Expatriate Compensation–Afternoon Seminar

The following event was held on 1 April, 2015. It was our first public event, and attended by delegates from Coca-Cola, Public Service Division, General Motors, Jebsen & Jessen, CIMB Bank, Pratt & Whitney, Goodyear and others. Dr. Mark Bussin presented perspectives on how global mobility has evolved, including stories from his first assignment as a mobility manager. He had the audience laughing as he shared how his expats would ask him to stand in queue for them, then contact them once he reached the front. This and other menial tasks illustrated the attitudes of royalty expatriates had in the early days. In contrast, he shared about “crucible” assignments occurring today when companies send talent into certain dangerous parts of Africa where the expat will be greeted at the airport by a security attachment with an armored car featuring a mounted gun, to bring him to his accommodation.

“You hear about expatriates dragging their feet in Singapore to transfer knowledge to a local manager. In a crucible assignment, the manager would transfer the knowledge in about 3 weeks–not 3 years–so he can get out of that place and get home.” — Dr. Mark Bussin

Here are some photos from the event:


Original event information follows:

Global CurrenciesFreelance Total Rewards is pleased to announce a unique learning event to be held 1 April, 2015, at Royal Plaza on Scotts. Our featured speakers include Dr. Mark Bussin, Chairman of 21st Century Solutions, a Remuneration and Rewards Consultancy based on Johannesburg, South Africa. The topic of the seminar is Expatriate Compensation, and is intended for experienced corporate HR, rewards and mobility decision-makers, leaders and professionals. All participants will receive a free copy of Dr. Bussin’s new textbook, Expatriate Compensation, published in January 2015.

Also featured will be Mr. Fermin Diez, Deputy CEO and Group Director, Human Capital and Organisation Development for Singapore’s National Council for Social Service (NCSS). Mr. Diez was formerly Senior Partner and Talent Business Leader for Mercer’s Asia, Middle East and Africa region. Tom Farmer, owner/principal of Freelance Total Rewards will also present on evolving compensation approaches, and the Singapore perspective (with Mr. Diez). Mr Farmer will also introduce 21st Century’s compensation data solutions, during the break period.

What this Workshop Will Cover

This half-day seminar is ideal for experienced leaders involved with managing international assignments, multi-country talent management or involved in shaping policies and practices for global talent remuneration. It will consist of four mini-presentations:

  1. The Context of Global Mobility (Why)
  2. Managing Mobile Talent (Who, Where, When)
  3. Compensating Mobile Talent (How)
  4. The Singapore Perspective

Agenda (tentative)

1:00  Registration
1:30  Welcome and introduction
1:45  Session 1–The Context of Global Talent Mobility (Why)
  • Cost – Global Financial Crisis, Asia shifting from growth to profit focus
  • The Emergence of Africa as a host location
  • Localisation of the workforce
  • Scarcity of talent
  • Evolution of expatriate practices
  • Why companies move talent across borders
2:30  Session 2–Managing Mobile Talent (Who, Where, When)
  • Talent management in the mobility context
  • Workforce planning
  • Selection & assessment for international assignments
  • Performance management and assignment objectives
  • Career management: repatriation, reassignment and succession
  • Assignment review and closure
3:15  Tea Break and Brief Introduction of RewardOnline and 21st Century Expat data solutions
3:40  Session 3–Compensating Mobile Talent (How)
  • Three crucial questions when selecting the right package type
  • Make whole versus value-based compensation
  • Balance sheet
  • Net to net
  • Local plus
  • Phasing down to pure local
 4:15  Session 4–The Singapore Perspective
  • Singapore’s pull factors: tax, quality of life, economic strength
  • How to localise an expatriate in Singapore
  • How to moderate the use of expatriate talent
  • Challenges with outbound Singaporeans
  • Local plus challenges: housing, education, retirement, medical

4:45 Q&A

5:15 End of event and distribution of free book

Delegates are welcome to stay longer for networking with the speakers and other delegates.

Expatriate Compensation


Dr. Mark BussinDr Mark Bussin is Chairman of 21st Century Pay Solutions, a board member, Remuneration Committee chair, and audit committee member of several large organisations. He has held Global Reward positions in several multinational organisations. Mark holds a Doctorate of Commerce and supervises MBA, Masters and PhD students doing their research and theses. He is the author of four books and over 300 popular articles. Dr. Bussin is a GRP certification faculty member for WorldatWork.

Fermin A. DiezFermin A. Diez, CCP, SPHR is Deputy CEO and Group Director, Human Capital and Organisation Development for Singapore’s National Council for Social Service. He is former Senior Partner and Talent Practice Leader for Mercer’s Asia, Middle East and Africa regions. He is also an Adjunct Professor with Singapore Management University and Nanyang Technological University. He has held senior HR leadership roles at Freescale Semiconductor and PepsiCo. He is a co-author of Human Capital and Global Business Strategy, and is a contributor to Dr. Bussin’s textbook on Expatriate Compensation. Mr. Diez is a GRP certification faculty member for WorldatWork.

Thomas A. FarmerThomas A. Farmer, CCP, SPHR, ACTA is owner and principal of Freelance Total Rewards Pte Ltd, an independent rewards consultancy in Singapore, providing consulting, retainer and training solutions to clients in the areas of total rewards and global mobility. Mr. Farmer was formerly Principal and Asia Leader for Mercer’s Global Mobility Practice. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Compensation & Benefits for InterContinental Hotels Group, first for the Americas region, then for Asia Pacific. Tom is a GRP certification faculty member for WorldatWork.

Click here for more information on training events offered by Freelance Total Rewards.

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