SOURCE: Institutional Investor

Institutional Investor

November 08, 2011 10:00 ET

Global Slowdown Fails to Dent Latin America's New Confidence, Says Institutional Investor

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 8, 2011) - Latin American executives no longer lag behind their global counterparts in ambition and confidence, as their countries and companies demonstrate surprising ebullience and resilience to problems elsewhere, according to the Latin American Executive Team, Institutional Investor magazine's second annual ranking of the region's top managers.

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The CEOs, CFOs and IR professionals and teams of the region's leading companies clearly are second to none in management skill and talent, interviews based on the outcome of II's analyst surveys show. Top executives are driving growth by appealing to the region's middle class and taking advantage of opportunities beyond national and regional boundaries.

"The world is becoming multipolar," says Almir Guilherme Barbassa, chief financial officer of Brazil's energy giant Petrobras, who tops the CFO rankings in the Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals sector. "One of those poles is Brazil and the rest of South America."

Joining Barbassa at or near the top of the rankings were the leaders of several other Brazilian companies, including global compatriots AmBev, Vale, and Itau Unibanco and dominant local firms such as PDG Realty and OdontoPrev.

Residential developer PDG, the largest real estate firm by market value in the region, swept both the buy- and sell-side rankings, the only company whose executives took first place in all eight categories.

The one non-Brazilian to take a first-place prize was Grupo Financiero Banorte, whose head of investor relations is the best among IR professionals in the Banking & Financial Services sector, according to sell-side analysts. The third-largest Mexican bank is one of the few to maintain its independence from foreign ownership, thanks to a prudently profitable loan portfolio and a growing focus on private wealth.

Says Alejandro Valenzuela del Río, CEO of Banorte: "Before, the region was autarkic and its corporations inward-looking. Today they have embraced globalization and become outward-looking. When they see opportunities abroad, Latin American companies seize them."

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For more information contact Michele Bickford at, +1-212-224-3360.

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