Robert Lesser
Robert Lesser
Independent Global Mobility Professional

Rob Lesser is a lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in major international organizations, including Morgan Stanley and Arthur Andersen. Rob’s major focus has been on all aspects of domestic and international relocation. Not only has Rob administered and advised on programs, but he has personally experienced them, having lived and worked not only in the US but also in Asia (Hong Kong/Tokyo) and Europe (London). He brings a variety of skills to organizations to help improve not only their results, but also their processes and understands the issues from a global perspective. He has focused on driving effective and efficient change, done in a way that balances the needs of organizations as well as the impact on their people.

While at Arthur Andersen, Rob advised many of the Firm’s major clients in both the US and UK on tax and HR policy issues and helped them devise the infrastructure to successfully administer them. After receiving that advice from the outside, Morgan Stanley asked Rob to join them as the Firm’s Head of International Services, which encompassed not only international executive tax and expatriate and domestic relocation, but also the administration of the Firm’s immigration program. He is widely credited with not only with building a best-in-class program with effective and efficient domestic and international policies, but also for its fair and equitable administration. As a result, Morgan Stanley’s transferees have willingly gone wherever and whenever needed without concern for whether the Firm is appropriately handling the move, and his policy, procedural and administrative changes have saved the Firm nearly $200 million.

Rob has always tried to help other organizations achieve results similar to those he instituted at Morgan Stanley. He has made well received presentations on expatriate policy to both the Forum for Expatriate Management and the Society for Human Resources and served on the Advisory Board of Living Abroad, the premier provider of country information to the expatriate management community. Rob previously headed the Expatriate Management Committee of the National Foreign Trade Council where he was instrumental in making the organization the desired place for the development and exchange of expatriate policy and administration ideas among the most important expatriate programs globally.

Rob’s leadership has extended to the community as well, serving as an active member of various Boards and has lectured on various topics in both the US and Canada, including the World Bank and Harvard Business School; Rutgers School of Labor Relations (Global Mobility); Manhattanville College (Managing Globally in International Business); and to various organizations on HR and relocation policy as well as outsourcing, offshoring and restructuring.

Rob retired from Morgan Stanley in 2010 and has since been providing assistance on international HR issues to other organizations, including the World Bank, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and others. His focus has been both strategic and operational in areas such as creating the best policies, devising the best delivery approaches (internal and external) and ensuring that those approaches are successful – that high quality service is provided at an efficient cost. He has helped with RFPs and reviewed tax programs for possible savings. Rob’s background includes international benefits, immigration and procurement and he has also been engaged as a corporate speaker for such organizations as CIGNA International. In 2019 was awarded the the Forum for Expatriate Management's EMMA for Outstanding Contribution to Global Mobility, recognizing his lifelong efforts in the field.