IPM has clients from across all service industries and across most regions. It is our privilege to work with some very exciting businesses and our delight to have forged some very long-term relationships with these organisations.

Our client base also offers us the opportunity to work with organisations at various stages along their global mobility journey. IPM typically adds value when working with organisations who find themselves having developed a global mobility philosophy which has grown out of the business organically and with regional variation, lack of consistent treatment between assignees and a lack of understanding of the commercial impact of mobility across the business. Here we can work with stakeholders to structure and develop the gm programme, to implement process and to outsource the assignment management functions. At the other end of the spectrum, we work with Companies who have an established gm programme and which are looking for transactional support. Many of our clients are somewhere in the middle.

Making the move easier

Sometimes it is the apparently simple things which can frustrate assignment plans. During 2000 in the week before the Olympic Games, one of IPM’s clients (with a long history of international assignment management) faced the prospect of failure because accommodation could not be found in Sydney, Australia. Unusually, the assignee was to be accompanied by his wife and 2 children, even though they were expected to be there for just a few months. Although there was a solid business presence already in the city, whose HR management had good links with local property agencies, they drew a blank.

Through its extensive network of partners, IPM was able to brief a local relocation management company with whom they had worked on a number of occasions, who solved the problem quickly, to everyone’s satisfaction.

Making the process easier

Large, international, organisations are not always centrally controlled. Subsidiaries may enjoy a great deal of freedom to act.They may still need to transfer people between their operations around the world, however, and to do so on a basis that shows some degree of consistency globally.

In one such case, IPM began working with the European headquarters of a major healthcare group. Over time, through the HR management of the Group, using a highly consultative approach, and drawing on IPM’s competence in assignment management and administration, a common approach was adopted throughout the Group. The Company now has an internal co-ordinator, and a centre of excellence in the shape of IPM, who between them are able to support moves between all the countries in which they operate. IPM provides a full out-sourced administration service, including co-ordination of compliance services.

Stopping issues before they arise

During the partial shut down of US government departments in 2013, following the failure of both Houses to agree that year’s budgets we had a client with an assignment to the USA going live. Immigration and visa applications had been lodged and freight had been booked. With the partial shut-down, our visa applications were stalled. We had freight due to be uplifted but, without the appropriate visas, the container would have been held in port – at considerable additional cost to the employer and inconvenience to the assignee and family. We were able to flag the delays and work with our freight provider to delay the pack and load. We were also able to push back on the move and rearrange the temporary accommodation. All of this was done in advance of the client even becoming aware that there would be a time delay on processing times.

A permanent what?

With many of our clients, we are managing assignment of Business Development personnel. By the very nature of this job, these individuals are being assigned into new jurisdictions to the company. We are able to put infrastructure in place to support these assignments. The trouble potentially comes in the relationship between the assignee and his home and host employers.

We have seen such an assignee’s job profile being one which could potentially create a Permanent Establishment (PE) in the host location for the home country employer. A PE is not something we want to create. By it's very nature, the home country’s profits would come into corporation tax in the host location. In some cases, the group structure does not accommodate restructuring the assignment. In others, however, we are able to change the employment relationships to avoid such a corporation tax charge.