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Update: Campden FB Family Business Leader of the Year 2008

With less than five weeks to go until polling closes, Emilio Botín is streaking into the lead for the title of Campden FB Family Business Leader of the Year 2008. Voting has been hotting up in the final month of polling and until earlier this week, Botin was only marginally ahead of four other executives who were tied for second place.

However, with a new burst of support, Botin presently outranks his nearest competitor by 7% with a full 25% of the votes.

Although it announced it will be raising €7.2 billion in new capital earlier this week, Botín is turning family-owned Grupo Santander into one of the big players on the world banking stage. Despite being in the worst possible sector amid a credit crunch, the low geared, highly profitable company was one of the winners as it snapped up smaller rivals at knock down prices.

Rupert Murdoch's son James (who is a step closer to the top job at News Corporation since becoming chairman and CEO for News Corporation Europe and Asia) is in second place with 18%. While Rupert has been entangled in a messy start to his ownership of the Wall Street Journal this year, James is looking more and more capable of emerging from his father's shadow to great heights.

The tumultuous year for worldwide businesses and the effects of the credit crunch have seen a number of other family businesses are prospering under the leadership of some very notable individuals who have made the news over the past year.

Tied in equal third place, with 12% of the vote are John Franklyn Mars, head of Mars family; Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, the architect of her family business's daring takeover of tyremaker Continental in August; and Carlos Slim Helu, who started off the year as the world's wealthiest family business owner and the second wealthiest man on the planet.

Voting closes 17th December, so ensure you cast your vote for who you think deserves to be crowned the Campden FB Family Business Leader of the Year 2008.

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