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iPMI Magazine speaks to Mr. Brian Friedman, Founder and CEO, The Forum For Expatriate Management

iPMI Magazine speaks to Mr. Brian Friedman, Founder and CEO, The Forum For Expatriate Management

Brian Friedman is the Founder and CEO of The Forum for Expatriate Management. A 30 year plus veteran of the Global Mobility profession, Brian was formerly CEO of both Ernst & Young's and previously Arthur Andersen's Human Capital Practice. Brian is uniquely triple qualified as a Fellow of the Institute for Personnel and Development, a Fellow of the Institute of Taxation and a Chartered Accountant. Brian also holds a Masters degree in Economics from St John's College, Cambridge University. Brian is the author of 4 books on the subject of International Compensation and HR, including "Effective Staff Incentives". He was also the co-author with David M Walker (former Comptroller General of the United States) of the groundbreaking book "Delivering on the Promise" which was a Number 1 business book bestseller in the United States.

The Forum for Expatriate Management is a membership organisation for all Global Mobility professionals. Membership is free to anyone who works full-time is any area of expatriate management - including HR, tax, health & welfare, financial services, relocation etc. Over the coming months we will be launching a wide range of seminars, surveys, networking events and on-line forums. Join now - and recommend us to your colleagues. Just apply to join our linked-in group. You can also visit our website at Specialties: Global Mobility, Expatriate Tax, Business, Immigration, Executive Compensation, Equity, Incentives, Outsourcing, Vendor Mangement.

Please introduce yourself and your back ground in the expatriate marketplace

I have lived and breathed “expat” for nearly 30 years. For many years I was the Managing Partner of Arthur Andersen’s and latterly Ernst & Young’s Human Capital practice. After I retired from professional practice, I set about fulfilling my dream of establishing Global Mobility as a profession in its own right rather than as an adjunct to other specializations. To me Global Mobility is not tax, healthcare, immigration, accommodation, shipping, banking and the rest – it’s all of them combined into a uniquely global solution.

What is important to expatriates in 2012 and what do they want?

Global Mobility is set to increase but in difficult times we do see changes in focus. Today’s focus is on cost control, risk management and value for money. Expats get exasperated when things that were easy back home become unnecessarily complicated once they move cross-border. Anyone who has tried to open a foreign bank account or lease a car without a local credit history will know those feelings of frustration. In short, expats want to enjoy their expat lifestyle without the accompanying frustrations of living abroad.

How does The Forum For Expatriate Management support and manage the lifecycle of an expatriate and their loved ones?

The FEM does not provide any services directly to expats. We are a Business to Business news portal and events company for anyone who is professionally involved in moving employees internationally. Our website is the pre-eminent source of information for anyone in the Global Mobility industry and our events are the flagship industry events worldwide.

The London Totally Expat Show 2011, was an outstanding success with the Totally Expat Show 2012 moving to the Business Design Centre in London on the 14th May 2012. What will be the major focus of the event this year, and what should visitors be sure not to miss?

We will have over 30 different technical sessions covering all areas of Global Mobility. We are expecting over 800 attendees and have an amazing exhibition featuring 100 different service providers. We are covering all angles including international medical, international schools, tax, immigration, talent management, technology and much more. We are also featuring corporate panels with representatives from such prestigious companies as HSBC, AstraZeneca, Aviva, BAe Systemsn, Electronic Arts, GKN, ThomsonReuters, Diageo, Experian, Pearson and many more.

Celebrating excellence in global mobility, the EMMAs are the only global awards that truly recognize the expatriate industry leaders, business successes and rising stars. What can we expect at this year’s awards?

This year we are hosting the EMMAs in 3 locations – Las Vegas on 13 September (for the Americas), London on 19 October (for Europe) and Hong Kong on 28 November (for Asia Pacific). Last year we have over 500 nominations and this year we are on target for nearly 1000. The EMMAs are the Oscars of the Global Mobility profession. Winning an EMMA is the ultimate accolade and the Awards ceremonies are evenings that are now legendary within our profession.

The USA Totally Expat Show 2012 takes place June 1st 2012 in Chicago, USA. Chicago is one of the USA’s biggest centers for Global Mobility with HR Professionals enjoying free attendance. What have you got in store for us @ the 1st Totally Expat Show in the US?

We have hosted Totally Expat Shows before in New York and Houston and we held a conference in Chicago last year. This year’s Chicago Totally Expat Show will feature over 9 hours of technical sessions and an exhibition of 24 leading service providers. We are expecting about 250 attendees. We think a major draw will be the corporate panel sessions featuring such blue chip companies as Kraft, Whirlpool, General Motors, PwC, Navistar and many others.

Where do see healthcare and insurance appearing, on the list of priorities of an expatriate?

Healthcare and insurance is never as high on the list of priorities as it should be. Too many expatriates take unnecessary risks by not having appropriate levels of cover. We do get a fair number of healthcare and insurance providers exhibiting and attending our events so hopefully we are together raising awareness. We encourage all iPMI readers to attend our events and to join the online FEM community at

The iPMI Magazine readership is worldwide. We have readers within Insurance and Travel/Medical Assistance, and from industry verticals like Oil and Gas, Construction, Media, Retail, Mining, Military, EMS, Travel, Hospitality and Aviation. What opportunities exist for such company’s @ The Totally Expat Show and EMMAs?

We have a number of Awards that iPMI readers can be nominated for. The most relevant are International Benefits Provider of the Year as well as Global Mobility Professional of the Year and Rising Star. From a corporate perspective we have awards for small, medium and large Mobility programs as well as a wide number of industry specific awards (eg best Global Mobility program in the Oil and Gas Sector). Other relevant awards include Best Practice in Challenging Locations and Best Vendor/Corporate Partnership.

What will the Expatriate market place look like in 5 years time and what role will technology play in accelerating the growth and development of the business?

Globalization and Global Mobility are the defining mega-trends of our time and probably of all time. The need to explore our environment is deep within our psyche and the only limiting factor is the enabling technology. As technology expands so does global mobility. That is a trend that underpins society and will only be restricted if external calamities (such as war or natural disaster) prevents people from moving freely and safely cross-border. People often say that communication technology (such as video-conference or Skype) means that people don’t need to travel so much. Personally, I don’t believe it for a moment – technology will encourage businesses to globalize further and that will inevitably mean more international business travelers, assignees and international retirees.

Last but not least: If you could live anywhere in the world, at land or at sea, where would it be?

I love travel so would find it hard to settle down anywhere. My favorite countries in the world are Australia and New Zealand. But I also love Tuscany and Languedoc. Probably, I should just retire to a cruise liner and just keep travelling !! `

Meet iPMI Magazine @ The Totally Expat Shows and EMMAs - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set up a meeting

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