As international companies are establishing more of a presence in Latin America, Latin American companies, especially family-owned and start-up enterprises, are expanding globally as well. These expanding companies, known as “multilatinas,” were the focus of the AIB-LAT (Academy of International Business-Latin American Chapter) conference held January 22-24, 2015 in Santiago, Chile.
The “Internationalization of Family and Entrepreneurial Businesses in Latin America” themed conference, which drew more than 100 attendees from universities and the business world, was held at ESE Business School, Universidad de los Andes.
“Experts estimate that approximately 90 percent of Latin American firms are family-owned so this conference was packed with important information about these companies as they go global,” said chapter president William Newburry, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Management & International Business in the College of Business at Florida International University (FIU).
Multilatina chairs and CEOs were part of a content-rich panel discussion, a highlight of the conference. Serving on the panel were Gonzalo Bofill, chairman of the board, Empresas Carozzi; Andrés Castro, CEO, SURA Asset Management Latin America; Enrique Cueto, CEO, LATAM Airlines Group; and Carlo Solari, chairman of the board, Falabella S.A.C.I.
Also at the conference from FIU’s College of Business: Jerry Haar, professor, presented an academic paper; and Sumit Kundu, professor, presented within the doctoral consortium and a plenary panel and Jose de la Torre, faculty emeritus and past AIB president, was a speaker for the opening ceremony.
The conference, the fifth for the AIB-LAT, was a resounding success.
“Each one of our conferences has grown in terms of activities, the caliber of speakers and attendees,” says Newburry, who in addition to managing the scientific portion of the conference, conducted portions of the agenda, including welcoming attendees and hosting the awards presentation. “Our Latin America chapter is a relatively young chapter in the AIB and we feel we’re becoming an exemplary part of the organization.”