Interview With Alan Bentley, MD International Personnel Management Ltd

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.

Established in 1995, our experienced team of specialist consultants is based in Peterborough. We benefit from low operating overheads but pride ourselves on delivering personalised, quick response, client management. That translates to excellent value for money. We provide both an operational and strategic service, often working with clients to develop relocation policies and procedures.

What is a typical day in the office like?

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No two days are the same. Our team of consultants could be in-office working on projects or out visiting clients anywhere in the UK or overseas. I am involved in a wide range of professional sector groups and attend international assignment and global mobility forums to ensure we are in touch with sector needs. Our experienced, professional team handles a wide range of operational issues associated with overseas assignments including home and host country tax, contracts, visas, schooling, accommodation, social security, and immigration. Our senior consultants work with clients to develop relocation policies and procedures.

What were the main challenges you faced when you first joined the company? How did you overcome them?

I acquired a business that had an excellent reputation with its clients and an exceptional team of people with an amazing depth of experience in the international assignment field. The challenge was a dormant revenue stream, inadequate EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and technology that was held together by string and rubber bands. We embarked on an aggressive business development programme, gained new clients, increased EBITDA which gave us the funds to invest in people, technology and processes.

What particular issues do expats typically need your advice/assistance with?

Our objective is to ensure that both employer and employee manage their international assignments in the most cost effective and rewarding way. The issues associated with overseas placements are obvious – sorting visas, finding accommodation, arranging schooling if necessary, ensuring appropriate compensation packages are agreed, finding the most tax efficient solutions.

If you had to give some advice to our members to help them with expat life what would it be?

To accept an international assignment is very often a brave and bold decision. It can be flattering to be offered an overseas posting but there are many aspects to take into account in making that decision, for example, the impact on family – including those left at home; the cultural differences you will experience; how long will you be overseas; what will happen at the end of the assignment? Ask yourself whether you and your family have any medical considerations and what effect will the assignment have on your children’s education?

What are your plans for the future?

We have exciting plans to grow the business over the next three years. To that end we have just recruited Hannah Bolton, formerly a senior manager with Ernst and Young Assignment Services. Hannah has been briefed to spearhead our business development, working closely with the rest of the IPM consulting team. She has extensive experience with a broad range of multi national global companies and has been a keynote speaker at a number of industry events. The global assignment sector is growing as business requirements change and we believe we are in a very strong position to take advantage of the opportunity that lies ahead of us.

What do you do to relax?

I am involved with a number of local charities and support them by fund-raising. I am just about to embark on the Coast to Coast Walk for the Psoriasis Association. I am keen on a variety of sporting activities and my family is extremely important to me. Travel and theatre play an important part in my life.

For more information please contact Alan Bentley at International Personnel Management Ltd on 01733 364040 or email: alan.bentley@ipmltd.co.uk

For press information contact Peter Corder at Media Matters on 01733 371363 or peter@mediamatters-pr.co.uk


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