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A region on the rise

Those of you who keep an eye on the global marketplace will no doubt have made a mental note of the increasing significance of Latin America during the past year. Whether it's Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim – the world's richest man, according to best estimates – that has caught your attention, or the increasing confidence of Brazil as one of the world's foremost emerging markets, the region is most definitely on the up.

Latin America therefore features as the subject of this issue's special report: we look across the region to find out what family businesses are up to; profile the rising tide of family business IPOs in Brazil; look at how women are emerging from the shadows to lead their family businesses; and analyse personal security in a region that's developed an unhealthy taste for kidnapping.

As you will have seen, a Latin American family business is also our cover story. We talk to the family behind Soriana, the leading Mexican retailer, and find out how two family branches put aside historic differences to take on its North American competitors.

We also have exclusive interviews with Canada's communication specialists the Rogers family and Laurence Graff, the man who is leading his family to become the premier name in diamond jewellery.

As well as analysis of the latest news, there is a report from the FBN global summit, held in Berlin during September, and a case study of the Japanese family business crowned winners of this year's IMD LODH Distinguished Family Business Award.

Whether you are from Latin America, Japan or anywhere in between, the one thing you cannot escape from is tax. As part of our indepth look into trusts and estate planning, we look at the latest tax developments across the globe, whether or not you should be using a trust structure, how to choose a trustee and whether fairness should be part of your estate planning process. Plus we investigate the growing trend of ethical wills.

Finally, we are pleased to introduce a new feature into our governance section – the debate. Two of our regular family business experts, Tom Davidow and Dennis Jaffe, argue for and against selling the family business – it's over to you to read and decide which side of the fence you fall on …

I hope you find the issue a stimulating read as we look forward with interest to 2008.

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