Top Line Survey Results: Expatriate Country Managers

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Year of Release: 
2012

December 3rd, 2012 - These are the Top Line findings of a Global HR Survey by the executive search firm Pedersen & Partners conducted among 297 global and regional HR directors from international companies. Among them, more than 100 are Fortune 500-companies.

1. Where do your expatriate CEOs / Country Managers originate from?

42% of expatriate country managers are either from Western Europe or the United States, 58% originate from emerging markets. There is strong tendency to assign expatriate country managers from the country of the headquarters location.

 

2. Why do you employ expatriate CEOs / Country Managers?

Companies assign expatriate country managers for 3 main reasons:
• Business needs in the host country: The main goals are to grow business and help develop local talent.
• Implement corporate culture, structures, and processes in the local organization.
• Develop the management skills of the expatriate: In many companies, a successful international assignment is a prerequisite for further career development within the corporation and part of the leadership strategy.

 

3. How has the number of expatriate CEOs/Country Managers in your company changed in the last 5 years (2007-2012)?

The number of expatriate country managers has on average remained the same.

 

4. Did the economic crisis influence your expatriate policy in the last 5 years?

81% of the participants stated that the economic crisis has had no or only some influence on their expatriate policy. Only 19% noted that the crisis has had a strong influence or was the main driver for change of their expatriate policy.

 

5. Compared to the cost of a local CEO/Country Manager (= 100%) what is the average total cost for an expatriate CEO/Country Manager in % including salary, bonus, company benefits (company car, insurances, etc.), and allowances (housing, school fees, etc.)?

The compensation package of an expatriate country manager is on average 3 times higher compared to a local manager. Depending on the country and the cost of living gap, the multiple between local and expatriate compensation packages is usually between 2 and 5.

 

6. Expatriate Compensation Packages

 

7. How satisfied are you with the success of expatriate CEOs /Country Managers?

On average, companies are satisfied with their expatriate programs. Their experience shows that it is easiest to reach goals related to the implementation of corporate structures and processes. Given the limitations of language and cultural barriers they report the greatest difficulties in people related issues. Expatriates can in many cases only be leaders and facilitators while they depend on locals for implementation and execution. Therefore, many companies report that success largely depends on the individual manager and less on the system of expatriation.

 

8. Among the expatriate CEOs/Country Managers in your company how many were recruited externally (in %)?

Most companies assign expatriate Country Managers from within the organization. Overall, only 20% of expatriate Country Managers are recruited externally. 50% of the companies don’t recruit expatriate Country Managers on the external marketat all.

 

9. How long is the term of an expatriate CEO/Country Manager typically?

78% of the participants state that the average term of an expatriate Country Manager is between 3 and 5 years.

 

10. Is it your policy to replace expatriate CEOs/Country Managers with local managers?

• 15% of the companies intend to replace their expatriate country manager with another expatriate.
• 50% of the companies indicate a preference to hire a local manager, typically after the full term.
• 35% have no preference for either locals or expatriate managers

 

If you would like to conduct an interview with a representative of Pedersen & Partners or have other media-related requests, please contact: Mark Anderson, Marketing & Communications Manager at: mark.anderson@pedersenandpartners.com

 

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