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Interviews > 2010


Alan Bentley, MD International Personnel Management Ltd

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (20:34:40)
Alan Bentley
Alan, please can you tell us a bit about your background before you joined International Personnel Management Ltd?

My career has focused on financial services and travel. I have experience in all aspects of Human Resources at a senior level, including international and executive compensation for local nationals, expatriates and third country nationals with HSBC and Thomas Cook.

What services does International Personnel Management Ltd offer?

IPM Ltd specialises in handling overseas staff placements for companies. That means sorting all the ‘red tape’ associated with, salary packages, home and host country tax and social security, cost of living, visas/work permits, accommodation, and schooling. We do all that is required to ensure a successful outcome for both employer and employee. We handle the movement of staff for multi-national companies as well as smaller businesses that need to project manage one-off overseas contracts. We will ensure that you are compliant in all aspects of home and host country tax and social security as well as immigration. We are currently managing international assignments in more than 50 home and 60 host countries around the world.   more ...


Jo Parfitt - expat writer, mentor and publisher

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (20:31:28)
Jo Parfitt
Jo, can you tell us a bit about your background?

I have lived abroad since 1987, moving from my home in the UK to Dubai, Oman, Norway, back to England for a while and now to the Netherlands. I have created, maintained a career based on my love of writing throughout this time. I have written 27 books, been a journalist, taught writing, done copywriting, been a speaker and now focus on teaching and helping expats and entrepreneurs to write books and articles based on their expertise and experience.

What services do you offer to expats?

I believe in only working in areas I know well. I know about running a business based on my passion, portable careers and being a writer as well, of course, as living abroad. My services are tailored to this niche. I tend to work with other expats and, as someone who attends expat and international conferences like FIGT and WIN I have done lots of research into expat issues too.   more ...


Oliver Heslop, UK Tax Specialist

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (20:28:51)
Oliver Heslop
Oliver Heslop is a highly experienced UK tax specialist dealing with expatriate cross border issues and is the official Expat Focus UK Taxation partner. In this interview we learn more about Oliver's background and experience and the services he can offer to British expats abroad and foreign nationals in the UK.

Expat Focus: Oliver, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to join Shipleys?

Oliver Heslop: I did my tax training with Andersens and spent my time mostly in expatriate tax work. I once had a 6 month secondment at Rolls-Royce in Derby looking after their international expatriate program. There were challenges in Jordan and Iran, believe me! Andersens also assigned me to Poland in 2002 and I learned my pidgin Polish by watching Eastenders with Polish subtitles.   more ...


Nick Digby, Echo-Xpats (Dubai)

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (20:19:25)
Nick Digby
Nick Digby is the founder of Echo-Xpats (www.echo-xpats.com), a Dubai based company established in 2005 delivering relocation services to individuals and corporations throughout the region. Nick is also one of the forum leaders in our UAE forum.

Expat Focus: Nick, can you tell us a bit about your background and how Echo-Xpats came into being?

Nick Digby: I have always worked in the hospitality industry, starting in a fabulous Italian restaurant in Singapore at the age of 13. I have worked in many world class hotels, including the Mandarin Oriental and Ritz-Carlton. I moved to Dubai in 2004 to start a role in Food & Beverage at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.   more ...


Justin Aldridge, Eye on Spain

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (20:15:49)
Justin Aldridge
Justin is the owner of the popular expat website Eye on Spain.

Expat Focus: Justin, can you tell us a bit about your background and how Eye on Spain came into being?

Justin Aldridge: I was born and raised in Gibraltar and after completing my A-Levels at 18 I went on to do a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at Liverpool University. After university I worked within the automotive industry, including a stint with a Formula One team, working in design, production and finally in a commercial role. The Automotive industry was, and still is, struggling in the UK and with the collapse of companies such as MG Rover, it made a big impact on the company that I was working for and they decided to shut the plant down, effectively making me redundant. I was only 28 and my partner Susan had just given birth to our twin daughters.

The redundancy gave us a little bit of money to do something different, so we decided to try a new life in Spain. We came up with the idea of Eye on Spain through our own need. Back in 2004 we were buying a property off-plan and still being in England we kept wondering if they were actually building it. So I asked a friend of mine who lived in Marbella to go and take some photos for me. He'd later email us the photos and it was very exciting to see the progress (or sometimes lack of it) being made.   more ...


Victoria Twead, forum leader and author

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (20:13:19)
Victoria Twead
Victoria is one of the forums leaders of our Spain forum and author of the popular book Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools. In this interview we get to know her a little better!

Expat Focus: Can you tell us a bit about your background before you became an expat?

Victoria Twead: I was born in Dorchester, Dorset, the middle child of three. My father was in the army, so we were posted to Germany where I spent the first five years of my life. I was sent to a German kindergarten and spoke only German. At the age of 5, we returned to Dorset and I was enrolled into a village school. I settled in well and promptly forgot all my German.

All three of us kids were sent to boarding school, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was like acting out an Enid Blyton book; nature rambles, midnight feasts and adventures. On leaving school, I trained to be a teacher but did many jobs before deciding to teach. I was a hotel housekeeper, welded fireguards in a factory, looked after goats and seabirds in an animal sanctuary and became a housemother in a children's home. However, all I really wanted to do was write.   more ...


Simon Hilton, Foreign Exchange Specialist

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (03:35:40)
Simon Hilton
Simon Hilton is a senior foreign exchange consultant at World First specialising in assisting private clients and companies with their foreign exchange transactions. Simon is authorised by the FSA to offer foreign currency options.

To contact Simon directly for currency transfer information or a no-obligation quote please click here.

Expat Focus: Simon, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to work for World First?

I have a BA hons degree from the University of Reading in History and Politics and joined the company in 2006. I have since undertaken regulatory exams and obtained FSA approval to advise our clients on hedging their foreign exchange risk.

Expat Focus: What services does World First offer and what is your own role?

World First offers a foreign exchange service for currency transfers as well as a range of foreign exchange products. Clients can purchase currency at ‘spot’ (for an immediate transfer) as well as being able to fix the exchange rate for up to 2 years in advance with a forward contract.   more ...


Lenox Napier, AULAN

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (03:32:21)
Lenox Napier
Lenox Napier moved to Spain as a teenager and has spent most of his life there. He is involved with AULAN (www.aulan.es), an organisation which supports small property owners in Spain by fighting corruption and injustice, including the infamous 'land-grab' of recent times.

Expat Focus: Lenox, can you tell us a bit about your background before you became an expat?

Lenox Napier: I've never been very happy with the word 'expat' (it sounds like I used to be a 'pat'). My parents moved here from Norfolk UK in 1967 when I was thirteen. They bought a house for the usual ten pounds. I continued in school (Latin, beatings, uniforms, cold showers) in England during the term-times and drinking, smoking, dreaming about women, zipping around on a moped and staying up all night (holiday-times in Spain). Eventually, I persuaded my parents that they didn't teach Spanish at my school and that I should move to an international school in Spain. So, at seventeen, I went to one in Seville (where you could smoke, drink, whizz around on your moped and move from theory into practice regarding women). I’ve never been back to England.   more ...


David Mundstock, Intrepid Berkeley Explorer

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (03:27:11)
David Mundstock
David Mundstock (username "IntrepBerkExplorer") is a regular contributor to the Expat Focus forums where he keeps us up to date with his latest adventures around the world. In this interview we get to know David a little better and discover what inspired him not only to travel but also to document his experiences for others.

Expat Focus: David, can you tell us something about your background?

My parents were both born in Europe, so I grew up knowing there was much more to the world than San Francisco.

Expat Focus: What was the inspiration which led you to travel the world and share your experiences with others?

Cinerama movies from the 1950s are my earliest memories of seeing wonderful places that I hoped to visit some day. Other movies filmed on location provided similar incentives in later decades.   more ...


Alan Langstone, US Realtor - The Langstone Team

Posted by: Jamie on Friday January 06, 2012 (03:22:38)
Alan Langstone
Expat Focus: Alan, can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds?

I was born in Buckinghamshire to London civil engineering commuter parents. I have lived in Wilshire, Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire before moving to the USA in 2007. My general working background has been in Civil Earthworks Engineering and Construction with a high Safety, Quality and Environmental focus.

My wife was born in Hong Kong, Her father was a senior Chemical Engineer for petrochemical company based at the time in Hong Kong. She has lived in Chicago, Illinois, Fayetteville, North Carolina, Switzerland and Bahrain before settling in South Carolina.

We have between us 4 wonderful children ranging in ages from 6 to 15.   more ...

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

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Cigna International

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