service

SACO The Serviced Apartment Company


Section heading

Do currency fluctuations affect your assignees?

The stress caused by negative currency fluctuations can turn an assigneeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind off the job and onto finances. With Assignee Currency Transfers (ACT), Halo Financial will take the stress off their hands to let them focus on meeting business objectives. This regular payment service fixes an exchange rate for up to 2 years, in 62 different currencies. Furthermore, with our market leading currency exchange rates, we can help an assignee transfer significantly more money between country and destination. The process is fast, simple and secure. Simply introduce us to the assignee and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do the rest.

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SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

Rising Star in Relocation

Jade Burke, Crown World Mobility

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he Rising Star category was closely fought this year, with both companies and individuals on the shortlist. Winner Jade Burke, of Crown World Mobility, stood out, having made what the judges described “a significant impact in a short space of time”. Her submission, which they called “excellent”, included recommendations by her team and management, with great examples of leadership, commitment and passion. Said Jade, “It’s an honour to be rewarded for doing a job that you really enjoy; I’m absolutely thrilled.” Jade joined Crown World Mobility in 2010 with a degree in business and management, starting as an implementation and project assistant working on the operational side of the business. Having excelled in this role, she was invited to become a mobility consultant. Eight months into her new post, Jade has, says Crown’s GMS UK account manager Vicky Woods, demonstrated a unique set of skills and made a fantastic impact on the world mobility industry. “She has enhanced her understanding of the business and delivered creative solutions to client needs. She is always on hand to help others, and always makes a thorough analysis of a situation before committing to a decision.” Vicky Woods also praises Jade’s pivotal role in a team of 14 and her first-class organisation and time-management skills. Other key strengths are an ability to build rapport with assignees and their families and understand their needs, and a willingness to go the extra mile to ensure clients are happy.

Sponsor

“Rather than just listening and offering advice, Jade creates practical solutions to problems. For example, when a landlord became difficult and tried to evict an assignee from a property for no reason, Jade intervened and checked the legalities, then double-checked with a property lawyer, and very professionally defused the situation. So well did she handle the situation that the assignee sent a bouquet to thank her.” The judges considered that Jade had demonstrated valuable leadership skills when she suggested creating a balanced and fair workload for fellow team members. “Jade felt it was important to put the system in place to make it easier to understand the volumes of work in the team and ensure nobody was carrying more than others. This created a very harmonious environment within the team, and a calm balance of work.” Jade has implemented new initiatives and documents that have been adopted across the business and are now an integral part of Crown’s processes. One judge commented that her professional and dedicated approach had enhanced the company’s business overall. Crown World Mobility’s regional general manager, David Hollins, says, “We’re lucky to have Jade on our team, as she contributes to making our clients’ relocation programmes successful. She is a rising star with a very bright future.” A worthy winner, indeed. www.crownworldmobility.com

Shortlisted Relocate Your Thinking

50 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Natalie Langdon, Cambridge Relocations

MOVE Guides

David and Heather Richardson, Fish Home Finders

James Hooper, Oceanair International Corporate Moving Services, The Excess Baggage Company


Section heading

SIRVA puts global mobility solutions in your hands.

countries where SIRVA delivers industry-leading relocation services

SIRVA is a global mobility leader offering: s Customisable and Flexible global relocation solutions that deliver â&#x20AC;&#x153;Total Costâ&#x20AC;? transparency. s Reduced Cycle Time through expert management of all aspects of an international assignment. s End-to-End Services in support of the entire life cycle of an international assignment. s An established, Global Footprint with on the ground presence in all critical markets.

For more information, contact us at sirva.com, sirvaeurope@sirva.com or +44 (0) 1793 619555 relocatemagazine.com | 51


SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

The HCR team, with Agata Galicka, Pro-Link GLOBAL

Green/CSR Achievement

HCR

It’s hard for a company that doesn’t actually make anything to justify having a carbon footprint,” said HCR Group’s commercial manager, Richard Inglis, as he collected the award for Green/CSR Achievement. And, after winning this category for the second year running and having maintained carbon-neutral status for over 18 months, it is clear that the UK’s largest independent relocation specialist has firmly positioned safeguarding the environment as part of its core values. This year, the Green Achievement category was widened to include corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, resulting in a higher level of competition. “This is another excellent achievement,” says Simon Hood, head of marketing for HCR. “We are delighted that our actions to reduce our carbon footprint have once again been judged as excellent, particularly as this year saw a big increase in entries.” Alongside providing property solutions and a wide range of relocation services to professionals across all industry sectors, HCR blazed a trail back in 2008 by becoming the first relocation company in the UK to be accredited with ISO14001 certification. “This independent certification is presented to organisations to mark excellence for those demonstrating success in carbon-footprint management,” explains Simon Hood. For the judges, it was also this desire to integrate sustainability into the company’s identity that gave HCR the edge. “HCR aligns sustainability with its core business,”

Sponsor

said one of the judges. “Green targets have been set, and outcomes tracked.” Imaginative green initiatives such as HCR’s Sustainable Relocation Promise (the company plants a tree for every corporate relocation it manages) and a new business venture – selling good-quality secondhand furniture from its completed tenancies – have meant that HCR is fast becoming a sustainability role model within the relocation sector. As such, it is trying to influence greener practices amongst its own suppliers, making it a requirement that they provide evidence of their commitment to sustainability and the environment as part of HCR’s selection process. But, as Simon Hood explains, HCR is continuing to look inward, and every member of staff is working hard to incorporate sustainability into their professional lives. And it is certainly paying off: HCR aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 4 per cent annually, but, in fact, managed a massive 12.7 per cent reduction last year. Along with reducing business miles by more than 199,000 over the last three years and saving the business a huge £86,000, this is one of HCR’s proudest achievements. Special projects manager George Dawes commented, “I am very proud to lead the Environmental Area of our business and the fact that the whole team at HCR buy in to what we are trying to do. When people think sustainability in the relocation world, we want them to think of HCR.” www.hcr.co.uk

Shortlisted Brookfield Global Relocation Services Crown Relocations ISO Certified 9001:2008

52 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Harrow Green


Section heading

Work Smarter. Think Green.

Our Experts Always Leave A Lighter Carbon Footprint.

That is a promise. At Pro-Link GLOBAL, we take being green seriously. We can conduct business ISO Certified 9001:2008

for you 24/7 anywhere in the world, because our teams work virtually - meaning no expensive overhead. This translates to a direct advantage of competitive cost savings for our clients.

prominent

We are a network of immigration firms in over 140 service locations worldwide with more than 1,600 people intimately familiar with the cultural nuances and

professional proactive progressive

processes required to smoothly navigate the complexities of global corporate immigration. As the first company in the industry to be certified by ISO, the world’s largest standards organization, Pro-Link GLOBAL understands that you can’t afford costly delays and downtime. Our expansive team of highly skilled professionals has what it takes to keep your people and your business moving, because global corporate immigration is what we do…and it is all we do.

Your Move.

Do you know the right people?™ We do. Over 140 Global Service Locations | +44 (0) 20 3004 9276 | uk@pro-linkglobal.com

www.pro-linkglobal.com

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SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

Excellence in Employee & Family Support Languages Team, International School of London, Surrey

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n an increasingly globally mobile business world, entire families are being asked to adapt and adjust quickly to challenging new environments. International School of London (ISL) Surrey’s Languages Team knows this only too well and is committed to addressing the isolation that has the potential to affect whole families after a move to a new country. “Parents who do not share the main language of the school can feel isolated and on the edges of the life of the school,” says Heather Mulkey, ISL group marketing and admissions officer. “This isolation affects the transferring employee and the family.” ISL Surrey (part of international school group ISL, which has schools in London, Surrey and Qatar) is an international school in Woking for pupils aged from three to 18. It works with children and families in their mother tongue and helps them in their learning of English as a second language. The mother-tongue programme is part of the school’s embedded languages programme. Unusually, the school also extends its services to the rest of the family. For the Languages Team, work begins before the family even joins the school. ISL teachers contact families, writing in their common language or via Skype to give advice and guidance on moving to the UK, as well as translating cultural and academic issues. ToddBeard,headof Englishasanadditionallanguagesays,“It is our aim to forge partnerships with families through delivering dynamic, practical support even before they walk through the doors of our school.”

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54 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

When the family arrives in the country, the mothertongue teachers also work with them to help with the transition into their new life, assisting them with basic practicalities such as learning vocabulary for buying travel tickets or how to register with a local doctor’s surgery. ISL Surrey even formed a parents’ choir, because it has identified that singing greatly supports language development. The judges were bowled over by the commitment of the Languages Team, given that its novel and exciting approach to parental involvement had been carried out with no budget and on a volunteer basis, being driven forward only by staff enthusiasm. “Their infectious passion has spread wider and wider,” said Sue Shortland, one of this year’s judges. “As a result, parents have become more actively involved with social outings and volunteer work in the local community. “The Languages Team has made a real difference by collaborating with other support organisations. It has provided a positive example of what can be done to benefit not only the family but also the local community.” ISL has no plans to sit on its laurels. Heather Mulkey makes it clear that the team is constantly looking at ways in which it can improve its support for families. “Teachers build on all the hard work which the relocation community and relocation professionals provide,” she says, “and, hopefully, take families to that next step, making a home in their new community. The award itself helped our teachers stand back and assess what we provide, but also to start thinking about what else we can do.” www.islschools.org/surrey


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Meet Harshad. His title is Senior Assignment Consultant. But to our clients, he’s a Trusted Partner.

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Whether he’s managing tours of local rentals, international assignments or complex group moves, Harshad prepares relocating employees for success. As a member of the tri-regional global service team in our EMEA Operations Center, he provides local expertise and on-the-ground insight that boosts morale and productivity among mobile workforces while improving ROI. His ability to Optimizing Your Mobile Workforce transform mobile talent into a true competitive advantage has won the confidence of clients worldwide. And he’d welcome the chance to earn your trust, too. wrri.com/blog | solutions@wrri.com | +44 (0) 1293 813810 | Optimizing Your Mobile WorkforceSM relocatemagazine.com | 55


SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

Best International Destination Services Provider

Management Mobility Consulting

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his year, a concerted effort to encourage international destination services providers to enter really paid off, with entries significantly up on previous years. Worthy winner Management Mobility Consulting (MMC) is led by managing director Martina Meinhold, who established her company in 2002 after moving from Germany to France. Having studied European business in France and worked for a management consultancy, she was well equipped to develop the company from a freelance base to the French limited company it is today, with a new office that opened in Frankfurt last year, and other expansion plans. MMC provides both inbound and outbound services, with the majority of moves (around 80 per cent) into France, and most coming to Paris. The company works with the GRS network to support international moves. Asked what makes MMC unique, Martina Meinhold explains that it is a medium-sized company, owner managed, which is big enough to help clients with group moves but small enough to be flexible and customer orientated. Statistics show an impressive level of client retention and a customer satisfaction rate of 92 per cent. MMC was the first company in France to introduce an in-house ‘MyMobility’ extranet tracking system. This is something the team continues to improve and personalise, with plans in the pipeline for an app. “It is important to develop innovative new services and respond to customer demand,” Martina Meinhold believes.

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“Customers have asked us to diversify, and we don’t just provide pure destination services but financial management and expenses management as well.” The economic climate has brought changes. Though large customers are bringing in fewer foreign expatriates to France, more expatriates are being repatriated. The high-level changes being made by corporates have led to a requirement for new VIP-oriented services. Similarly, reduced HR has meant more outsourced services. A corporate social responsibility project in Namibia is clearly important to MMC. Having raised 15,000 euros to support agricultural training and development centres in the country, it is now following up with implementation support. Strong leadership is demonstrated by a lean management structure focusing on five core values, and teamwork is highly valued. Engagement and motivation are fostered by encouraging team members to come up with innovative services and improved processes. With understated confidence, MMC is able to cope with the unexpected, such as the emergency repatriation of 150 French expatriates from Nigeria to France on Christmas Eve. Within 24 hours, a hotline was set up, airport pick-up arranged, and temporary accommodation and furnished accommodation found. Client families were able to celebrate New Year’s Eve in their newly furnished houses. Now, that is service. www.management-mobility.com

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56 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


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SectionAWARDS Re:locate heading winner

Relocation Personality of the Year UK

Elaine Crowe, Rank Group

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f the reaction of guests at the Gala Awards Dinner was anything to go by, Rank Group’s Elaine Crowe was a very popular choice for UK Relocation Personality of the Year, perhaps because, as one of the judges put it, she “crosses the bridge between corporates and the relocation industry”. Currently relocation manager for Rank Group, Elaine has two decades of relocation experience. She is well known in the corporate world through the Relocation Users Group, of which she is a former chair, and also supports industry bodies the Association of Relocation Professionals and the European Relocation Association. Elaine’s debut in relocation came when she was asked to help organise and facilitate a group move, bringing together the various businesses of the Rank Organisation (as it then was). She explains, “This required moving diverse offices scattered around UK into Maidenhead, along with our employees and their families. It was a huge learning curve, challenging, interesting, and, of course, rewarding.” After 20 years, Elaine retains all her enthusiasm for relocation. “Although it is the same mechanical process for each move the people make, each one is different. This means you cannot become complacent, as you are always reminded of how important it is for them.” Simon Robins, of Connells Relocation Services, was one of those who nominated Elaine for the award. Describing

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her as “truly an inspiration to many within the industry”, he said, “Elaine has always been very willing to share her knowledge and experience. Her unfailing enthusiasm and joie de vivre make her a pleasure to deal with, both professionally and personally.” The Re:locate Awards judges agreed, saying, “Elaine’s commitment to the industry over many years, and her efforts to mentor others and work on behalf of the industry for the common good, shine through. “She is respected by a wide range of people in industry, consultancy, and the relocation service sector, and by employees. It is rare to find a relocation professional in the corporate sector who takes so much time out of her busy schedule to help others and promote the relocation industry and good practice within it.” Elaine was clearly delighted when she stepped on to the podium to collect her trophy. With characteristic modesty, she says, “Winning this award is an honour because it is given by our peer group and reflects one’s standing within one’s own industry. It conveys a sense of being appreciated, and gives a huge boost to your confidence; you feel you must be doing something right!” Judging by the admiration she inspires, it seems that this year’s UK Relocation Personality of the Year is achieving rather more than that.

Shortlisted Annemette Krogh, All Denmark Relocation Steve Marshall, SIRVA

58 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


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Section heading

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Re:locate AWARDS winner

Relocation Personality of the Year International

Helmut Berg, RSB Deutschland

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elmut Berg founded RSB Deutschland in 1990. It has grown to be a leading domestic and international relocation service company operating in more than 60 cities throughout Germany and Austria. Mr Berg is a firm believer in internal communication as a driver of quality enhancement. Each week, his team receives a report that covers new developments plus revenue and customer satisfaction data. Regular meetings and his 15-minute training initiatives are just some of the ways in which he retains his long-serving team, of whom he says, “They are the individuals who deliver the quality. My task is to give them an environment to make this happen.” Though Helmut Berg has served the industry via Worldwide ERC’s board and its events programming committee, it is for his work with the European Relocation Association (EuRA), from which he received a special Outstanding Contribution to Relocation award in 2012, for which he is most recognised. His image as an industry father figure resonates with most who know him. As current EuRA president Patrick Oman, who has known Mr Berg for many years, puts it, “He is distinguished by his patrician and almost reserved presence, until he begins to speak. Then everything he says is relevant and heartfelt and wise. There is always something to learn when Helmut speaks.” Quality assurance is something Mr Berg holds dear. RSB Deutschland was one of the first relocation companies in

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Europe to develop an in-house quality assurance programme. The EuRA Global Quality Seal was Helmut Berg’s brainchild. He helped EuRa to develop it, and his company was one of the first members to achieve certification under what has gone on to be a universally recognised standard for the relocation industry. Helmut Berg has worked tirelessly for the industry, particularly in Europe, first as a EuRA council member and then as president from 2008 to 2011. He also pioneered the EuRA Index, which tracks the growth and contraction of employee movements around the world. He has always been keen to promote professionalism across the industry, and continues to work to bring together the corporate HR and the wider industry. A strong believer in the spirit of cooperation, Helmut Berg launched the EuRA DSP/RMC Forums, opening up productive dialogue between the members of the supply chain. This has ultimately resulted in better services for corporate clients and their assignees. Retiring EuRA president Åse Löfgren, of Nordic Relocation Group, voiced the esteem in which Helmut Berg is held across the European relocation industry. “I was lucky to serve as Helmut’s vice-president on the EuRA board, and I can honestly say that his leadership style fostered a wonderful spirit of cooperation and productivity. He is a true personality, and is universally respected by his peers.” www.rsb-relocation.de

Shortlisted Annemette Krogh, All Denmark Relocation Steve Marshall, SIRVA

60 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


PROPERTY

RENTALS ROUND-UP What impact are measures aimed at stimulating the UK property market, and the varying fortunes of different employment sectors, having on the private rented sector? Louise Whitson finds out.

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fter decades of decline, the UK’s private rented sector (PRS) is thriving once more. According to a new report from the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF), 20 per cent of households will be living in rented accommodation by 2020. Estate agent Savills estimates that, across the UK, some 4.8 million households were in the private rented sector in 2012. The BSHF report points out, however, that there are substantial regional and national variations in both the size of the PRS and the amount of growth it has seen. Both Wales and Scotland have smaller-than-average private rented sectors. London is the region with the highest proportion of private tenants (22.5 per cent) and the fastest growth. The North East has the smallest PRS (7.6 per cent), and the East has seen the slowest growth. For some, especially young, mobile workers, renting is a positive choice, because of the choice and flexibility it offers. For others, the declining affordability of home ownership has been the deciding factor. By stimulating the residential sales market, are the extension of the existing shared-equity scheme for newbuild property and the new mortgage guarantee scheme announced in March’s Budget likely to mean the end of the PRS’s expansion? Savills’ director of residential research, Lucian Cook, thinks not. “Even prior to the credit crunch, there were issues of deposit and mortgage affordability. Though both will be eased by the proposed measures, neither will be eliminated. It is likely that lenders will still be looking for average deposits of around 10 per cent of purchase price from those benefiting from the scheme. This would mean an average deposit of £17,000 across the UK. “Accordingly, we believe that levels of private renting are still likely to grow by at least 210,000 households per annum over the next three years.”

Demand outpacing supply The latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Lettings Survey shows demand outstripping supply of property; if anything, the gap between the two appears to be widening. As a result, it is no surprise that the RICS expects rents to rise in all regions over the next 12 months, by an average of around 2 per cent. London – which, in this year’s AIRINC Trending Expat Cities report, was again named top international business destination – saw a fall of 3.2 per cent in prime residential rents during 2012, according to estate agent Knight Frank. Liam Bailey, global head of Knight Frank Residential Research, says, “Underpinning the weaker dynamic over the past year has been the health of financial-sector employment market, which continues to bear the brunt of weak economic activity in central London. While the financial sector still has hurdles to overcome, activity levels in London’s luxury rental market suggest that here a healthier picture is emerging. The number of new tenancies agreed in prime central London is up by 39 per cent so far this year compared to the first five months of 2012. Additionally, the number of new applicants is up so far this year, by 14 per cent.” According to Mr Bailey, higher levels of activity in May have helped to bring an end to 10 months of falling rents. While the general trend was for rents to remain unchanged, there were pockets of growth. St John’s Wood saw rises of 1.4 per cent, and Kensington 0.1 per cent. So far this year, rents have risen in Kensington (2.6 per cent), Marylebone (1.9 per cent), Belgravia (0.3 per cent) and Knightsbridge (0.2 per cent). Knight Frank’s view, informed by a positive outlook for employment and business sentiment, as well as the cost barriers to owning a home, is that rents in prime central London will increase by 1 per cent this year, before posting

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PROPERTY

stronger growth in 2014 and beyond. The growth of East London’s Tech City should ultimately serve to increase demand for rented property from corporates.

‘Wild West’ of the property industry? In April, an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill was tabled, requiring lettings and managing agents to sign up to a redress scheme. Says the RICS’s Peter Bolton King, “The lettings market

has, for far too long, been in danger of becoming the Wild West of the property industry. While, clearly, there are good agents out there, the market has been dogged by poor practice and a lack of consumer protection. From now on, should a tenant or landlord experience problems due to poor service, they will be able to register their grievance with an independent redress scheme, which, if appropriate, will investigate and award compensation. “What we would now like to see is lettings and managing agents required to sign up to a professional regulation scheme that would ensure a better standard of professionalism right across the sector.” The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has warned that tenants in England could soon be less well protected than their Scottish and Welsh counterparts. In May, the Scottish Government announced a review of its strategy for the PRS, and the Welsh Government is due to introduce a Housing Bill before the end of the present Assembly term, legislating for a compulsory licensing scheme for all letting agents in Wales, and a code of practice. Ian Potter, ARLA’s managing director, said, “ARLA has been calling for regulation of the sector for a number of years now, and, as more and more people rent, rather than own, their home, it is vital that legislation in England is at least in line with its neighbours.”

See the Property section of relocatemagazine.com for updates and practical advice

Re:locate charity initiative As part of the Re:locate charity initiative, and to further the value of corporate and social responsibility (CSR) projects, we are delighted to introduce two charities that would love your support. Currently operating mainly in south-east London and Kent, Magpie Dance is looking to expand across a wider area, and has exciting plans for the future. From fundraising to support via CSR projects, Magpie Dance would love your help. See further details on our website, and contact us if you would like to get involved. www.magpiedance.org.uk

Hospice of Hope This wonderful group provides dance opportunities for learning-disabled young people and adults, mounting performances as well as running weekly sessions and holiday courses. Magpie Dance offers dance practice training, for dance teachers who want to work in this rewarding area, and this is something it wants to grow.

Those who attended the EuRA Conference in Romania this year will know of the Hospice of Hope charity, which is raising funds for a desperately needed inpatient teaching hospice in Bucharest. EuRA raised €12,166 through a silent auction. If you want to continue with fundraising activities or offer support in other ways, see the website for more details. www.hospicesofhope.co.uk

Find out more about the Re:locate charity innitiative and how you can get involved at www.relocatemagazine.com

62 | Re:locate | Summer 2013


Education

starting a new school Preparing for the year ahead

Many relocating families will time their move to coincide with the start of the school year in September. With advice from the experts, Rebecca Marriage considers how parents can help their children to prepare for the potentially daunting challenge of a new school.

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he end of the long summer holiday and the start of a new school year mark a turning point in the lives of many families with school-age children. Some are starting primary or secondary school for the first time, and many parents will be embarking on the search for a new school for the start of the following school year. For families faced with relocating to a new area or an international move, the end of the summer could mean the start of a much bigger upheaval. Many will have chosen to time their relocation to coincide with the natural break of the new school year, to make the transition easier on their children. So, with the lazy days of summer stretching out before them, how can parents help their children prepare themselves for a potentially daunting and challenging new school environment?

Before the holidays If a family has time before the summer break, schools often advise organising a ‘taster’ day, to help take the edge off first-day nerves. If a school does not suggest a taster day, Nicola Huggett, head of Blundell’s School, an independent

day and boarding school in Devon, advises parents not to be afraid to ask that their child attend a few classes, and even spend a night if he or she is boarding. Blundells operates a buddy/mentor system for new pupils during the taster visit, and Ms Huggett says that any good school should match up the visitor with someone of similar interests. “It’s also a great opportunity for parents to meet individual teachers,” she adds, “to make sure that the holiday can be usefully spent preparing, reading up on new academic work.”

Summer holidays However, if families have missed a school orientation visit before the start of the holidays, there may still be time to visit the school outside term-time. ACS International Schools, for example, are staffed during the holidays. “We have a dedicated admissions team which works throughout the summer,” says Rudianne Soltis, dean of admissions at ACS Hillingdon International School. “The team provide families with moving tips and information about relocating with children, and, during the summer,

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education

they run tours for children who may have missed out on previous opportunities to see the school.” TASIS, The American School in England, an international school in Surrey, takes great pride in its programme of orientation for incoming families. “The Buddy Family programme matches a new TASIS family with a family currently enrolled at TASIS who has volunteered to assist in their transition into the community,” says Karen House, admissions director of TASIS. “Families are usually matched according to the age and gender of at least one of the children attending TASIS, and, in many cases, because they live in the same town or in close proximity to each other. “They act as a resource throughout the year – frequently starting even before the new family arrives in England – to answer any questions parents and children might have about school, life in England, and the local community. They often go as far as inviting the new family to share a meal, meet for coffee, or set up a play date with their children.” International schools are typically very well geared up for welcoming international families into their community and have well-established support systems which involve parents and families who have already gone through the process. However, some families will be moving to a new area and a new school without the luxury of such established support. In this case, parents might be well advised to find out in advance about sport and social clubs in the local community. Some may even start in the summer holidays, which could

offer a great way for the whole family to get to know local people. Many schools, both state and independent, run selected summer programmes ranging from sporting and language courses to arts and science sessions. These, too, offer a great way of getting to know local children in a slightly more relaxed and informal setting, and help to give children a head start.

Preparing to tackle language barriers If the family is moving internationally, there will be even more daunting challenges to face. Andrew Wigford, managing director of Teachers International Consultancy, an organisation for international school recruitment, suggests that preparing to overcome language barriers in a new environment could really help children to make a positive start. “Be prepared for your child to be learning alongside many children for whom English is their second language,” says Mr Wigford. “This may be an issue when it comes to making friends. Children can feel very isolated in situations like this, or may end up in a very tight group of ‘friends’ they may otherwise not have chosen, just because of language similarities. Help your child to prepare for this, suggesting ways to make friends through non-verbal actions.” The Languages Team at International School of London (ISL) Surrey, winners of this year’s Re:locate award for


Watchthe the Watch Watch the ACS film ACS ACS film film

Keeping Keeping up up with with their their futures futures At ACS we believe a successful school should never stand still – it must constantly move forwards to challenge and meet the aspirations AtAtACS ACSwe webelieve believea asuccessful successfulschool schoolshould shouldnever neverstand standstill still– –ititmust mustconstantly constantlymove moveforwards forwardstotochallenge challengeand andmeet meetthe theaspirations aspirations of an ever-changing world. This fact inspires us. It makes us transform campus woodlands, lakes, and meadows into dynamic experiential ofofananever-changing ever-changingworld. world.This Thisfact factinspires inspiresus. us.ItItmakes makesusustransform transformcampus campuswoodlands, woodlands,lakes, lakes,and andmeadows meadowsinto intodynamic dynamicexperiential experiential learning opportunities. It motivates us to empower our teachers and students to master and apply the latest technologies to their thinking. learning learningopportunities. opportunities.ItItmotivates motivatesusustotoempower empowerour ourteachers teachersand andstudents studentstotomaster masterand andapply applythe thelatest latesttechnologies technologiestototheir theirthinking. thinking. It is also why we never stop enhancing our renowned curriculum to deliver an ethos that champions teaching and learning excellence. ItItisisalso alsowhy whywe wenever neverstop stopenhancing enhancingour ourrenowned renownedcurriculum curriculumtotodeliver deliverananethos ethosthat thatchampions championsteaching teachingand andlearning learningexcellence. excellence. You see, we want our students to benefit from the very best the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and a world of You Yousee, see,we wewant wantour ourstudents studentstotobenefit benefitfrom fromthe thevery verybest bestthe theInternational InternationalBaccalaureate, Baccalaureate,Advanced AdvancedPlacement, Placement,and anda aworld worldofof educational innovation, has to offer – keeping them, and us, one step ahead of your dreams. educational educationalinnovation, innovation,has hastotooffer offer– –keeping keepingthem, them,and andus, us,one onestep stepahead aheadofofyour yourdreams. dreams. To find out about our schools, ethos and programmes, please visit www.acs-schools.com or call ACS Cobham +44 (0)1932 869744, ToTofind findout outabout aboutour ourschools, schools,ethos ethosand andprogrammes, programmes,please pleasevisit visitwww.acs-schools.com www.acs-schools.comororcall callACS ACSCobham Cobham+44 +44(0)1932 (0)1932869744, 869744, ACS Egham +44 (0)1784 430611, ACS Hillingdon +44 (0)1895 818402, or ACS Doha +974 302 66 800. ACS schools are non-sectarian ACS Egham +44 (0)1784 430611, ACS Hillingdon +44 (0)1895 818402, or ACS Doha +974 302 66 800. ACS schools are ACS Egham +44 (0)1784 430611, ACS Hillingdon +44 (0)1895 818402, or ACS Doha +974 302 66 800. ACS schools arenon-sectarian non-sectarian and co-educational (day and boarding) for students 2 to 18 years of age. and andco-educational co-educational(day (dayand andboarding) boarding)for forstudents students2 2toto1818years yearsofofage. age.


education

Excellence in Employee & Family Support, feel strongly that support for the family should begin before children start the new school year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Parents who do not share the main language of the school can feel isolated and on the edges of the life of the school,â&#x20AC;? says Heather Mulkey, ISL group marketing and admissions officer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This isolation affects the transferring employee and the family. Working with families begins before they actually join the school. Teachers contact families, writing in their common language or via Skype, to give advice and guidance on moving to the UK, as well as translating cultural and academic issues.â&#x20AC;?

Be honest The best start to any school year, according to the schools themselves, is to establish an honest and open relationship with the staff at the school. Andrew Wigford says to parents, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Organise an interview with the headteacher of your childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school upon arrival in your new country. Disclose all information about your children at that point; the more the school knows about your children, the better it can support them. At this meeting, schedule follow-up meetings with the headteacher, so that you can be sure of regular updates on your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s progress as they settle into their new school.â&#x20AC;? Rudianne Soltis strongly supports this view and advises parents to ensure that schools are provided with all the

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paperwork relating to their children’s education from previous schools. “Supply all the documentation requested, including the more sensitive information, such as assessment and testing. To give your child the best education, the school needs to know everything about the pupil – which can be terribly hard to do if information is missing, and, in some instances, can even set back the child’s learning. “A strong parent-school relationship is built by providing all the information about the child from the very beginning; together, the school and parents should be working in partnership to support the education of the student. If parents are worried that a school may reject a student’s application because of a particular piece of information, it might be worth considering if that school is right for their child.”

Ongoing support

Stop press: GCSE REFORMS FOR ENGLAND AND WALES ANNOUNCED As we went to press, the UK government announced details of its long-awaited GCSE reforms, which Education Secretary Michael Gove believes will make GCSEs more rigorous. The reforms will, at first, apply to a group of just nine core subjects. In 2015, GCSEs will move from continuous assessment to final exams at the end of the two years. This will, Mr Gove hopes, put a stop to the current “over-reliance” on coursework and enable state-school students in England and Wales to compete with their counterparts in Singapore and Shanghai.

See the Education section of relocatemagazine.com for updates and practical advice

W CO H Y ME W A E’ N RE D SP SE EC E IA L

Preparing for a new school year is obviously only the start of the much longer process of making the transition into a new life for the whole family. Andrew Wigford warns parents that the support for children must be ongoing, and that it is advisable to watch children closely, to ensure that any issues are identified and dealt with quickly. “The first few weeks are new and different, which means they can be very exciting for children,” says Mr Wigford. “It can be a few weeks later, when the reality of the move kicks in, that children can find most difficult, and that’s when they may need more help and understanding.”

Concludes Nicola Huggett, of Blundells School, “I would hope that the child’s tutor and house parent or year head would keep in regular contact for the first half term and beyond, to check progress. “It’s all about the team effort between the school and parents to make the transition as easy as possible. Happy parents make happy children.”

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education

APAC

international schools

Challenging times for relocating families Despite an explosion of new international schools in the Asia Pacific region over recent years, relocating families are still reporting major difficulties in finding school places. Rebecca Marriage investigates.

T

here has been nothing short of an explosion of new international schools in the Asia Pacific region in recent years. Along with Dubai and the Middle East in general, countries in Asia Pacific have dominated the massive growth of the international school sector across the world. The demand for a British-style education from local families has also resulted in the opening of a number of big-name British public schools in the region. So why is it that families are still reporting major difficulties in securing school places for their children? The number of international schools across the Asia Pacific region has grown significantly over the past 12 years. In 2000, there were no more than a handful. According to the International School Consultancy Group (ISC), an organisation which maps the world’s international schools, there are 728 international schools in South East Asia today, spanning 11 countries and teaching 268,500 children. Of these schools, 26 per cent deliver an international curriculum and almost half follow a British-style curriculum. There is no doubt that, as business becomes more globally

68 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

mobile, the demand for international schools in areas of expatriate growth is increasing at an unprecedented rate, and nowhere more so than in the Asia Pacific region. “We expect much of the future growth to be centred in Asia, particularly in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore,” says Nicholas Brummitt, chairman of ISC. An increasing number of UK private schools, such as Harrow International, Dulwich, Epsom and Wellington College, as well as British international school groups like Cognita and Nord Anglia Education, are expanding their presence in the region. Well-established international school groups are also responding to demand. Dwight Schools recently opened a campus in Seoul, South Korea, and GEMS Education, one of the world’s largest international school groups, has just announced plans for a new school in Singapore. This is encouraging news for families seeking choice in international education for their children as they look to take up assignments in the region. However, time and again, we hear stories of families


facing long waiting lists to enter the schools of their choice, and the availability of places at good schools is having the biggest impact on the decisions made by many employees to move overseas. “Regardless of the growth, demand for international school places is still not matched by supply,” says Nicholas Brummitt. In each region, steps are being taken by local governments to increase provision, and schools are expanding to meet the needs of families. “Our research has identified that many schools are increasing capacity as quickly as they can,” reports Mr Brummitt. “In addition, there are many new developments; the dramatic growth of English-medium sections in locallyowned, private Chinese schools, for example.”

China While the international school sector in China has seen rapid expansion over the last decade (in 2000, there were 22 international schools, today there are 341), there has also been a relaxation of the rules preventing Chinese nationals from attending international schools. An increasing number of Chinese students are opting out of traditional Chinese curriculum programmes, in order to improve their chances of attending North American, Australian and British universities. While the vast majority of English-medium international schools still cater predominantly for expatriates, this looks set to change. To meet demand, Harrow International School Beijing has recently moved to a new campus. Harrow opened in Beijing in 2005 with 45 students. Today, the school provides education for 715 students, from early years to sixth form. The new campus will be able to accommodate up to 1,200 students, and Harrow predicts it will commence its 2014/15 academic year with over 1,000. Whether the sector can meet the needs of the growing expatriate population alongside the demand from local families for a Western-style education remains to be seen. “The problem about forecasting in China,” says Nicholas Brummitt, “is that no one knows yet what’s going to happen there; it’s all about the changing regulations.”

Hong Kong Since 2010, a similar picture has developed in Hong Kong. There has been a surge in the numbers of British and American expats and an equally increasing desire for local families to educate their children at international schools. The waiting list for English-medium international school places stood at almost 4,500 during the 2012/13 school year, the Hong Kong government has revealed. Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim has told the media that the shortage of international primary school places may reach 4,200 in the next few years. However, the Hong Kong government is taking steps to ease the pressure. New school sites are being freed up to allow operators to set up international schools offering extra places. Following a

competitive tender exercise, three new school groups have been endorsed by the Hong Kong Education Bureau to run new international schools, including British school group Nord Anglia Education, which will establish a new school offering 660 places in Kowloon from September 2014. Nord Anglia Education moved its offices from the UK to Hong Kong more than18 months ago. “We recognise how important Hong Kong is as an education hub,” says CEO Andrew Fitzmaurice. “When we moved here in 2011, we planned to open a number of new schools across Asia.” As we went to press came the announcement that Hong Kong planned to give higher priority to expat families in international schools. “We suggest international schools consider devising an allocation mechanism … a certain proportion of places in the schools would be earmarked for children whose parents are recruited or relocated from outside Hong Kong,” said Eddie Ng Hak-kim.

Malaysia and Singapore International schools in Malaysia have, until recently, almost entirely served the needs of the expatriate community, owing to severe restrictions on local children attending them. In more recent years, the Malaysian government has gradually relaxed restrictions for local children, which, along with a developing expatriate market, has promoted the growth of international schools, taking the number from 26 schools 12 years ago to 112 today.


education

Julia Love, director of admissions at International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), has witnessed an increased demand for places. ISKL celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015, making it one of the oldest international schools in Malaysia. “ISKL hit an all-time high – over 1,670 students – this year,” says Ms Love. “Kuala Lumpur is a destination that many companies are considering, for many reasons – it is conveniently located in South East Asia, the cost of living is good, English is widely spoken, and it is a safe place for families.” Last year, the Malaysian government lifted its 40 per cent quota on local children in international schools, and, as a result, the demographics look set to become more in line with the 80:20 local-to-expat ratio that is the global average for international schools. However, ISKL is keen to maintain its international focus. “Although the 40 per cent quota has been lifted,” says Ms Love, “ISKL maintains a cap of 25 per cent of any nationality. This is to ensure we keep the essence of who we are as an international school.” In addition to the removal of school-place restrictions, the Malaysian Economic Transformation Programme is encouraging more global companies to establish themselves and develop in the country. As part of this programme, the government is aiming to make Malaysia an education hub for the region, and there are plans to increase the number of international school places to 75,000 by 2020. Malaysia has already attracted the likes of Epsom College, which opened as part of the Kuala Lumpur Education City project in September 2012, and Marlborough College Malaysia, which has been developed as part of EduCity, a world-class education campus in Iskandar, southern Malaysia’s fast-growing economic zone. Several more licences have been approved for new international schools. Singapore has recently attracted Dulwich College International, which plans to open a college for 2,500 students aged from two to 18 in August 2014. GEMS Education announced in May 2013 that it would be investing S$213 million to set up a new international school in Singapore. The school, GEMS World Academy, Singapore (GWA), is due to open in September 2014 in Yishun. It will be the first school in South East Asia for the GEMS global network. Chairman of GEMS Education Sunny Varkey said that the group chose Singapore because of its status as the region’s financial and business hub.

South Korea South Korea hit the headlines last year with news that it was, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings, an ‘education superpower’.

70 | Re:locate | Summer 2013

Alongside the ambitious development of Jeju Island Education City, a complex of international higher-education campuses and international schools, and the attraction of big-name Western schools like Dulwich College, Chadwick School of California and North London Collegiate, South Korea is undergoing something of an education revolution. Dwight School Seoul, part of the international group with schools in London, New York and Vancouver Island, opened its doors in 2012. Head of school Kevin Skeoch believes that parents should tread carefully when selecting an international school for their child and seek advice about the quality of education on offer. “The growth of international education is a response to the growth of international business in emerging markets here in Asia,” he says. “Expat families are becoming more and more the norm in Korea, moving there because of North East Asia’s changing economic landscape: high-tech, banking, oil and gas, and natural resource companies, to name a few industries, have set up branches in Korea, between China and Japan. “These families are seeking an international education.


Many schools have responded to this demand; however, they’re not all the same, and parents are advised to do their homework.”

Judging the standard of education With the increasing number of new schools in the region, there will be, in time, more opportunities for expats looking for school places, but it is also likely to make bigger the job of assessing the quality of education on offer. Identifying schools authorised as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School can be a very useful indicator of quality. Only schools authorised by the IB organisation can offer any of its three academic programmes, the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), and the Diploma Programme. “IB Schools like Dwight that offer the vigorous and challenging IB curriculum for students from age three to 18 have very high standards,” says Kevin Skeoch, whose school was recently authorised by the IB Organisation as an IB World School. Mr Skeoch believes that expat families, in particular, value the IB highly. “[The IB] has gained greater recognition in their home countries because it ensures a seamless curriculum wherever in the world their children attend an IB World School,” he explains. “This makes relocating less

stressful for children and their parents, and enables children to pick up in a new country exactly where they left off in school. IB programmes, assessments and benchmarks are universal.” The Council of International Schools demands high standards of professional performance in international education from member schools, and assesses schools by peer review. The Federation of British International Schools in South East Asia and East Asia requires its member schools to meet a range of quality standards. ISKL is part of the Interscholastic Association of Schools in South East Asia. “The schools share good practice through professional development opportunities,” says Julia Love. “These are some of the most established international schools in the region, and our affiliation with these schools makes ISKL even more reputable.” Although relocating families are currently struggling to find school places in the Asia Pacific region, it is clear that the growing international school sector is racing to catch up with the demand. “In Korea, the corporate culture is changing fast,” says Kevin Skeoch “and with more investment comes more competition.” As global companies continue to invest and develop in the region, ISC predicts that the number of international schools across the world will double in the next 10 years.

See Education sections on relocatemagazine.com and smartmoverelocate.com for updates and practical advice


News, analysis & events

Industry:News & Views If you have news and views that you’d like to see aired on these pages, contact us at editorial@relocatemagazine.com and abroad.”

GLOBAL MOBILITY CAMPAIGN 15,000 students to go to China

Discussing the wider impact of the campaign, Joanna Burke, Director of the British Council China said, “Student mobility between the UK and China has never been more important as it is today; this is where Generation UK will play a crucial role.

The British Council has launched a new UK-wide campaign to encourage and support student mobility to China, known as ‘Generation UK’. The campaign’s aim is for at least 15,000 UK students to either study or gain work experience in China by 2016. The goal of Generation UK is to create a new generation of more globally, culturally and business aware young people. At the launch of the campaign, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said, “Studying abroad can be hugely beneficial to both the individual

and the UK. It gives students vital skills and knowledge which can help increase their employment opportunities back home. Generation UK will provide young people with an opportunity to work or study in China, giving them real life experiences that will make them more attractive to businesses in the UK

SERVICED APARTMENTS: ‘demand outstripping supply’ Demand for serviced apartments is growing faster than new supply is coming on stream, as an increasingly mobile global workforce drives business travel and relocation activity. But while global apartment brands are expanding into new and emerging economies and new sub-brands are launched, the industry is no nearer the levels of standardisation in product and distribution required by corporates. These are just two of the findings in the fourth edition of the Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report, published by Travel Intelligence Network for The Apartment Service, which includes the findings of a new survey conducted amongst corporates, travel management companies and apartment operators, as well as an overview of global supply and demand trends and individual regional reports. Charles McCrow, MD of The Apartment Service, says, “Standardisation should be the clarification of minimum service levels and quality thresholds that can be expected from different categories of product. The emergence of strong brands will go a long way to enable this, but with so many independent providers, universal clarity is required.”

“We want this campaign to encourage students in the UK to take a more global perspective and become more internationally and culturally aware. In a time of great economic uncertainty, the benefits of gaining international experience are hard to overestimate and it is a vital step that needs to be taken in order to keep the UK competitive. This is something we hope to highlight as part of the campaign.”

Re:locate

Book CluB

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A new handbook provides a useful starting point for businesses looking to promote a healthy workplace. Published by Infinite Ideas (RRP £19.99), The Corporate Wellness Bible is a practical guide to the challenges that can prevent wellness within a business, and shows how small changes, consistently applied by individuals and the companies they serve, will create ‘well’ corporations that are fulfilling, engaging and profitable. The author, nutritionist Kate Cook, believes that, while good eating is the foundation for health, many other factors, including mental attitude, happiness, fitness, time management and sleep, are necessary to the holistic mix that creates a healthy, happy and motivated workforce. Don’t miss our feature on how employers can best meet their duty of care to employees, on p16.


Section heading

MOVING TO AFRICA: taking on the challenge Amidst the lingering tremors of the global economic recession, Africa struggles instead with growing pains. Key trade hubs such as Luanda, Angola and Abidjan, Ivory Coast, are undergoing substantial foreign investment. However, it remains the world’s most challenging region for logistics, with the gap between necessary infrastructure and spending swallowing about 40 per cent of potential productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Relocating expatriates sending household goods and personal effects to Africa should be prepared for transport delays, with port congestion, red tape and outdated customs procedures exacerbating the difficulties. “When selecting a removals provider, choose those with local knowledge and internationally recognised quality accreditations,” advises John Payne, managing director of AGS London. AGS’s centralised solution, the AGS Africa Desk, provides a bridge between global quality standards and operations on the ground. “Expatriates should ensure their chosen company meets globally recognised standards, to minimise risk and for their own peace of mind,” says Mr Payne. Our coverage of the mobility scene in Africa starts on p11.

FIRST SERVICED APARTMENT SUMMIT to be held in London

corporate relocations increasing, employee mobility survey suggests Workforce mobility remains a critical strategy for business growth, with 93 per cent of companies surveyed by Weichert Relocation Resources for its latest Employee Mobility Survey expecting their relocation volumes to increase or hold steady over the next year. At the same time, these companies are seeking more flexible approaches to relocation, to accommodate the broadening demographic of mobile employees and the accelerating speed of business. The survey shows that 36 per cent of companies expect their relocation volumes to increase over the next 12 months, while 57 per cent expect them to remain the same – strong indicators, Weichert says, of improving economic confidence and anticipated business growth. According to the company, what appears to be changing is the way in which employers move their talent; 56 per cent of the organisations surveyed currently use alternatives to traditional relocation policies to keep talent mobile in the face of evolving employee attitudes and business objectives, with short-term assignments and core-flex programmes the most commonly cited alternatives. “Workforce mobility is in a state of metamorphosis,” commented Weichert’s Ellie Sullivan.

NEW ONLINE SYSTEM makes moves smooth and cost-effective

Re:locate is delighted to act as media partner for the first Serviced Apartment Summit, which takes place in London on 8 and 9 July, bringing together professionals from across the sector to learn, share best it’s theis around us in our everyday lives, but, until Technology practice, and map out the future.The idea is simple, recently, corporate relocation was still manual. TIME technology As well as having opportunities to network with that does the hard work. Relocation has arrived to change all that, with an online apartment owners, operators, investors, buyers system that makes the entire process smooth, easy, and, and sellers in this increasingly important market for TIME Relocation, a groundbreaking new relocation service, providing cost effective relocation management to above all, economical. relocation, delegates will be ablecorporate clients, giving real time visibility of assignees status and the individual’s full control of their move. to participate in an It allows corporate customers to see the cost of each extensive seminar programme, which covers, among Although originally intended for low cost moves, it is also ideally suited to small global mobility programmes, service element and the total cost of the assignment before other topics, future prospects forlump sum and one-way moves due to it’s incredible flexibility and costing mechanisms. the sector, how to they confirm a new instruction, and a real-time dashboard capitalise on the relocation and expat markets, new to thestatus Assignee Benefits to the Employer gives visibility of allBenefits assignees’ and access to their routes to raising finance, acquisition strategies, and • In direct contact with all suppliers • Unique pricing tool with prices visible while selecting services relocation files. brands delivering growth in downturn markets. • Not bombarded with questions and forms • Dash board giving real-time visibility of all assignees’ status Meanwhile, assignees are in full control of their moves, Among the speakers will be Sean Worker, CEO of • Not asked the same question by multiple suppliers • Full on-line access to assignee relocation file with the system managing them: a ‘to do’ list to guide BridgeStreet, Russell Kett, chairman of HVS London, • as Can have additional log-in for spouse/secretary • System manages the assignee so you don’t have to them, reminders sent required, supplier information Peter Penev, director of feasibility and development • atThey have full control of their move • One-off fee per assignee all completed online their convenience, and direct finance at Hyatt Hotel Corporation, Surinder Arora, • their No third party to slow the process down communication with suppliers. No costly software to founder of Arora Hotels, Andrew Sangster, editor purchase, and no charge for using the pricing tool. The idea of Hotel Analyst, and Richard Majewski, of ESSA With remuneration elements included, you really can see the total cost of is simple: let the technology Consultancy. Jumeirah Group’s Peter Zenneck will the assignment as you’re choosing the services, with no costly software to do the hard work. give a presentation about the company’s Grosvenor purchase and no separate charge for using the pricing tool. House Apartments project. For a demonstration, If you would like more information or a demonstration of the system contact demo@timerelo.com relocatemagazine.com/sas please email: demo@timerelo.com or call +44 (0) 207 989 0741

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Time Relocation

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Weichert Relocation Resources

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Jobs

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Industry jobs at: www.relocatecareers.com


Galleon International Shipping Co Ltd.

Fine purveyors of household movers within the UK, Europe and International Given our breadth of experience within the Corporate moving market, here at Galleon International, we are extremely proud of our reputation as a leader in the field of corporate international removals. Established since 1980 we have developed a worldclass business - completing moves for almost every major corporation in the world. We have been privileged to play an important role in many people’s lives as we have seamlessly helped them to move from one stage to the next. The sheer diversity of the situations with which we deal, means that our experience is incomparable. Understanding that a complete relocation consists of several components, we have built solid working relationships with an exclusive group of key partners around the world.

Our excellent reputation means that we have retained these relationships for many years and their observation that Galleon International are; first class in every regard; on time, courteous, extremely careful, hardworking and caring”, is testimony to the outstanding reputation we have developed from our ability to innovate and develop our business. Galleon International has over 30 years experience in moving families and corporate clients worldwide. Throughout every move we provide guidance and support – taking pride in the personal and tailor-made service we provide in every detail from origin to destination. For more information please contact: Chris Townsend, Operations Director or any member of our sales team on 01708 868068 or visit our website... galleon-ltd.com.

Galleon International Shipping Company Limited Galleon House, Purfleet Ind. Park, Aveley, Essex. RM15 4YA T: 01708 868068 F: 01708 864321 E: info@galleon-ltd.com

www.galleon-ltd.com

Re:locate Magazine - Summer 2013  

Re:locate Magazine is the leading publication for International HR, Global Managers and Relocation professionals

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