As Cartus marks our 60th year in the relocation business, it’s impossible for me to look at our company now—2,900 employees, offices worldwide, and more than 171,000 customers assisted last year—and not think back to our beginnings. When the company began in 1955 as Associated Homefinders (later Homerica, then Homequity) relocation hadn’t even been “born” as an industry. A handful of employees, working out of a small office in Wilton, CT, were pioneering a vision: to help ease the moving and settling in process for transferring employees by offering a single service—home-finding assistance—within the United States.
When I joined the company more than 30 years ago, relocation was far from what it is today. The typical relocating employee might have been moving from, say, Dallas, TX, to Grand Rapids, MI, then five years later we would help them with their next move to Chicago or the West Coast. But things have changed dramatically as the global mobility objectives of multinational corporations have become highly strategic and quite complex.
As corporations have truly become global in their presence, their relocation needs have also expanded to keep pace. Cartus’ business has grown exponentially to a point where, today, a typical transferee might be a key executive in London being transferred to Hong Kong for a short-term assignment, followed by a move we manage for her to India, on the way to finishing up in Brazil. Mobility management today involves not only a broad global presence, but sophisticated levels of technology and a keen focus on areas such as risk management and compliance.
Cartus’ growth mirrors that expanding global mobility environment. Just 16 miles away from that little Wilton office, we subsequently opened our global headquarters in Danbury, CT. From a company that once offered just one service, we have burgeoned into a global employee relocation firm providing a comprehensive menu of home sale, home purchase and settling in services—including rental and temporary housing—household goods shipping, property management, and spouse/partner career transition. As the needs of clients have expanded, we’ve responded, also providing intercultural and language training, reimbursement of moving expenses, international assignment compensation services, policy consulting services, program startups, and group moves. Our global client base includes organizations large and small: multinational corporations, financial institutions, associations, and affinity membership organizations.
It’s with more than a little pride that I look back on this company’s achievements. And, with an equal amount of anticipation, I look forward to the future, as we continue to do what we set out to do six decades ago: provide the trusted guidance that helps families settle in to new homes, new communities, and new experiences, always with new and innovative approaches to meet our clients’ needs. The best is yet to come.