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Wilma van der Veer

Will Companies Relocate Employees, Facilities Out of China?

As someone who lives and breathes international relocation, I’m always looking out for business trends that may impact global mobility. recently, I read an an article in the New York Times titled “Looking Beyond China, Some Companies Shift Personnel,” that posed the theory that more companies would move facilities out of China for its more favorable neighbors in Southeast Asia (most notably, Singapore). According to the article, GM is leading the pack by moving its international headquarters to Singapore. On the surface, this makes sense. Southeast Asia is emerging from its financial crisis and Singapore is a very attractive destination for executives moving abroad. However, while I agree with much of the article, I do not believe we will see too much movement out of China.

Six Tips for Managing Relocation through Mergers and Acquisitions

M&AAccording to a 2012 report by Ernst and Young on M&A activity, mergers and acquisitions are expected to increase in 2013. I can believe it as many of my clients today are either in the middle of a merger or have gone through one recently.  Certainly, mergers and acquisitions are an important tool in the corporate strategy tool belt as companies aim to capitalize on new innovations, reduce costs or enter new markets. But, mergers and acquisitions are tough. More than 50 percent of mergers and acquisitions fail and more than 80 percent fail to enhance shareholder value.

One Last Thing to Consider about the 2012 London Olympics

2012 London Olympics and RelocationWho is excited for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London? Living in Europe myself, I must admit that I am looking forward to all the pomp and circumstance that the Olympics will bring. I think this event will be good for the region, both economically and spiritually, and I am optimistic about London’s ability to host the games, despite some of the noted challenges. I do hope that the Britons and their neighbors enjoy this momentous occasion – even if it’s going to make my job a little more difficult this summer.

Four Common Immigration Fails

Four Common Immigration FailsWhen it comes to immigration mishaps I have seen it all. Immigration procedures cause more headaches for employers, assignees and relocation managers than most other parts of the international assignment process. There are a lot of reasons why immigration is challenging, but I have noticed throughout the years that the fault rarely lies with the host country.

A Myers-Briggs Approach to Helping Transferees Relocate

I think most people in the HR and relocation industries would agree with me when I say that cultural adaptation can make or break a relocation – especially when we are working with transferees who are moving to a situation that is the polar opposite of where they are:  countryside to city, first world to third world, English to Mandarin, democracy to theocracy, etc. So, it’s essential that we take the time to understand our transferees so that we can create a relocation program that will ease their transition. Of course, we need to know the basics about their financial situation, language versatility, family needs and home preferences, but why not go deeper than that?

How to Manage Expectations for Successful International Relocation Programs

Danger: ExpectationsA few years ago, I was working with a client who was transferring an employee from Chicago to Amsterdam. The employee was moving from a 10,000 square foot house and decided to take most of their belongings with them.  We found them a luxury villa, which was a very standard 4,500 square feet.


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