Interview with Neil Bothams, CEO, Europe & APAC, Santa Fe Relocation

I am pleased to announce my partnership with global relocation company Santa Fe Relocation for the launch of A Great Move: Surviving and Thriving in Your Expat Assignment.

In this interview, Neil Bothams, CEO Europe & APAC, Santa Fe Relocation, talks about what drove this partnership – in particular, the ways in which the framework and philosophy of A Great Move fit with Santa Fe’s audience and values – as well as about the ways in which A Great Move, in partnership with Santa Fe Relocation, can support and benefit relocating expats around the world.


Q: What made Santa Fe decide to collaborate with a book like ‘A Great Move’?

NB: I believe this book helps everyone in the industry support those relocating families to work, live and thrive as they move around the world and in addition act as a practical guide for those expats on a relocation journey.

We are globally recognised and award winning; Emma’s 2017, for our Global Mobility Survey, which helps Global Mobility experts and corporate business to adapt to the changing world. I wanted to build on this and really focus on the Customer Experience. We have 64,000 families who annually entrust us to help with the stressful and emotional change of relocation.

I am evangelical that at Santa Fe we can enhance the Customer Experience when we better understand the emotional journey of our expat customers.

Q: How will it help Santa Fe employees support expats on their relocation journey?

NB: Different people cope with change in different ways and indeed those on a relocation journey may have varying levels of excitement and trepidation. This book takes the reader on the full journey. Up front there are some provocative thoughts such as “What is home” and this helps set the context and the priorities of the move. A Great Move steps through all of the elements of the journey with stimulating real life stories to bring the key learnings home.

We see the book as the beginning with blogs, roadshows, and advice in our assignee apps all being created. Excitingly it is also going to be part of Santa Fe’s annual DNA and Values engagement workshop with all colleagues in our 96 offices worldwide.

Q: How has the book helped you with your upcoming relocation to Singapore?

NB: I am moving with my family at a time that all the textbooks say is a great time for children to benefit from the experience. The reality is that there is still lots to do and it is still emotional for everyone involved especially as we love where we live today. My move came from a career opportunity for me and there is much advice in A Great Move around how to think about priorities and how to support other family members.

Q: Were there any experiences in the book you can relate to?

NB: The most poignant part for me was the discussion around “What is home for you?” I thought I was quite content with my life and my main requirements for a great home have been about having space, a view, and a safe place for our boys to run free and develop their sports. The book made me think harder about some other emotional elements and further raised my awareness of my wife Sara’s views. Sara has some very clear ideas about what home means and it has always been very important to her. There has never been a more important time for me to fully connect with her on that and the book helped me see that.

Our relocation is still in progress but we think we will potentially live close to a waterway. This waterway threads its way through the city through many interesting areas and given that cycling, walking, eating and drinking are all possible along it’s length then we think this will give us a sense of place, an invitation to explore, a route to find space, new experiences and an anchor in an otherwise unfamiliar city. It reminds us of our proximity of the Thames in the UK whilst being uniquely different, we have great memories of parties, walks, pub meals, and boat trips and we look forward to creating some new ones around a different waterway.

Q: How do you think the book fits in with Santa Fe Relocation’s audience and values?

NB: Our audience is made up of three main groups of people:

1. Our own colleagues who strive every day to make the journey of our busy assignee’s lives and that of their families better will benefit. I mentioned that A Great Move will be used in our DNA and Values engagement workshops that we will hold again in 2018 for all colleagues in our 96 offices worldwide. It is my belief that this book will enable our colleagues to connect the Santa Fe DNA and Values even more directly with the variety of emotions, stresses and situations that our relocating families go through. The benefit of this is that the amazing Santa Fe team will be even better prepared to serve our assignees, whether they are supporting on a Visa, a Home Search, or a storage solution.

2. Our current and potential assignees, whether they be on corporate or individual programmes, will benefit from the emotional support the book and our associated activities give, and appreciate the practical advice in A Great Move.

3. The book will give a language and a fresh framework to enable closer working with our partners, our advocates, and the current and potential Global Mobility professionals that we work with to relocate assignees across the world.


Hope you enjoyed this interview! If you have any questions or would like to have more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me through my website or by email at If you liked this article, subscribe here, for more updates on the launch of A Great Move, other events, new articles, blog posts, and interesting news from the expat world.

*A Great Move: Surviving and Thriving in Your Expat Assignment on the Financial Times’ FT business books of the month: June edition! Read the review here*

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