What Can We Learn From Moving Professional Teams?

Excerpted from Mobility May 2015

12211759866Professional athletes are a not-so-obvious audience for relocation services. Interestingly, enough, the players themselves are often responsible for their own relocation arrangements and expenses.

Chris Dingman, President of The Dingman Group, the leading sports relocation company, said: “According to the Collective Bargaining Agreements, across all 5 major sports, if it’s a trade then the team that receives the player is responsible for relocation expenses. Outside of a trade, like free agency, it’s almost always the responsibility of the athlete to pay relocation costs.” (more…)

Ask the Global Relocation Expert: Dos & Don’ts for a Global Mobility Newbie

Jannette Matula, Director Global Relocation ServicesTRC’s Global Relocation Specialist regularly tackles your toughest relocation challenges.

Dear Jannette:
I’ve worked with domestic transferees for quite a while but I’m brand new to global relocation. Do you have any dos and don’ts you can share for a global mobility newbie?

Dear Global Mobility Professional,
Congratulations on your new responsibilities! You’ll find that global mobility has some similarities to domestic relocation, but even more differences. Here are ten dos and don’ts for you, in no particular order:

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Partner career assistance can mean the difference between a successful and a failed assignment

husband and wife at workFamily considerations, including the spouse/partner’s career, have traditionally been the number one reason for reluctance to relocate. According to Worldwide ERC®, real estate concerns eclipsed family and career considerations during the Great Recession (imagine having to sell an “upside down” house and give up a spouse/partner’s job during a recession), but as the real estate market recovers, personal issues are again rising to the forefront.

Dual-career families have become the norm. Ozzie and Harriet are gone: according to the U.S. Census bureau, men are the sole breadwinners in only one out of four married couples. So even with a great offer on the table, most families are reluctant to embark on a relocation unless the spouse can either continue his or her job in the new location or find a new one. International assignments bring special challenges as many countries limit or outlaw spouse employment. (more…)

Ask the Global Relocation Expert: Establishing and Updating an FX Rate

Jannette Matula, Director Global Relocation ServicesTRC’s Global Relocation Specialist regularly tackles your toughest relocation challenges.

Dear Jannette,

We are trying to determine an effective currency exchange (FX) rate for our upcoming expat assignment. Specifically, we were wondering what FX rate we should use when setting and updating COLA and other assignment allowances? Should we use the rate from the day the assignment starts? Or rather a 3 month/6 month/12 month average?

Dear Global Mobility Manager,

I can understand your company’s and your assignee’s nervousness around exchange rates lately, especially given the recent burst of global currency volatility. Based on what I have seen, the most common practice is for companies to set somewhat frequent update periods (quarterly is best but semi-annually is ok too) and use the most up-to-date rate available on that day.

I have asked one of my industry colleagues who is a subject matter expert in this area to provide a more meaningful explanation of why it is best to use the most current rate possible when determining the FX exchange rates for international assignments. Jordan Blue is a Senior Associate at Mercer and has this to say:

For FX rates we typically recommend that you use the most current rate possible. At first thought, it would make a lot of sense to use an average, right? But when we consider which approach would get closest to truly equalizing the salary the average doesn’t work out so well. Essentially, using an average means you include a lot of data points that simply aren’t relevant to our purpose.

If you think about it, our purpose is to set the COLA for the next quarter or 6 months based on what we believe the FX rate will be. In other words we want to try and predict the FX rate moving forward. If I want to know what the FX rate will be tomorrow my best reference point is today’s FX rate. Using an average would likely put me way off (consider the graph below). The average FX over the past year would be somewhere around 1.25 but the FX rate tomorrow is likely to be somewhere around 1.35 which is a big shift. Even if we used a 3 month average we would still be around 1.3 which is again, pretty far from where we want to be. So while using an average seems like a great idea, it actually means the assignee won’t be equalized due to the difference in the FX rate we use to calculate the COLA and the FX rate they actually experience when they transfer money.

trcchart

Jannette Matula is TRC’s Director, Global Relocation Services

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Outsourcing Employee Relocation Saves Valuable Time and Money

Outsourcing Employee Relocation Saves Valuable Time and Money
In today’s lean business environment, most companies no longer have the luxury of a dedicated relocation department, staffed with experienced professionals who can devote their full attention to the process.

More likely, if the function is managed in-house, it’s just one of many responsibilities juggled by busy HR professionals. Complicating matters further, relocation has gotten more specialized and complex over the years.

For domestic relocation, in-house professionals must keep abreast of current best practices and tax/legal regulations, control costs, source and manage suppliers and sometimes even manage inventory. Global moves are even more challenging. Companies must identify, qualify and manage global partners, worry about immigration and tax matters and source and coordinate a whole array of support services.

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TRC Global Solutions Announces Management Promotions

Positioning the company for continued growth

MILWAUKEE, Wis. February 11, 2014 – TRC Global Solutions (TRC), a leading talent mobility company, is pleased to announce several management changes and promotions:

Sean Lickver, CRP, GMS, has been promoted to Executive Vice President and will assume responsibility for TRC’s day-to-day operations. He works with the Chairman in setting the strategic direction for the company, and oversees the senior leadership team to ensure that TRC’s resources are optimally deployed to support the company’s mission and objectives. Lickver also oversees the company’s performance against key metrics; evaluates the performance results to ensure departmental and organizational goals are met; and manages the company’s quality control initiatives. Lickver has more than 15 years of operations and management experience in the relocation industry. Before joining TRC in 2011, he held management roles at AIReS and Cendant Mobility.

Sarah Larson, CRP, GMS, has been promoted to Vice President of Operations.   (more…)

Ask the Global Relocation Expert: Protecting Against Currency Fluctuations

Jannette Matula, Director Global Relocation ServicesTRC’s Global Relocation Specialist regularly tackles your toughest relocation challenges.

Dear Jannette,

We have a Canadian employee we are moving to the US permanently. Our policy provides for Canadian home sale assistance, including equity advance. However, the policy does not address protection against drastic currency fluctuations when it comes time for the employee to convert his equity in CAD to USD. You have probably noticed the drastic exchange rate fluctuations over the past several weeks between CAD and USD. The exchange rate was .88887 when the employee listed on October 6. Then it was .87341 on December 9, when the home buyout was presented. The employee received their equity today and the exchange rate is .79655. That’s a 10% devaluation over the course of 3 months! Our employee is asking us to provide currency protection due to this drastic devaluation of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar. What is our obligation? What do other companies do when this comes up?

Dear Global Mobility Manager,

Thankfully, these kinds of drastic currency fluctuations between Canada and the US have historically been rare. Nonetheless, here we are.

Since you do not have a relocation policy provision currently which addresses this issue, the best solution is to find a way to validate the employee’s concern and come up with a compromise that will satisfy the employee, maintain his trust, and also maintain consistency and compliance with company practices, all within the hiring manager’s budget. No small task!

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Relocating Millennials: Where they live, are employed and make more money

trcMillennials – 73 million strong between the ages of 18 and 34 – comprise the largest U.S. population group in the last three decades. The U.S. Census Bureau took note. A new edition of their interactive mapping tool, Census Explorer, titled “Young Adults Then and Now,” is chock-full of information about the best places for millennials to relocate if they need a job, want a bigger paycheck, or would like to be surrounded by other young people. (more…)

QRM: Clarity in housing finance

Clarity in housing financeIt took nearly three years, but the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule has been finalized by the Federal Deposit Corporation, which should translate into a win-win for homeowners who are relocating.

The new rule includes a broad definition of QRM and aligns with the Qualified Mortgage (QM) standard implemented earlier in 2014. The biggest sticking point in the passage of the QRM was the high down-payment requirements that previously proposed QRM rules imposed. (more…)