IMMIGRATION and INVESTORS: Reprioritizing EB-5 to benefit targeted areas

Provides visas for foreign investors who invest $1 million in a U.S. business that creates or preserves at least 10 U.S. jobs. The main purpose: attract capital investment and create jobs.

US Chamber CEO responds

Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program
BROOKINGS Institution
Sept 8, 2015

A sometimes controversial visa program for foreign investors is back in the news again, with a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against a Seattle-based developer (a former Tibetan monk) accused of diverting millions of dollars to personal use.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program provides visas for foreign investors who invest $1 million in a U.S. business that creates or preserves at least 10 U.S. jobs. If the investment is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), defined as a rural area, or one with one-and-a-half times the national unemployment rate, the investment threshold is reduced to $500,000. These investments permit immigrant investors and their families to live and work in the United States with conditional residency status, which becomes permanent after program requirements, are met.

The main purpose of the program is to attract capital investment and create jobs. While there have been many successful projects over the years, the program has also been riddled with high-profile cases of fraud and corruption.

Currently, the EB-5 immigrant visa program primarily operates under provisions of the Regional Center Program, enacted as a pilot program in 1992, and reauthorized seven times since. Regional centers pool investments across multiple investors. Although “pilot” has been removed from the program’s name, it is still temporary and up for reauthorization, and certainly renewed scrutiny, by the end of the month.

One reauthorization bill, introduced by Sens. Grassley and Leahy focuses on new measures designed to prevent fraud. It also raises the minimum investment amount to $800,000 within a TEA and $1.2 million otherwise. Most important for reaching the program’s economic development goals, however, are the bill’s new rules on defining TEAs. State governments currently define TEAs, and there are no guidelines for their size or geographic boundaries. Census tracts with high unemployment are often joined together with those that do not fit the criteria to create TEAs that qualify projects for the lower investment threshold. Hence, high-profile EB-5 projects have cropped up in places that appear to not fit the unemployment criteria, such as the Hudson Yards project on the West Side of Manhattan.

The bill would revise the TEA definition to include rural areas, closed military bases, or single census tracts within metro areas with an unemployment rate at 150 percent of the national average. To further increase the effect of EB-5 financing, at least 50 percent of the job creation would have to be within the metro area, or within the county in which a rural TEA is located.

Other proposed changes to the program address problems identified in an August GAO report that pointed out scam risks and uncertainties in verifying that investment funds were obtained lawfully. The report also critiqued U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that runs the program, for not collecting adequate data nor using valid methodology to estimate economic benefits and job creation, two primary goals of EB-5.

Nevertheless, it seems likely that the EB-5 regional center program will be reauthorized, at least temporarily, and possibly without any revisions. However, the proposed changes to tighten the rules around defining TEAs are a good starting point for reform, though they do not address how the program might better meet the goal of increasing jobs for residents of TEAs and measuring those outcomes. I have previously raised questions of whether targeted communities benefit from EB-5 by the creation of more or better jobs, whether the jobs are long-term or short-term jobs, and whether employees for those jobs are residents of the TEAs or come from outside.

Researchers are asking similar questions of place-based programs such as the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) and finding that the majority of jobs created in areas of subsidized investment do not go to residents of the targeted neighborhood. It is very plausible that the same is true of the TEA program.

With the reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program looming, changes to how targeted employment areas are defined should be considered. It is also a great time to refocus on the communities that are the intended beneficiaries. Adding a stipulation that would require some jobs go to local residents of TEAs (and not simply the larger metro area) should be part of the deliberation. Requiring the collection of data to better show the effects of EB-5 capital would demonstrate commitment to the goal of benefits to local communities.

Plenty of money is exchanging hands in the EB-5 program. Let’s ensure some of it is going to the people and places it is intended to aid.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Audrey Singer is a senior fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. Her areas of expertise include demography, international migration, U.S. immigration policy, and urban and metropolitan change. She has written extensively on U.S. immigration trends, including immigrant integration, undocumented migration, naturalization and citizenship, and the changing racial and ethnic composition of the United States.

US Chamber op-ed originally appeared in The Hill.

Below the often passionate debates in Congress focusing on the mega issues of the day, there are many worthy programs which need to be attended to and not lost sight of. One of these is the EB-5 Investor Visa Program and its EB-5 Regional Center Program, which grants visas to capable and dedicated immigrants if they commit to invest in development projects in the U.S. These investments drive economic growth and job creation in the U.S. at no cost to taxpayers. This kind of smart government policy should be preserved and unless Congress renews the program before it expires at the end of this month, this successful job creation tool could be damaged–or disappear altogether.

Under current law, the program allows foreign investors to obtain permanent residency by investing at least $1 million in U.S. projects that will generate at least 10 new jobs for American workers. In rural or high unemployment areas–where project financing is often scarce–investors are only required to invest $500,000 to qualify under the program. The program, which awards 10,000 visas a year, helps direct global capital into our economy rather than our competitors’ economies.

The program has a strong track record of generating investment and job growth. A recent study commissioned by the EB-5 Investment Coalition found that between 2005 and 2013, the EB-5 program generated $5.2 billion in foreign direct investment for U.S. projects. In 2013 alone, foreign investors pumped $1.6 billion into the U.S. economy through the program. Many EB-5 projects are still being implemented, but when they are completed, the money provided by these foreign investors could help create 31,000 new jobs for Americans. Moreover, EB-5 investments have financed projects that might not otherwise have secured the capital needed to make it past the planning stage.

The list of projects that have been fueled by EB-5 investments is deep and diverse, including construction of hotels, schools, technology centers, and nursing homes across the country. The program has also provided funding for multiple infrastructure projects, such as port expansion in Baltimore or the building of a highway interchange in Southeast Pennsylvania. If Congress fails to renew the EB-5 Regional Center Program, these and other significant economic development projects, along with thousands of pending investor petitions, will be stopped in their tracks. There is no justification for allowing it to lapse.

Now, even a good and worthy initiative can be improved, and this one is no exception. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups support reforms to prevent fraud and abuse. The handful of bad actors who have engaged in misconduct must be held accountable and we should work to prevent future abuses of the program, but that should not cause an overreaction by Congress. The program should be updated to ensure proper oversight, security, and integrity. However, any changes should not hamper economic development.

Undermining the program’s positive economic impact or interfering with the market-based approach that has made the Regional Center Program so effective would be unfortunate. Efforts by Congress to direct EB-5 investment into certain areas at the expense of others would be an unwelcome development, considering the program was designed to be national in scope and focused on the goal of job creation, not creating jobs in politically-favored areas. Congress’s role should not expand to picking winners and losers or tilting the playing field; all worthy projects should be given due consideration.

Other concerns are focused on how to properly account for jobs created by the EB-5 investments. We share the concerns of members in Congress that job creation needs to be properly verified, but efforts to unreasonably limit or restrict which jobs can be counted are misguided. The focus of the program always has been and should remain on job creation–not on where those jobs are created.

Finally, there are currently more than 13,000 EB-5 applications pending approval. They should not be subject to any changes that may be incorporated into the program through reauthorization–such as increases in minimum investment amount. Suddenly upping the ante for investors who are already in the process and following the rules would unfairly penalize them and could disrupt both current and potential projects.

The U.S. Chamber appreciates the bipartisan efforts of lawmakers in both houses of Congress who are working to reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program–along with three other key immigration initiatives, including E-Verify–ahead of the deadline. As negotiations move forward, we urge them to make thoughtful, measured reforms that will maximize foreign investment in the United States, not undermine it.

Smart government policies–backed by facts, data, and statistics–are needed now more than ever to ensure that the United States can compete in the global marketplace to attract foreign capital and help finance projects that put Americans to work.

Thomas J. Donohue is the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

IMF-World Bank: LatAm Priorities Next Decade

Region needs to develop new opportunities for social development. Key priorities include participation in formal labor markets, increasing productivity …significant social gains past 15 years.

EMPLOYMENT is key to fighting poverty, inequality

Natalie Ramirez-Djumena
2015 IMF-WORLD BANK ANNUAL MEETINGS

IMF Survey -October 10, 2015

Latin American countries will need to develop new opportunities to boost growth, while preserving and even enhancing social gains, top economists said at an Annual Meetings seminar.

“Growth and Inclusion in Latin America: The Next Decade” seminar explored the region’s social transformation and strategies for inclusive growth in the next decade. The October 8 seminar was held as part of the 2015 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru.

Helped by strong growth, social transformation in Latin America over the past decade and a half has been impressive. The region sharply reduced its poverty rate, cut extreme poverty in half, and income inequality also fell. Going forward, the challenge is preserving and increasing gains in a more difficult environment for growth, especially for commodity exporting countries.

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, a Deputy Managing Director at the International Monetary Fund, mentioned three key factors behind these impressive social gains in Latin America—
robust economic growth that enabled the creation of jobs,
macroeconomic stability (low inflation and sustainable fiscal policies), and
well-designed and innovative targeted social programs.

Panelists agreed, noting that social assistance programs in particular have contributed to the impressive social progress of the region. They pointed out that Latin America has become a global leader in the use of conditional cash transfers. Brazil and Mexico have two of the largest schemes, with transfers contingent on requirements such as school attendance or vaccination records.

“Peru’s social programs seek to build capacity,” added Alonso Segura, Minister of Economy and Finance of Peru. Peru’s very successful Juntos program, launched in 2005, has human capital development as its key goal.

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, explained that conditional transfer programs in Latin America cost, on average, about 0.4 percent of GDP. “It’s not that expensive to support 124 million people.”

But panelists stressed that over the next decade—marked in particular by less favorable global conditions and the end of the commodities boom — Latin America will need to develop new opportunities for social development.

Lifting all people
Panelists noted that labor market policies and programs should be targeted to disadvantaged groups, such as rural populations and women. “The master key to fighting poverty and inequality is employment,” said Bárcena. She noted that, while Latin America had met much success in reducing poverty, addressing inequality remained a major item in the policy agenda for governments in the region.

Santiago Levy, Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge at the Inter-America Development Bank, said that, with about 50 percent of their populations working in the informal sector on average, Latin American countries had “segmented societies.”

“The child of an informal worker can attend the same public school as the child of a formal worker—there’s no discrimination there, but these two children go to different government health clinics.”

Thus, a key challenge for growth with social inclusion is finding a way to give all workers access to the same social system and benefits, and not to rely on fickle commodity revenues to fund these systems.

Richard Webb, Director of Peru Institute, University of San Martin de Porres and former Governor of the Central Bank of Peru, acknowledged that long-forgotten populations, often living in rural areas, had in the last 15-20 years started receiving assistance from the state. But he noted as well that in addition to such assistance programs, these groups need help increasing their productivity so they can raise their income.

“For excluded populations, infrastructure and basic services are essential,” he said. Bárcena agreed, adding that in several countries inclusion of indigenous populations represented a challenge in need of creative approaches.

Participants noted also that informality limits access to financial services. While agreeing, Bárcena noted that greater digital connectivity can accelerate financial inclusion.

Furusawa said that inequality can also be reduced by making tax systems more progressive—in other words, by reducing the tax burden of low-income earners.

Equal opportunity for women
Panelists said that discrimination and low labor force participation remain key challenges for advancing women’s social progress. Bárcena explained that if women had the same pay for the same type of work as men and equal access to jobs, poverty in Bolivia, for example, would be reduced by 15 percentage points.

Furusawa pointed out that gender equality improves the efficiency of the economy. “Eliminating the gender gap increases GDP by 5 percent in the United States and 9 percent in Japan.” He mentioned Japan’s example to illustrate how creative policies can support female participation in the labor force. “Improving the participation of women in the labor market increases productivity and equity; it’s a win-win option,” said Levy. It was noted by several speakers that in Peru, female participation in the labor market was much higher than the average for the region.

“In Peru, women work more than men do,” Finance Minister Segura quipped before summing up the session. “People ask: do we need to grow first to be more inclusive, or do we need inclusion to grow? This is a false dilemma: growth and inclusion need to go hand in hand.”

Deutsche Bank India increases maternity leave from 16 to 26 weeks

Deutsche Bank India has 3,830 women employees; gender diversity 32%.

Madhavi Lall, MD & HR head: New policy strengthens our commitment to gender diversity. We base our policies around the needs of our employees.
After the Tata Group significantly raised the bar this year by offering maternity leave of up to 27 weeks, Deutsche Bank India has come close by increasing maternity leave from 16 weeks to 26 weeks.

Beyond the statutory requirements, most progressive organizations offer maternity leave between 22-25 weeks. The current statutory requirement for maternity leave is 12 weeks.

Madhavi Lall, MD & HR head, India, Deutsche Bank, told TOI, “The new policy aims at strengthening our commitment to gender diversity. We base our policies around the needs of our employees. A critical feedback we got from our women employees was that maternity leave of up to 26 weeks would be more suitable and work perfectly for them because creches don’t take children who are less than 6 months. So the new policy change gels with that as well,” said Lall.

Deutsche Bank India has a total women employee strength of 3,830, with the overall gender diversity at 32%.

Although the legal requirement on maternity leave is three months, companies like Hindustan Unilever, HCL Technologies, Accenture, Microsoft, Flipkart and Snapdeal, to name a few, have proactively enhanced it for the benefit of their women employees and as a measure to retain them at work. Women employees find it difficult to return to work after three months and usually go on unpaid leave. This gets extended further, resulting in several women opting out of the workforce.

Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi had made a suggestion that maternity leave benefits be extended to 26 weeks. However, this has not been formalized.

Saundarya Rajesh, founder & president, Avtar Group, a diversity & inclusion talent strategy consulting firm, said maternity leaves of over six months and more offered by some of the companies in India are among the best across the world. But, she said companies also need to introduce `return to work’ programmes for women.

“It is very critical for companies to offer a whole basket of benefits around maternity, such as buddy system and staggered timing in addition to ensuring that the performance ratings of women employees returning from maternity are retained. A number of women employees tell us that it is because of such practices followed by their organizations that they decided not to leave the workplace,” said Rajesh.

Read more at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52984760.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

ABOUT GLOBAL HR and M&A’s

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
— Buckminster Fuller

‘ Transforming M&A due diligence, integration … mitigating risks….’

GLOBAL BUSINESS NEWS introduces you to…

Dr. J. Keith Dunbar, CEO, Potentious®
Potentious M&A Leadership Risk Profile™

Growth is the lifeblood of companies. Growth is the difference between success and a distinct lack of it, the difference between a company that endures and prospers and a company that becomes just another historical footnote.

About Potentious
Potentious® is a boutique mergers & acquisitions consulting firm specializing in the identification of the leadership capabilities in companies that lead to successful M&As. Using the Potentious M&A Leadership Risk Profile™ methodology, collective leadership capability of the acquirer and target companies to quantify the level of risk in a particular M&A is evaluated. To learn more, visit www.potentious.com.

About the Author
Dr. J. Keith Dunbar established Potentious to enhance the process of talent management that drives great organizations. His consulting program implements an original talent assessment method to identify leadership competencies most likely to improve the financial outcome of mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Dunbar’s method transforms M&A due diligence and integration phases, by providing a means to mitigate the risks that otherwise limit or cancel out the potential to meet financial targets.

Dr. Dunbar received his Doctorate of Education from the University of Pennsylvania in a unique joint program between the Graduate School of Education and Wharton Business School.

You can contact Dr. Dunbar at Keith@Potentious.com

HR not meeting demands for doing better global business

Confusion in corporate America about the HR role supporting biz performance.

How to improve engagement, performance? How to ‘evolve’ org culture ? … redefine HR’s Purpose, Brand … teach company leaders how to mentor and coach

Source: Gallup

There’s been much talk among political and business leaders lately about “upskilling” the U.S. workforce, with the goal of improving organizational effectiveness and fueling economic growth. But it’s unclear exactly who’s responsible for upskilling, as it could be schools, corporations or both.

Today’s workforce and its leaders require continuous on-the-job learning and development to effectively respond to changing business demands and to help companies gain a competitive advantage. But there’s confusion in corporate America about the role human resources (HR) can and should play in supporting business growth and performance.

No one is questioning whether companies need better human development strategies to improve leadership and drive business growth and performance. Instead, the issue is how to redefine the role HR plays in supporting business performance. Right now, most HR departments aren’t up to the task of preparing tomorrow’s leaders or fostering performance excellence.

Traditional HR Practices Are No Longer Sufficient

A 2014 Deloitte study of executives in companies with 10,000 or more employees showed that nearly one-half (48%) of respondents rated their HR department as “not ready” to reskill itself to meet the demands of global business. Even more alarming, less than 8% of HR leaders have confidence in their HR teams’ skills and abilities to meet business demands.

Though businesses still need traditional HR practices, such as compensation, hiring and firing, they’re no longer enough to meet a modern company’s needs. Many HR departments still use a compliance-driven personnel model that is too tactical and ill-equipped to foster performance and organizational excellence. Global business trends require HR departments to adapt and change more quickly now than anyone could have imagined a decade ago.

Deloitte’s findings are consistent with the talent management questions that HR executives worldwide routinely ask Gallup experts:

How can we prepare future leaders for the leadership demands and challenges our business faces?

How can we maximize our investments in learning and development?

How can we improve employee engagement and performance?

How do we build or evolve our organizational culture amid all this change?

How your company answers these questions may be the key to its future growth, performance and sustainability. Companies need mature and effective HR departments now more than ever to help grow and sustain their business. But before companies can upskill their workforces and leadership, they must upskill HR — and that starts with clearly identifying HR’s purpose and brand.

Redefining HR’s Purpose and Brand

Why does HR exist, and what is it known for? There are many possible answers to these questions. HR could be the moral arbiter of organizational behavior or the people and organizational effectiveness team. Or, HR could conduct transactional functions that help companies fill empty positions. But HR also could be a strategic business partner — or, better yet, a talent machine that fuels a company’s performance.

Without a clear purpose, any HR overhaul will lack direction in service design and delivery. And if HR tries to be all things to everyone, it can’t possibly do any of those things with excellence.

Once HR’s purpose is clear, leaders must determine what they want HR to be known for in the company. A strong HR brand is clear and aligned with the company’s business strategy. Rebranding HR as a strategic business partner and a center of expertise in talent, employee engagement, learning and development, and succession planning is no small task. Many companies overlook the power of HR’s brand when planning for and implementing an HR transformation, which undermines the change and, ultimately, HR’s impact on performance.

Executives can’t transform their company’s HR identity overnight, nor can they quickly erase HR’s old reputation as a transactional personnel function. But four steps — drawn from Gallup’s observations of leaders across industries and sectors — offer a solid approach to upskilling HR by focusing on improving talent and performance: 1) get better at leadership, 2) rethink training, 3) connect passion and purpose and 4) consider talent and culture when managing change.

Get Better at Leadership

To ensure a company’s future success, HR professionals must support leadership development throughout the company and prepare future leaders faster. Upskilling leadership will require HR professionals to develop new skills themselves in the service areas they lead. HR professionals must learn how to use objective science rather than subjective opinion to help their business partners identify leadership talent early on.

The HR business partner of the future must advise company leaders about the talents and developmental experiences that are crucial to success at the highest levels of leadership today and forecast what will drive success in the future. Companies must also train HR to teach company leaders how to mentor and coach future leaders based on current leaders’ talents and experience.

Ultimately, HR needs to get smarter about how it invests resources in leadership development — and who it invests them in — because too many leadership development programs are flawed. Gallup’s research on some of the highest performing companies in the world has shown that talent-based, experience-driven development is the best way to improve organizational performance and profitability. Any other approach creates expensive and ineffective results.

Rethink Training

Despite decades of investments in training, HR and the learning and development industry have failed to prepare future leaders to take charge. This has happened because most training programs try to “fill leaders up” with what they lack — with strategic thinking, accountability and interpersonal skills, for example. Attempting to turn incompetence into competence is a model that is flawed, but this is the only model that most HR professionals have learned.

Leaders and executives tasked with solving complex business problems require development, not training. Rethinking training will require HR to educate managers and leaders on how to foster learning and development through key experiences and real-time coaching, teaching and performance management. HR should ensure that all managers in the business have the talent to coach, and then HR’s role is to teach the teachers and coach the coaches. This is the value that a true leadership center of expertise provides for a company.

HR and learning professionals should provide managers with resources, tools and continuous coaching so they can support the company’s learning needs. More importantly, HR should use learning diagnostics and assessments to determine how to maximize investments in high-potential employees. HR must also demonstrate and actively promote the effect of formal learning interventions, using metrics and analytics to justify the return on investment by showing improvements in employee engagement and performance outcomes.

Connect Passion and Purpose

Actively disengaged employees continue to outnumber engaged employees worldwide by nearly 2-to-1. Gallup knows that leaders and managers play a crucial role in meeting employees’ emotional needs, such as the need for respect, positive relationships, personal development and meaningful work. And these needs have serious financial implications. For example, organizations in Gallup’s employee engagement client database with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010-2011 experienced 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) than their competition in 2011-2012.

Through decades of research with hundreds of organizations and more than 25 million employees in 142 countries, Gallup has learned what the best leaders do differently to connect employee engagement with a company’s purpose, culture and brand. HR functions play an important role in shaping the functional aspects of an organization’s culture — for example., in designing human capital processes to ensure that the company hires and evaluates managers based on their ability to engage their team.

Gallup has learned that fully maximizing employee engagement requires evolving HR’s functions, capabilities and upskilling HR leaders. This involves helping HR business partners get more sophisticated about talent and engagement analytics and teaching them how to enhance organizational culture to support achieving the company’s ultimate purpose and performance goals.

Consider Talent and Culture When Managing Change

Change happens constantly across all industries and sectors. While companies are becoming more adept and agile at changing systems and processes, many struggle with managing talent and culture during times of tumult. Few HR departments have clear techniques to use to engage employees during transformational changes that affect organizational culture and performance, such as a merger or reorganization, but these transformational changes offer great opportunities to upskill HR. By strengthening change management and improving organizational performance during these times, HR builds organizational capabilities more quickly and can effectively address the talent and cultural aspects of change while serving as a center of excellence for leaders and managers.

Companies and governments now operate in a world that is radically different from what it was when HR emerged as a profession. HR professionals have clamored for decades for a “seat at the table.” Many HR leaders now find themselves in that seat, wondering which cards to play to add value to the business, demonstrate the impact of people on performance and advise senior leaders on workplace changes that are crucial for growing and sustaining the business. Upskilling HR leaders and strengthening HR capability is necessary to maximize a company’s talent and leadership in today’s competitive landscape.

Chris Groscurth, Ph.D., Senior Practice Consultant, is an expert in leadership effectiveness, individual and team assessment, and organizational development. Bryant Ott is a writer and editor at Gallup.

INTERNATIONAL MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Corporate Inversions

Global HR impacts success

(source) Katie Davies

Editor’s Note: Looking-back, gaining perspective on a hot issue today…

Firms Completed Corporate Inversions Before the Crackdown: Now What?

Last year was an active year for mergers and acquisitions activity, especially cross-border M&A activity.

And no kind of M&A activity received more attention in 2014 as corporate inversion, the practice of reincorporating an American business in a different country by merging with a smaller overseas entity, often to take advantage of lower tax rates.

Inversion activity picked up especially over the summer as American firms raced to get in their mergers before an anticipated US crackdown. The crackdown came in September, when the Treasury Department issued new rules to stamp out the practice.

Now, executives who raced to the finish line in time will have to manage the integration of their firms with new overseas acquisitions. At any firm heading toward a merger, acquisition, or divestment, executives tend to maintain a laser-like focus on the deal itself. But especially when deals occur across multiple jurisdictions, there’s a mountain of operational and compliance details to plan for, particularly in human resources. Since many of the final inversions were conducted at break-neck pace to beat the regulators, there’s a high risk of botching the HR integration.

So it’s worth reviewing the potential HR complications of such deals, which also have relevance to all cross-border mergers and acquisitions. For example, you never want to find out on the eve of a major deal that your plans for workforce reductions at the foreign firm you’re buying conflict with local labor law.

There are little things to plan for: Will a change in company name or location affect the visa status of any expat employees? And there are much bigger things: The EU has strict TUPE — Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) — laws to ensure that workers retain their employment rights when they’re transferred to a new employer. Compliance with these rules requires close consultation with employees and union representatives on both sides of a deal.

Especially in the case of recent corporate inversions, American HR departments often inherited large European workforces. In the US, there is no minimum number of paid vacation days mandated for employees. For US private sector employees, the average number of annual paid vacation days is 10. In popular inversion destinations, that number won’t cut it. Excluding public holidays, the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK mandate 20 paid vacation days. It’s also likely that in other categories of paid time off, like sick leave and maternity leave, the policies at American firms won’t be up to the requirements of the foreign countries where you inherit employees. But this issue is in no way particular to inversion deals: Almost anywhere in the world you’re acquiring workforce, you’ll find higher requirements for paid time off – as well as strict obligations to track and record such time off – than exist in the US.

You won’t just have to understand the local laws in the destinations where you’ve acquired new employees. After a merger or acquisition, it will also fall to HR departments to ensure compliance with laws from their home country that apply globally to their firms’ operations. For example, whether or not an American firm moves its headquarters overseas, any business with operations in the US has to comply globally with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Implementing a compliant anti-bribery policy will be crucial when picking up employees in countries where bribery might be considered just another part of doing businesses. American firms will also have to implement globally the whistleblower protections mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley.

To complete the task, we recommend that firms heading toward a merger or acquisition create an HR audit team charged with mapping out the compliance needs of the new entity and then ensuring they’ve been implemented after the deal, a complex process that you may need help with.

As a final note, remember that in managing so many compliance details, it’s easy to lose sight of the question of workforce compatibility, something that even the most thorough audit can’t ensure. The culture clash between the management of German automaker Daimler AG and that of the American firm Chrysler, unanticipated by senior executives, famously contributed to the failure of DaimlerChrysler — and workplace differences across cultures remain real in 2014.

But if you do successfully plan and execute around an international deal, the payoff can be enormous. We should know: Radius was born this spring out of a merger between the US firm High Street Partners and UK-headquartered Nair & Co.

CEOs … are they just like us ?

Take a closer look at the personalities and preferences of those who occupy the corner office. Black is the clothing color of choice for 32% …18% use environmentally friendly ways to get around …62% abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages at company happy hours.

CEOs: They’re just like us (for the most part). While movies and TV want us to believe every company’s senior executives travel via chauffeured limousine, eat only five-star gourmet meals and sport wardrobes worthy of British royalty, the reality for most company executives is much less extravagant.

A lighthearted, newly released survey from CareerBuilder takes a closer look at the personalities and preferences of those who occupy the corner office.

The study was conducted online in November to December 2014 by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among more than 500 executives (hiring and human resources managers in senior leadership positions including CEOs, CFOs, COOs and Senior VP).

Dressing the Part
Unlike “30 Rock” head honcho Jack Donaghy, only 1 in 5 executives (20 percent) consider a business suit typical office attire. Most executives (57 percent) outfit themselves in business casual clothing, while 18 percent regularly wear jeans or shorts to work.

Black is the clothing color of choice for 32 percent of executives, making it the most popular choice for this group. Navy blue is the second most popular color worn by executives (31 percent), followed by grey (10 percent).

Riding in Cars with Bosses
Don’t expect to see the chief executive pulling up to the office in a chauffeured town car like top dog Miranda Priestley in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Most executives (79 percent) take themselves to work in an automobile, with 1 in 4 (24 percent) driving an SUV, 1 in 5 (22 percent) opting for a mid-sized sedan, and 1 in 10 (10 percent) cruising around in luxury sedan. Nearly 1 in 5 executives (18 percent) use environmentally friendly ways to get around, with 9 percent taking public transportation (bus or train), 4 percent driving hybrids, 4 percent walking, and 1 percent riding their bikes.

Wining and Dining
“Scandal” bigwig Olivia Pope might have a penchant for red wine and the partners of Sterling Cooper on “Mad Men” may sip whiskey on the regular, but in reality, more than 3 in 5 of executives (62 percent) abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages at company happy hours. Instead, they opt for soda (23 percent), water (19 percent), coffee (13 percent) or nothing at all (7 percent). Thirteen percent of executives kick back with a beer, and the same number (13 percent) opt for wine, while 8 percent opt for mixed drinks. When it comes to their dining habits, nearly half of executives (42 percent) bring their lunch from home, while the rest opt for fast food (22 percent) or food from a sit-down restaurant (14 percent). One in ten (10 percent) of executives say they don’t eat lunch on a typical day.

Righties vs. Lefties
Right-handers outnumber left-handers by nearly 7 to 1 (80 percent versus 13 percent); however, 8 percent of executives claim to be ambidextrous.

When it comes to parting their hair, 3 in 10 executives (29 percent) favor the right side, 19 percent go down the middle, and 15 percent part on the left. One in four (25 percent) don’t part their hair at all, while 11 percent sport a shaved or bald head.

Working Hard, Working Out
When asked how many hours they work in a typical week, 40 was the minimum for most head honchos. Fifty-eight percent of executives say they work 40 to 49 hours a week, and 32 percent work 50 hours or more. Only a lucky few (9 percent) say they work less than 40 hours a week. Despite having a packed schedule, the vast majority of executives (82 percent) are able to squeeze in at least one work out a week, with 39 percent working up a sweat four or more days a week. Nearly 1 in 5 (18 percent) say they “rarely” or “never” work out.

Emulating the CEO: Will It Help You Get Ahead?
They say you should dress for the job you want, but will dressing and acting like a senior executive help you get there? “Certainly, getting ahead in your career is based largely on your performance,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “The way you present yourself, however, is to many a reflection of how seriously you take your job.” Haefner offers the following tips to dress – and behave – for career success. Follow the leader…The CEO and other senior leaders should set the tone for how to conduct yourself in the workplace, so look toward them for direction when it comes to not just dressing the part, but conducting yourself like a leader as well. Dress for success. But don’t get caught in a “who wore it better” situation. Showing up in the exact same Brooks Brothers suit the boss wore on Monday could be could be perceived as sucking up – or simply creepy. Remember who you are as an individual. Adding accessories like jewelry, scarves or ties to a classic black pant suit, for example, creates a look that is both professional and reflects your personal style. Be the brand. Even when they’re not at the office, CEOs and senior executives are considered the “face” of the brand; therefore, even when they’re not at work, they are living by the company’s brand values. Take this into consideration when you’re out socializing–and posting on social media. Remember that you’re a representation of your company’s (and your personal) brand and how you act reflects on that brand. Ask for what you want. Don’t wait around for your manager to recognize your leadership potential. Take the initiative and ask your manager for more responsibility. Be clear about your career goals and see if you can together to create a clear plan for the future. Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 552 executives (hiring and human resources managers in senior leadership positions including CEOs, CFOs, COOs and Senior VP) ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 4 and December 2, 2014 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 552, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 4.17 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

AFRICA bound?

Africa is a continent rising….investment flowing into countries across the continent at an impressive rate.
PwC reports… ‘Into Africa’ – the continent’s cities of opportunity’, details the 20 African cities set to become the most dynamic on the continent.

Richard Summerfield
Banking/Finance

Africa is a continent on the rise. Indeed, for many commentators Africa has become an emerging market hotspot, with investment flowing into countries across the continent at an impressive rate. Though the region is still subject to economic and political risks, Africa is undoubtedly on an upward trajectory. According to the World Bank, it is one of the world’s three fastest-growing regions, expected to see economic expansion of around 5.2 percent in 2015-2016, up from 4.6 percent in 2014-2015.

A new report from PwC notes that a number of North African cities demonstrate the greatest potential for economic development in the next few years.

The report, ‘Into Africa – the continent’s cities of opportunity’, details the 20 African cities set to become the most dynamic on the continent.

The PwC study was designed to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Africa’s major urban hubs, though the firm imposed the stipulation that only one city per country could be assessed.

Accordingly, PwC ranked the selected locations in terms of infrastructure, human capital, economics and society, and demographics.

Four of the top five cities listed in the report – Cairo, Tunis, Algiers and Casablanca – are found in North Africa.

Johannesburg in South Africa is the only southern city featured in the top five. The relative age of the cities and states in the north are enough to give them an advantage over the majority of those in sub-Saharan Africa.

PwC notes in its report that the infrastructure, regulatory and legal framework, and socio-cultural ecosystems required to establish a successful city, have been present in the northern cities for longer, which has allowed places like Cairo to flourish.

Johannesburg’s establishment as a political centre in the mid 1880s allowed the city to develop the requisite infrastructure and services, which have been historically lacking in the south of the continent.

“We believe that these cities demonstrate the relative strengths and weaknesses of Africa’s urban future,” said Kalane Rampai, PwC local government leader for southern Africa.

Despite the dominance of northern cities, a number of sub-Saharan cities scored highest in terms of society and demographics, excelling in diversity and population growth.

L’Oreal USA, State Department Advance Women in STEM

18 women, scientific leaders from 17 countries meet, plan next steps.

L’Oreal USA science research mostly women.

L’Oreal Paris to keynote at Paris April 14th GlobalBusinessNews conference on GlobalBusiness MobileTalent

New York, February 10th 2015
L’Oreal USA hosted the U.S. Department of State’s “Women in STEM Fields” International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) delegation on Friday, February 6th at its New York City headquarters for a discussion around the importance of advancing women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields worldwide.

The group of 18 women scientific leaders from seventeen countries joined executives from the company to learn more about L’Oreal’s long-standing support for women scientists worldwide through its corporate philanthropy For Women in Science.

“Throughout the globe, women are achieving incredible advancements in STEM, but still only make up a fraction of the overall STEM workforce,” said Lauren Paige, Vice President Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives at L’Oreal USA.

“At L’Oreal, we are proud of the fact that the majority of our scientists and innovators are women and are honored to discuss our commitment to advancing women in STEM careers with this esteemed group of international women scientists.”

The visit to L’Oreal USA is part of a State Department multi-regional project to examine women’s contributions to STEM through research and development, education and teaching, leadership, and public policy formation. L’Oreal was joined in the discussion by Leah Gutstadt, Senior Manager, Strategic Philanthropy at Time Warner Cable, to offer participants two perspectives on how companies are championing women in STEM.

The State Department IVLP program supports the United States’ global commitment to ensuring women and girls are at the center of development, especially in in the STEM fields. Specifically, the program seeks to illustrate policies, organizations and educational institutions that support the interest of women in STEM.

The L’Oreal For Women in Science program is a global program that rewards women scientists around the world at critical stages of their career. Since the program began in 1998, more than 2,200 scientists in over 110 countries have been recognized for their work in the field. Celebrating its twelfth year in the U.S., the For Women in Science program has awarded 55 post-doctoral women scientists more than $2 million in grants.

Applications for the 2015 L’Oreal USA For Women in Science Fellowship are currently being accepted through March 20, 2015.

Additional information can be found at www.lorealusa.com/forwomeninscience.

ABOUT L’OREAL USA
L’Oreal USA is the largest subsidiary of the L’Oreal Group, the worldwide leader in beauty. L’Oreal USA manages a portfolio of 28 iconic global beauty brands, including Clarisonic, Essie, Garnier, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Kerastase, Kiehl’s, Lancome, L’Oreal Paris, Matrix, Maybelline New York, NYX, Redken, Soft-Sheen Carson, Urban Decay and Yves Saint Laurent Beaute. In addition to its corporate headquarters in New York City, L’Oreal USA has research, manufacturing, distribution and retail facilities across thirteen other states including Arkansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington with a workforce of more than 10,000 employees. For more information, visit www.LorealUSA.com or follow on Twitter @LOrealUSA.

‘Modern Mobility’ report asks: How can you be sure that your mobility programme is fit for the future? Businesses investing millions each year but cannot measure ROI

Only 17% of organisations have robust policies, processes, controls for tax, immigration, regulatory compliance.

Number of employees working overseas set to surge, but organisations struggle to recoup investment – PwC report

Businesses are investing millions of pounds each year sending employees on global assignments without being able to quantify the cost or measure the value from their investment, according to a new report from PwC. This is leading to nearly six in ten organisations saying their global mobility programmes currently do not deliver value for money.

PwC’s new Modern Mobility report predicts that the number of people going on global assignments will increase by 50% by 2020, with nine in ten organisations saying they are looking to increase the amount of globally mobile people over the next two years. However, despite this anticipated rise in global assignments, worryingly only 8% of global organisations are able to accurately put a cost on their mobility programmes and just 9% measure their return on investment from mobility.

The report, based on an in-depth survey of nearly 200 global executives, warns that too many HR teams lack the information, investment and infrastructure to meet the evolving business demands and manage the growing number of internationally mobile employees. The research reveals that three in ten organisations aren’t even sure how many of their employees work overseas each year.

Peter Clarke, global network leader for Global Employee Mobility services at PwC, said:

“It’s not surprising that organisations are expecting a jump in the number of people that are globally mobile – it is a great way for businesses to fill skills gaps, enter high growth markets, attract employees and develop their people. For some businesses, international experience is now a must-have for anyone taking on a leadership position.

“But organisations’ failure to measure the cost and value of their programmes will cost them dearly in the long run. Many businesses risk wasting considerable money sending the wrong people to the wrong places, overpaying for expats when local talent is available in-country or offering large financial packages when people are more motivated by the development opportunity. Many businesses are also losing valuable talent at the end of their assignment, as they have no plan for their returning role.

“Our research highlights that there is currently too much disconnect between organisations’ mobility policies and their business needs, with only 6% confident that they are aligning the two. Businesses need to have a clear global mobility strategy which is based on growth priorities and what skills they are going to need and where, backed up by plans on how they are going to source, deploy, manage and motivate employees who work internationally.”

As well as a likely increase in the number of people who are on a global assignment, the nature of these assignments is also going to change, according to PwC’s research. The biggest change will be the number of people going on short-term assignments, with the survey participants expecting a net doubling (58%) in their use. This type of assignment (up to one year) is increasingly being used by businesses to get the right people on the ground quickly to deliver set projects and as a way to develop high-potential employees.

The number of business travellers is also expected to increase by similar levels (net 57%), but this also brings risks as it is the most challenging type of mobility to manage. Just 17% of organisations said they have robust policies, processes and controls in place to manage the tax, immigration and regulatory compliance around business travellers.

The report also predicts the rise of new types of mobility, such as talent swaps between two different countries. More than one in five organisations plan to introduce talent swaps in the next two years.

Adds Peter Clarke:

“While the traditional long-term assignment isn’t dead, organisations are being much more creative and flexible in what type of global assignments they offer their people. This is no longer a world of primarily West to East moves nor is it just a way to source projects; global mobility is being used by organisations as a differentiator in the market to attract and develop their best people and create future leaders with a truly global mind-set.

“But the shift into much more fluid mobility from longer-term formal assignments is causing employers a headache. It makes it much more difficult for employers to know where their people are and what they’re doing to make sure they are compliant with tax and immigration laws. Companies are going to need to invest in resources, technology and infrastructure, and re-evaluate how they manage talent mobility, to be able to protect the company brand, satisfy increasingly complex regulations and provide a great experience for their people.”

Other findings from PwC’s Modern Mobility Report include:

•    Respondents rated tax and immigration compliance as the main challenges to moving employees, followed by security considerations and employees being reluctant to leave home country pension plans.

•    Respondents said Africa is the most challenging region to move people to, followed by Asia Pacific and South America.

•    Business executives need HR and mobility teams to partner more closely with them – think longer term about their international workforce requirements, help access, develop and retain the talent required, and incentivise people to move to the locations where the business needs them to be. This will require HR to work in a much more integrated way, drawing on talent, mobility, resourcing and succession planning expertise.

•    In two years’ time only 34% of HR and mobility teams expect to focus on day-to-day operational activities, instead expecting to take on more strategic activities such as supporting the development of global talent (62%) and measuring return on investment to drive continuous improvement (76%).

•    On average, 12.2% of an organisation’s total workforce is internationally mobile each year, with 1.6% on a formal international assignment.

Note: For more information, please visit http://www.pwc.co.uk/modernmobility

About PwC PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 195,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

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