Creating success in relocation

Judges' comments


Each year, our Relocate Awards judging panel, made up of independent experts, reflects the diversity of those working in the world of relocation and international assignments and the wide range of suppliers and professionals engaged in supporting relocation and mobility.

This year’s talented team of judges is no exception. All are distinguished figures in their fields. We are grateful to them for contributing their time and expertise to making the awards a success.

For details of this year’s judging panel, click here.

Click on each category for details of the winner:


Technological Innovation in Relocation

Inspirational HR Team of the Year

Best Managing or Growing Talent Initiative

Best HR & Supplier Strategy or Team

Relocation Service Provider or Team of the Year

Best Property Provider or Solution

Financial Support & Innovation

Immigration Team of the Year

Global Health & Wellness

Excellence in Employee & Family Support

Best International Destination Services Provider

Relocation Personality of the Year


1. Technological Innovation in Relocation 

WINNER: Pearl Travel Tech

Pearl Travel Tech won the Relocate Global Award for Technical Innovation in Relocation

SPECIAL AWARD: Technology– Global Benefits: PwC

Relocate Magazine Special Award for Technical Innovation in Relocation

SPECIAL AWARD: Technology – Relocation App: Elite Executive Services

Special Award Technical Innovation in Relocation

The Technological Innovation in Relocation award recognises the effective and innovative use of technology by a relocation organisation or HR team to bring about business and employee benefits, or the provider of an innovative product/service using technology within the relocation context.

As technology continues to respond to market needs and trends, it’s not surprising that this category attracted a large number of entries. The judges, who were looking for evidence of real innovation in this fast-changing field, were impressed by the high quality of all the entries.

Winner Pearl Travel Tech is a software company that delivers enterprise solutions to address immigration and tax compliance issues arising from international business travel and short-term assignments. It took the award for its online pre-trip assessment tool Permiso, which can be used by international travellers and by employers managing immigration and tax compliance.

“This is the only commercially available tool that integrates directly with travel booking and expense tracking systems, as well as with immigration and HRIS systems,” explains Pearl Travel Tech’s Julie Pearl. “It is the first assessment tool that considers both immigration and tax compliance issues, and that assesses more than just a single trip in isolation, by analysing past travel history and future intended trips.”

Describing Permiso as “very effective and simple, with information and actions presented in an easy-to-understand format,” the judges highlighted its role in helping to keep travellers and their companies compliant, thereby greatly reducing the risk of fines, project delays, rejection at port of entry, and a host of other potential compliance problems.

Because of the extremely high standard found throughout this category, the judges made two additional awards. The Technology– Global Benefits award went to global professional services firm PwC for its Global Data Collect web application, which collates and reports on all areas of remuneration and payment for expatriates. PwC was overall winner of the technology category at the 2011/12 awards.

Elite Executive Services, a specialist relocation company for moves into Australia and the Pacific region and winner of last year’s Excellence in Employee & Family Support award, took the Technology – Relocation App trophy.

Elite’s Applocation Australia provides, on mobile devices, complete information on Australia and everything to do with relocating there, with the ability to calendarise tasks, helping relocatees to plan a move and keep a budget.

Also on the shortlist:

HSBC Expat
International SOS
Peregrine Immigration Management

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


2. Inspirational HR Team of the Year               

Sponsored by Graebel Relocation

WINNER: Ooredoo and Sapient Corporation

Inspirational HR Team of the Year celebrates a team that can demonstrate outstanding leadership and excellence in relocation, and that inspires others.

Ooredoo wins the Relocate award for inspirational HR Team of the Year
Ooredoo received the award for a fascinating case study which, the judges said, showed considerable effort by the team to develop and deliver a mobility function to address mobility across a range of countries, and to ensure successful return on investment from expatriation.

Commending the team for its engagement with relocatees and the contribution it had made to ROI, the judges added, “A number of challenges had to be addressed, but the team showed that they were willing to reflect on issues and take their learning on board to develop their programmes of support.

“The outcomes were successful, and the team demonstrated the importance of listening actively to employees.”

Relocate Magazine HR Team of the Year Award
Sapient received the award to highlight the excellence and usefulness of their new management and communications systems. The Global People Movement team at Sapient worked across the business with colleagues in tax, HR and new business to ensure that compliance is maintained in a streamlined and consistent way. 


Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


3. Best Managing or Growing Talent Initiative

WINNER: InterContinental Hotels Group

Relocate Magazine Managing Talent Award

Intermark Relocation

Businesses around the world are chasing complex markets, and they need the best talent to help them achieve their objectives.         

By recognising the vital contribution that mobility – domestic and international – can make to developing talent and maximising ROI, the award for Best Managing or Growing Talent Initiative, now in its second year, seeks to foster a true strategic partnership between talent and mobility.

InterContinental Hotels Group took the award for its China-Ready initiative, described by the judges as “a genuinely impressive programme which is having a positive effect on IHG’s business and on individual assignees”.

The project develops staff from China hotels via international assignments to other group hotels outside China. This, the judges said, is an important initiative for IHG and meets a real business need in terms of supporting the future of Chinese travel, which will increasingly impact the leisure market.

Calling China-Ready “an interesting example of how talent development can be carried out in new domains,” the judges went on to say that the challenges of assigning staff to a new market area were explained through a clear, well-argued entry statement and supporting evidence that provided examples of assignee experiences, feedback and lessons for the future, with talent development outcomes highlighted.

Intermark Relocation was highly commended for its initiative to improve the professionalism of its staff via an internship programme, thus improving the experience for international assignees relocating to Russia.

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


4. Best HR & Supplier Strategy or Team

Sponsored by Cheval Residences


Relocate Magazine Best HR & Supplier Strategy or Team Award

Best HR & Supplier Strategy or Team honours HR teams working with a supplier to deliver a relocation strategy that enhances their organisation's business objectives and/or the quality of the relocation support provided to individual employees.

Winner Pro-Link GLOBAL provides corporate global visa and immigration services to multinational clients. Commending Pro-Link’s entry as “exceptionally well-produced”, the judges said that it had demonstrated impressive service, with excellent outcomes for clients and employees on the move, using a case study about the challenges faced by a client which plays an important part in delivering clean water to Africa as it sought to establish a new entity in Kenya and post to Kenya a Dutch national born in Rwanda.

This entry, the judges said, provided evidence to address all the criteria, and clearly demonstrated, through the use of examples, the issues and challenges, and how these were overcome.

Also on the shortlist
Crown World Mobility (Unilever account team)
Formula Corporate Solutions India
Smith Stone Walters

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


5. Relocation Service Provider or Team of the Year

Sponsored by Skyline Worldwide

WINNER, Relocation Service Provider of the Year: Intermark Relocation

Relocation Service Provider of the Year

Relocation Service Provider or Team of the Year recognises a provider organisation or team which can demonstrate that it provides excellent and effective relocation support services to clients and their relocatees.

Since this was a broad category, with entries from UK, regional and global companies of all sizes, as well as specialist suppliers, the judges made two separate awards – Relocation Service Provider of the Year and Global Relocation Team of the Year.

The judges congratulated Russian destination services provider Intermark Relocation, which was named Relocation Service Provider of the Year, on an excellent service-delivery model with 24-hour assistance support.

They added, “With the introduction of its Housing Cost Optimisation Programme, Intermark has been able to maximise the use of good landlords while keeping rents under control.

“As part of the Friends of Intermark project, the company has created a Facebook page with the latest news updates and tips about Moscow lifestyle, cultural events and entertainment. The page is updated daily and provides additional support and advice to that already provided by the Friends group.”

WINNER, Global Relocation Team of the Year: Crown World Mobility (Unilever account team)

Relocation Service Provider of the Year Special Award

Crown World Mobility’s Unilever Account Team took the award for Global Relocation Team of the Year. The judges praised the team for the “huge efforts” it had made to improve and develop cultural and location knowledge to support Unilever in all regions.

They highlighted an increase in assignee satisfaction scores from 89 per cent to 94 per cent from 70 individuals across ten countries, as well as the new channels of communication that had been opened to enable team members to share ideas for service improvement options, which had resulted in 35 new improvements being suggested.

These new initiatives, said the judges, would benefit both Crown and Unilever, with continued focus on high-quality service delivery and global consistency.

Also on the shortlist:
Bournes Relocation Solutions
Mobility Services International
NEI Global Relocation (Coca-Cola account team)
Relocation Support Services

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


6. Best Property Provider or Solution

 WINNER: SACO The Serviced Apartment Company

Relocate Magazine Best Property Provider or Solution

The award for Best Property Provider or Solution recognises how important finding the right accommodation is to successful relocations.

Entries for this category came from a variety of types of organisation. Our winner, serviced apartment company SACO, takes the award for an impressive fourth [CHECK] time.

One notable secret of SACO’s success, the judges said, was record satisfaction levels, with more than 94 per cent of guests rating their stay at four or five out of five. In January 2015, a client survey reported that a massive 100 per cent would be likely or highly likely to recommend SACO to industry peers or colleagues.

The judges added, “SACO has produced year-on-year revenue growth of 10 per cent from relocation management companies as its reputation for service grows. It has increased the number of SACO properties in London by 15 per cent, focusing on popular locations such as Bermondsey and Marylebone, while increasing property supply globally from 600 to 900 locations.

“It has also delivered bespoke housing options for clients such as PwC and BMW in London and Birmingham, to support their needs.”

Also on the shortlist:
BridgeStreet Global Hospitality
Cheval Residences
Frasers Hospitality
Oakwood Worldwide
Skyline Worldwide
The Ascott
The TAS Alliance

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


7. Financial Support & Innovation

WINNER: Global Tax Network

Relocate Magazine Financial Support and Innovation Award

In today’s increasingly global world, companies doing business in overseas markets can encounter a range of complexities when dealing with financial issues, including employee tax and pensions.

Relocating employees face day-to-day challenges that can hinder their ability to hit the ground running. In many cases, dealing with their finances can be one of the greatest.

Now in its second year, the Financial Support & Innovation award recognises providers of specialist financial support to corporate clients and/or relocating employees and their families.

Winner Global Tax Network was described by the judges as “a very strong player in global tax services for companies and their expats” which had “built upon Big 4 expertise but devised a service model that is more customer-focused, proving encouragement for clients to explore solutions without extra fees”.

The judges praised Global Tax Network for “a well-written entry that makes clear what the company does, how it differentiates itself from the competition, and what are the benefits to its clients and the opportunities for its own team”.

They highlighted an emphasis on staff development and teambuilding, adding, “This service builds expertise within client firms and encourages knowledge-sharing, best practice and effective compliance in a cost-effective way.”

Also on the shortlist:
Halo Financial
HSBC Expat
Mobility Services International
Zurich Corporate Life & Pensions

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


8. Immigration Team of the Year

Sponsored by Smith Stone Walters

WINNER: Dearson Winyard International

Relocate Magazine Immigration Team of the Year

Immigration is high on the global mobility agenda. Employers are increasingly aware of the challenges they face in dealing with immigration and visa issues, and of the risks involved if they fail to comply with regulations.

Above all, they need trustworthy advice, to ease the burden of immigration in a cost-effective way.

Now in its second year, the Immigration Team of the Year award, which recognises providers of specialist immigration support to companies that are relocating employees and their families, attracted a large number of entries, with a high overall standard.

A range of organisations, including specialist immigration firms, solicitors, relocation management teams with an immigration section, HR teams working with external suppliers, relocation management companies, destination service providers, and in-house corporate immigration departments, were eligible to enter.

The judges congratulated our winner, immigration consultancy Dearson Winyard International, on “a clear, strong entry, based on 20 years of service, multiple accreditations, client engagement, and a core business philosophy of ‘utmost good faith’,” with particularly good client feedback and powerful evidence of innovation. 

Summing up, one judge said, “In short, compelling evidence of a leading UK immigration firm which has produced a strong entry across all judging criteria.”

Also on the shortlist:
Formula Corporate Solutions India
Intermark Relocation
KEY Relocations
Sterling Relocation

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


9. Global Health & Wellness

WINNER: Healix International

Relocate Magazine Global Health & Wellness Award

Now in its second year, Global Health & Wellness, reflects the growing awareness among employers of the contribution made by health and wellness initiatives to the welfare of staff and the success of the business.

Entry was open to the wide range of companies that provide health and wellness solutions, as well as employers’ in-house wellness schemes.

Medical, security and travel assistance services provider Healix International took the award for the second year running. Its entry focused on its Global Travel Risk Management service – described by the judges as “a cost-effective and integrated service operating in challenging locations” – which is designed to help employers to fulfil their duty of care towards staff travelling and working abroad.

In the entry, said the judges, relevant issues were highlighted, clearly related to relocation and the issues of risk and duty of care.

They added, “Duty of care is an important area that all companies have to address, and by combining medical care, risk management and health screening, with a point of contact for each case from end to end, Healix provides a very personal service for client companies and their employees.”

Also on the shortlist:

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


10. Excellence in Employee & Family Support

WINNER: Smith Stone Walters

Relocate Magazine Excellence in Employee & Family Support

Excellence in Employee & Family Support is open to individuals and organisations, from any sector, which provide a specialist service to relocating employees and their families.

Our winner, UK inbound immigration consultancy Smith Stone Walters, was established in 2001.

Said one judge, “The case study supplied showed evidence of going the extra mile and the outcomes of excellent customer service and sound, practical advice. The focus is on the employee and family, but the implications for the client organisation are also clearly addressed.

“The entry statement was strong, and I Iiked the fact that they focus on the personal and not just the purely legal.”

Also on the shortlist:
Elite Executive Services
FOCUS Information Services
Management Mobility Consulting
REA Partners in Transition

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


11. Best International Destination Services Provider

Sponsored by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality

WINNER: Management Mobility Consulting

Relocate Magazine Best International Destination Services Provider Award

Best International Destination Services Provider recognises quality and professionalism in the provision of destination services.

Our winner, French company Management Mobility Consulting, provides relocation and mobility management services to multinational companies. It is no stranger to success in this category, having won it in 2012/13.

This entry, the judges said, was “a strong example of leadership values, along with the company philosophy of the five Ps, leading to the positive involvement of the whole team to generate ideas and drive improvements across the organisation.”

The five Ps referred to by the judges are personalised service delivery, positive attitude and communication, proactive management, permanent availability, and perfect process planning.

Summing up, one judge described Management Mobility Consulting as “a company that clearly provides a high-quality, supportive service and gives back via charitable works”.

Also on the shortlist:
Elite Executive Services
IOR Global Services

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).


12. Relocation Personality of the Year                  

WINNER: Heather Mulkey – International School of London, Surrey

Relocate Magazine Relocation Personality of the Year Award

The coveted Relocation Personality of the Year award honours an individual from any sector who has shown outstanding ability, provided excellent customer service, raised the profile of relocation, contributed to the industry or profession significantly over a period of time, or shown great ingenuity or creativity in delivering relocation support.

Our winner, Heather Mulkey, group marketing and admissions officer at the International School of London, Surrey, is known and respected throughout the industry.

The judges were impressed by the enthusiasm of Ms Mulkey’s referees, one of whom said, “Heather has been instrumental in educating schools, service providers and families in the importance of finding the right school for a relocating family, as this enables the employee and his or her family to make a smooth transition and have a successful assignment.”

Another said, “Heather is a consummate professional, and her experience at ISL and at other international schools, as well as her own personal experience of moving abroad with a young family, has contributed to her careful consideration of the needs of the children and family when relocating internationally.

“Not content to rest on her laurels, Heather also sits on the board of the ARP, and regularly presents seminars to share her knowledge with others in the field of relocation. She has a very broad network of connections in the industry, and if there is something that she doesn’t know herself, she will certainly know someone who does.”

Summarising Ms Mulkey’s contribution to relocation, the judges said, “Heather has a genuinely distinctive approach to the education of expat children. Her focus is on the wellbeing of the whole child, not just on the curriculum.

“A networker par excellence, she has been active in training for relocation professionals and is a frequent speaker at conferences and embassy events.”

Also on the shortlist:
Rupert Gather – InvestUK
Ed Marshall – Impact Group
Patrick Oman – Irish Relocation Services

Full details in the Summer 2015 issue of Re:locate magazine (out June).