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Are Adjustable Rate Mortgages Really the Devil?

A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article discussing the return of adjustable rate mortgages, known as ARM’s or, depending on who you talk to, an evil fat cat banker scheme to rob America.  While I jest, questions and concerns about the return of ARM’s are valid, albeit overblown. Adjustable rate mortgages were one component in a market that started over extending itself years before the 2007 housing crash and subsequent great housing recession.

Why Does Succession Planning Go Off the Rails?

This article originally appeared in the March Issue of’s HR Strategy and Planning Essentials ePublication. 

According to the 13th annual Private Company Governance Survey, administered by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), 90 percent of respondents, which included 841 private companies in the US, believe that a formal succession planning program enhances the effectiveness of a business. However, fewer than 25 percent of those companies actually have a formal plan in place. Moreover, a quarter of survey respondents admit to having no plan what-so-ever and fifty-two percent claim to have an informal succession plan in place.

Free Whitepaper: Top Five Client Questions for 2014

XONEX Relocation President on Relocation QuestionsI was very pleased when our communications group asked me to provide an introduction to the XONEX white paper titles, “Top Five Burning Client Questions for 2014.” This white paper is all about listening to our clients, and taking careful note of their challenges and day-to-day strategic needs. This is the part of our business that I personally get very involved with because I believe in the knowledge that we can glean from each other and, more importantly, I enjoy the open conversations that happen in the context of good partnership.

Cultural Awareness: The Do’s and Don’ts for Living in China

Have you ever experienced culture shock? It’s as disheartening as it is inevitable. When you don’t understand local customs or how to communicate, it is very easy to feel isolated and intimidated. When you add the uncertainly and stress of relocation to the mix, culture shock can easily be considered the most common reason why international assignment fail. Since culture influences everything that we do, from working with colleagues to making new friends, employers need to ensure that assignees understand local so that they can be successful in their new location.

Spouses Relocate Too

A 2013 survey done by LearnVest and Chase Blueprint® tells us that 60 percent of American families believe that a dual income is necessary in order to afford their desired lifestyle. Fifty-nine percent of millennial women believe that living together with their significant other is a legitimate lifestyle and that raising a family in such lifestyle, even without marriage, is perfectly suitable. What does this mean for relocation? It means that companies need to start paying more attention to their spousal assistance benefits.

How to Build a New Relocation Program

We get a lot of questions from clients and prospects about how to go about building a new relocation program. In fact, there are reasons to build a new program outside of the obvious reason that one does not exist. Companies that are going through a consolidation or merger will at times need a new program, as well as companies that have measured their current program only to find that it is not meeting employee needs. Further, there are many companies who may not need a whole new program, but want to tweak their policies based on exception requests and industry trends. As such, relocation programs should always be seen as works in progress that are updated after a careful review of feedback from transferees, recruiters and hiring managers.  

HR Interview: The Future of Relocation

Last year, at a CMARC conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Maggie Huffman and Jason Beane, both of whom support relocation programs for Time Warner Cable. Maggie was a panelist speaking about global mobility and Jason was there to provide support and additional insights based on his experiences. Later, when I was asked to author this blog, I immediately thought of Maggie and Jason because they are both so engaging and they make it a point to stay on top of domestic and global relocation issues and trends.

Next Gen Interview: Where is the Relocation Industry Headed?

Several years ago at an annual Worldwide ERC Conference I met Aurora Hughes. She is such an interesting young woman who has been in and around the relocation industry her entire life. She is filled with enthusiasm about relocation, so  she was one of the first people who came to my mind when I thought about writing a post about what the up and coming generation of leaders think about the future.

How to Get Creative with Lump Sum Policies

If you are on the East Coast today, you are probably as angry as I am about the weather. This winter has been so bad, it feels like Spring is never going to get here. At least if Puxatawny Phil has his way. And, sadly, the groundhog seems to be winning.  Blast that groundhog!

It’s Complicated

When I first started in HR, the distribution of benefits was pretty straightforward. Employees were either single or married. They checked the box, we filed the paperwork, and everyone went home happy.

Or, at least, we thought they did.