Monthly Archives: February 2010

“Managing Expatriate Compensation-New Concepts and Practices”

By |2010-02-28T13:10:49-05:00February 28th, 2010|Categories: Birchtree News, Global Business News, Uncategorized, Webinars|

HRCI 1.5 GPHR/SPHR Credits

FREE-Must register in advance

March 26, 12:00-1:30 PM EST

Is your firm working with expatriates?  Are you considering sending expatriates overseas?   Do you have the current legal, financial, immigration and HR expertise to craft a highly effective expatriate compensation package?  Do you know how expatriate compensation packages are changing?

If not, you can upgrade your skills by joining the global legal, financial and HR experts at Birchtree Global as they present this free webinar on “Managing Expatriate Compensation-New Concepts and Practices”.

Topics covered will include:

A. Environmental and Corporate Issues Impacting Expatriate Compensation

            Social networking-you don’t own your brand

            Graying workforce-age of expatriates is increasing

            Shortage of skilled workers

            Dual career couples

            Cost of education

            Better HRIS systems

            Demand for higher performance and utility in HR systems

            Globalization of products, markets and workforce

            Perceived “Fairness” of expatriate compensation

            Corporate emphasis on expatriate ROI

            Mobility expectations of employees

            Mass migrations of people

            Global hiring trends BRIC countries higher than US

 B. Expatriate ROI-Strategic Implications

            Business executives’ expectations

            More focus on metric measurement of the entire experience

            Selection decisions, demands on managers of expatriates

            Suggestions on the value of strategy mapping

            Cost/Benefit Value of providing certain services

            More emphasis on business trips-tax implications

            The cost effect of perceived inequities by local workforce

            Talent management ROI

            Compliance risk

            Technology vs. manpower data collection costs

            Socializing expatriates in country-high value ROI

 C. Costing Expatriate Assignments

            Balance Sheet approach is still number 1 but changing

            Efficient purchaser-characteristics of this process

            Local Plus-characteristics of this program

            Hybrid programs-characteristics of hybrid programs

            COLA by Family –where to get data, value of data

            Foreign service premium-utility, changing ideas

            In Europe “mobility Allowance’ more common

            Dual career costs, mitigation

            Increasing need for flexibility in policies

            Taxation of expatriate rewards

D. Workforce Implementation and Integration Challenges

            Documentation of costs, particularly pre-planning

            HRIS systems global reach-one size fits all systems

            War on tax avoidance-increasing as is government data sharing

            Data Privacy challenges as regulation grows

            Managerial compliance, partnership, educating the expat’s boss

            Rapid changes in tax, labor law, issues, how to manage change

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Financial Innovation in the Transatlantic Economy

By |2010-02-28T12:48:52-05:00February 28th, 2010|Categories: Birchtree News, Global Business News, Global Finance, Uncategorized|

Last week I attended a conference sponsored by EUCE (European Union Center of Excellence) on “Financial Innovation in the Transatlantic Economy”.  The conference proceedings showcased:

Generators of financial reform efforts in the US and European Union

                Future trends in regulation

                Financial challenges under Basel II

                European financial reform and access to finance and commercial bank lending

                Business growth strategies and access to capital  

The speakers included:

Mr. Edouard Franciois de Lencquesain, from Paris Europlace (former S.W.I.F.T. board member)

Dr. mark Blyth, Professor of International Political Economy, Brown University

Ms. Cecile Noziere, CEO of Finadvia LTD (formerly Credit Lyonnais)

Keith Green, Vice President of Government Relations, ING North America.

There were several key items are of interest and importance to C-Suite business leaders as they chart the cost of capital, financial reform and the likely impact on their companies.  Here are some of their comments to consider:

                a. Innovative financial products help spur business growth and this innovation is likely to continue.  What this means to companies is the way in which business are financed is likely to evolve.  Public/private partnerships are likely to continue, interbank products and services will evolve as the way in which financial institutions evaluate lending risk continues to change.  For business expanding overseas this means reliance on only bank funding will limit opportunities to grow.  Evaluating government, public/private partnerships should be thoroughly explored to maximize funding options.

                b. The financial crisis looks (looked) different to different markets.  The response to the financial crisis is quite different around the world. For example, Canada for example has weathered this particular crisis better than the US as a result of decisions taken with regard to financial risk, regulation, capital requirements and consumer behavior.  When expanding globally, consider that your firm may be evaluated using a different economic model.  Make sure you understand that country’s model and include this as part of your financial evaluation.

                Another reason that forecasting the economic crisis wasn’t more precise was the intersections of interest were not obvious because of heavily siloed organizations.  While this is a continuing problem in organizations it has particular implications for regulators.  Horizontal thinking and innovation may have helped avoid the catastrophic results of failing to share and understand information.  We need a way to look at the impact of regulation of markets so the impact across governments, institutions and borders is apparent. Failure in this area is not an option which may spur additional innovation.

                c. Politicians and regulators don’t necessarily really understand financial markets and the impact of their decisions.   In general, their ability to assess and analyze risk factors is limited and this subject is complicated.  It can only be dumbed down so far.

                d. Basel II reforms will affect large as well as small banks.  While smaller banks will not necessarily participate in Basel II, they will be affected by the risk sensitivity of capital allocation requirements, quantifying operational and credit risk, among other standards.  (Basel II is the second of the Basel Accords which are recommendations on banking laws and regulations.  The purpose is to create an international standard that banking regulators can use when creating regulations about how much capital banks need to put aside to guard against the type of financial and operational risks banks face.  Basel II attempts to accomplish this by setting up rigorous risk and capital management requirements designed to ensure that a bank holds capital reserves appropriate to the risk the bank exposes itself to through its lending and investment practices. Generally speaking, these rules mean that the greater risk to which the bank is exposed, the greater the amount of capital the bank needs to hold to safeguard its solvency and overall market stability.  It use a “three pillars” concept, A. Minimum capital requirements, B. Supervisory review and, C. Market discipline to promote greater stability in the financial system.  Basel II accords have been adopted by countries around the world but timetables and implementation vary widely.)

                e. GDP of EU is number one in the world but their influence doesn’t always equal income.  As such the EU seeks to increase competition, level the playing field and reduce risk in the financial arena.

                f. Private equity funding for small businesses will expand as cost of capital for this group tightens.  In addition to exploring government, public/private partnership groups growing companies should look to explore private equity funding opportunities.  However care must be taken to identify private equity firms with robust business experience, solid financial and operational leadership skills.  Private equity firms are also seeking to reduce their exposure to risk so an understanding of how risk is apportioned is critical.

Birchtree Global staff will be attending several financial and legal conferences over the next several weeks and will provide our clients and readers with updates and alerts.

For additional information on this article please contact Janet Walsh-01 770 590 8338.

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-13 Below at the HRPA Conference

By |2010-02-09T23:30:04-05:00February 9th, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|


I am just back from Toronto and the Human Resources Professional Association annual conference where
I spoke on global HR strategy.

It was a great to be back in Toronto especially to hear the latest changes in Canadian HR legislation.
Of all the interesting activities at the conference, one that drew my attention was the work being done by the YMCA.
The Canadian Y’s around Toronto had as sophisticated a presentation as any global supplier. The Canadian Y’s offered
all sorts of self help classes and groups, job preparation seminars for example. They offered challenging team building
courses and weekend retreats. I was impressed by how this organization provided mental and physical wellness
programs and at how well they translated that into business services. Clever!

It was also “Winterlicious” festival. Since I was there with a friend who is a food and restaurant author we took full
advantage of the weekend to enjoy three scrumptious meals including the best Cantonese food I’ve ever eaten.
I’m from the North Shore of Massachusetts where the winters are long and cold. When the temperature drops and
It gets below freezing, we strap on our skis or skates and have fun outdoors. So I proposed a hour skating party
down at the rink by the docks. My Hawaiian friend thought I had really lost it and pointed out the temperature was -3
but volunteered to take pictures…see below.

It has been some time since I skated, but I strapped on my skates and staggered off immediately my helmet fell into my eyes,
blinding me then the laces came loose on the rented skates and I caromed wildly around finally ending up on a bench.
After repairing these wardrobe malfunctions I was able to enjoy the music and exercise. I never did fall unlike my
pink suited fellow skater.

Despite the cold it was fun and our Canadian HR hosts proved to be as kind and fun as I remembered. I was asked back and
look forward to seeing them all again next year.

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