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50 years of ECA!

Celebrating our golden anniversary

A message from Andrew

In 1971, ECA was set up to help a group of global companies establish reward for their mobile workforce. 50 years on, the mobility landscape has been transformed, with the pace of change accelerating significantly in recent times.

At ECA, we have always evolved and adapted to anticipate trends and be responsive to change. At the same time, we have stayed true to our core mission of providing premium data and software solutions tailored to clients’ needs, underpinned by expert advice and the highest levels of customer service.

Reflecting on five decades of success, I am hugely proud of our achievements and grateful to all the clients, industry partners and colleagues who have contributed to making ECA who we are today. But our work is far from done. In a world that’s constantly moving, we know the demands on global mobility management won’t stand still. The ECA team will continue to innovate, so we can maintain our role as the pre-eminent provider of support and value-added services to mobility teams around the world. We look forward to having you join us on the journey.

ECA is founded








ECA International is founded in 1971

Employment Conditions Abroad Limited is established in London by 24 multinational companies, with just 5 members of staff.

We started life as a club for these companies to share compensation data so that they could establish reward for their mobile workforce.


First 'Employment Report' published

Our first ever report is an ‘Employment Report’ covering Iran.

First ECA Cost of Living Survey Report

Our first COL Survey covered locations across 30 countries - a long way from the 493 locations today!

ECA's 'Enquiries Service' established

Providing support and advice has always been in our DNA. This service paved the way for what is now our Consultancy and Client Services teams.


First policy survey

Benchmarking has always been important to our clients. We set up policy surveys to facilitate the sharing of best practices in GM and now regularly publish over 17 survey reports, as well as ad-hoc spot surveys.


First tax programmes introduced

We pride ourselves on researching and producing all of our own tax reports. These became the basis of the tax and social security engines that power our software solutions today.


Our Cost of Living Indices are now available for over 140 countries

10 years on from our first report, we now provide COL indices for 143 different countries.

500 clients!

ECA cements its position as one of the largest providers of data and solutions for companies managing assignees, with 500 global organisations choosing to work with us.


A range of desktop calculators comes to market

Throughout the decade, we increase our focus on technology with the development of Tax, Build-up & Location allowance desktop calculators.


All data available on CD-Rom

ECA is one of the first companies in the GM industry to publish its full range of data on CD-ROM. It was cutting edge at the time!


Regional hubs established in Hong Kong, Sydney and New York

We open our global offices, enabling a 'follow the sun' model so that clients can reach us in every time zone.


ECA goes online!

We successfully pilot online data delivery at the start of the decade. From 2001 this becomes the norm for all ECA data.


Launch of ECAEnterprise

At a time when Excel is, for many, the best that technology has to offer to GM teams, ECA launches an integrated solution promoting automation in 2004, combining the functionality of our stand-alone calculators and our established data.


Switch to SaaS delivery model for ECAEnterprise

Moving from installed tech to Software as a Service model is a true enabler of bigger and better things, as it paves the way to offering so much more functionality to our clients.


Cost estimate module for ECAEnterprise

A full picture of company cost, including annual and one-time expenses and a tax gross-up, is now possible at the push of a button!

The IHRP training course debuts

We launch our International HR Practitioner course, offering two days of GM-specific training, valuable networking with peers and precious industry insight. The IHRP has stood the test of time and continues to be highly popular today!


ECAEnterprise is now a full AMS

As a fully-fledged Assignment Management System, ECAEnterprise now integrates processes, compensation and interfaces to deliver successful international assignments from start to finish.


First ECA Mobility Hub!

Now a staple of the GM calendar, we host the first of our Mobility Hub events. Along with our newly-launched webinars, we share our insights and engage with thousands of participants from around the world.


ECA achieves ISO 27001

This shows our commitment to Information Security and demonstrates that the way we store and process our clients’ data meets the highest security standards.


ECA welcomes Starrate Software into the fold

Following a partnership that dated back over 25 years, ECA fully acquires Starrate Software and welcomes them into the ECA family.


Launch of ECA online training

At a time when classroom courses aren't an option in many locations, we launch our 'Principles of Global Mobility' online training course. Six bite-sized modules covering key mobility concepts to complete in your own time and at your own pace.

ECA is carbon neutral

We officially achieve CarbonNeutral® Business Travel certification, after offsetting all emissions from our flights, hotel stays and overland travel. ECA is committed to being a responsible business that meets the highest standards of ethics and corporate social responsibility.


Location allowance coverage for over 500 locations

As our data continues to grow, we also now provide accommodation data for over 400 locations, cost of living data for over 493 locations, and tax data for over 110 different nations.

Tracker Software Technologies joins the ECA family

TST's Global Tracker tool helps companies maintain compliance for both business travellers and remote workers alike.

The future is bright for ECA International!

It's been a long journey, but one that is still only just beginning! ECA International started out 50 years ago with 5 members of staff but is now an international business with 4 offices, with 22 different nationalities covering 19 languages. One thing that has always stayed the same, though, is our commitment to providing the highest level of support, solutions and expert advice to our clients. Here's to the next 50 years!

Birthday wishes from our clients

Atlas Copco
Borealis AG
Koninklijke DSM
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands)
Volvo Car Corporation

We'd love to hear your memories of working with ECA!

Share your stories with us or use #ECA50years on social media

What does the future hold for global mobility?

Our experts share their thoughts on how the GM landscape will change and what's in store for everyone working in this industry, each touching on a different theme.

Emanuela Boccagni

Emanuela Boccagni

Commercial Director, EMEA

The ways in which the attraction and retention of talent will change

Rebecca Darling

Rebecca Darling

Director of Product and Delivery

The role technology will play in the future of Global Mobility

Lee Quane

Lee Quane

Regional Director - Asia

The future of mobility patterns

Andrew Payne

Andrew Payne

Senior Economic Analyst

An outlook on the economy, inflation and exchange rates

The ways in which the attraction and retention of talent will change

Emanuela Boccagni, Commercial Director EMEA

Over the last couple of years, the need for remote work as a consequence of the pandemic drove the adoption of more flexible solutions and working arrangements. This determined a shift in mindset, from 'where' the work is done, to 'how' it is done. This mindset, with the challenges and opportunities it brings about, is here to stay and will shape the way we build talent strategies.

People-related issues are and will continue to be top of mind - we have already seen an increased focus on employee wellbeing, with GM professionals calling for a more empathetic and holistic approach to the management of the mobile workforce. This alone won't suffice though; organisations worldwide are already experiencing unprecedented levels of staff turnover, so in order to attract and retain talent it will be essential to keep pace with the speed and scope of the shift in employee expectations, and where necessary re-build company culture around it. Work-life balance and lifestyle are already playing a bigger part in driving employment decisions, and this trend is likely to intensify in the future, with employees choosing employers based on company values, the ESG standards they uphold, and a demonstrable Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) record.

To accommodate the needs of a highly-skilled talent pool, which may well include sought-after, highly-mobile 'gig' workers, we can certainly expect a higher degree of complexity in reward policies. The conversation is already moving well beyond the merits of home vs. host-based approaches, into the tailoring of packages around the individual, making the whole experience more personal and thus enhancing engagement levels. A fluid transition between extended business trips, short-term assignments, commuter arrangements and virtual assignments may well become the norm, to truly move jobs to people. And with GM-specific technology and tracking solutions supporting the introduction of flexible models, implementing more flexibility will no longer be driven by concerns around additional administrative burdens, but rather by how much it fits in with the company culture.

50% off our online training for 50 days!*

*Discount expired on 6 January.

We are offering a fantastic discount on our online training course, 'Principles of Global Mobility'. Following the assignment lifecycle, the course covers key mobility concepts through six bite-sized modules.

This popular course provides a comprehensive and engaging learning experience, combining theory with practical exercises to ensure you come away with enhanced knowledge and skills to apply in the workplace. Perfect both as a refresher course as well as an introduction to GM for new team members or colleagues in non-specialist roles.

Learn about the wonderful world of global mobility at your own pace and in your own environment.

View course details

Also back in 1971...

The first ever email was sent by Ray Tomlinson - to himself.

Floppy disks become commercially available, storing a whopping 80KB!

NASDAQ began trading as the first electronic stock market.

Pocket calculators went on sale. Long division has never been the same!

The iconic McDonald’s quarter pounder was introduced to locations across the world.