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Meet the Founder of EMG – Global mobility service provider in Amsterdam

An interview: Nino Nelissen, owner of Executive Mobility Group

Hi Nino, welcome. Can you introduce yourself?

I am Nino Nelissen, sole founder and owner of Executive Mobility Group or simply EMG. I have been in the global mobility industry for 26 years now. My background is in the expatriate tax, and I founded my own company in 2005. So EMG has been in the market for close to 15 years. Talking about my private life, I am married and have three kids.

What gets you out of bed in the mornings?

Kids, of course! They are the ones that are usually the early birds. With regards to work, the never-ending changes in our business. Customers profile changes over time, as well as the areas of complexity. What I like about this job is that no year is the same, not even one day looks like another.

I see that you never get bored! What is your most significant achievement?

I can talk about projects that I’ve been proud of though I think the biggest achievement is that we have a growing group of professionals working at EMG. We are continuously learning from each other. We challenge each other and of course, have fun.

In my personal life, we have a special (needs) daughter, and over the last year and a half, we managed to help her move forward much faster by using our networks and trusting our own experience rather than just relying on the doctors that we had previously. So it feels like you out beat the system, which is also a good feeling.

Can you describe what a typical day looks like for you?

There are very few typical days. My day would consist of meeting with clients to help them solve the problems. Also, it includes a little bit of work in the office with my team. Besides that, I’m active in a couple of areas in society. I’m the chair of the global forum of worldwide ERC and part of my time is designated to help mobility professionals globally understand trends that happen in public policy. Also, I’m involved in the Society for Human Resource Management – large US HR organization.

What three words would you use to describe your role?

Passion. For. People. Everything we do is very close to people. You always deal with a person, an individual, for whom it is often a very vulnerable time of his life where a lot of things are upside down. People say goodbye, have new beginnings, etc.

If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?  

Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by everything that fits automotive. So if I had to pick an area where I would love to be active, it would be car design and areas related to that.

What is on your wish-list for the next five years?

I mentioned that I have a special (needs) daughter and helping her to move forward to a good place in life is on the top of my wish list. 

Yeah, that’s the most important thing for every parent. What do you like most about your job?

The part of dealing with people who are on the crossroads of their life. We are very much involved with everything that has an impact on a personal level. When I went to law school, I learned a lot about tax law, how it would affect companies, profits etc. Though I liked the theory, I didn’t like the idea of working at a company just dealing with abstract numbers. So what I like most is the fact that you talk and help people about what will affect them; what is important to them, about the move of their personal belongings, about their tax position and working permit. 

And what about your biggest professional challenges?

The biggest challenge is to predict what the future will bring. I mentioned that there is high-speed changes happening in this business, and you cannot precisely predict what those changes will entail. So you have to explore different options over and over. It is an exciting challenge and time.

To conclude, what is your motto or personal mantra?

My strongest belief is that it’s essential to have an open mind. Not just look at things the way you think they are, but trying to explore the other side of things as well. So my motto is Look, learn, look again and only then judge.


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