Chile tops Latin America in a study of executive talent retention

While much of Latin America is experiencing a loss of future executives moving to more developed nations for career advancement, Chile creates and maintains executives on its own soil, study finds.

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An index developed by consultancy firm Heidrick & Struggles and analysis group Economist Intelligence Unit gave Chile top marks in development of executive talent amongst Latin America nations. This index measured a broad cross-section of variables including quality of education and extent of foreign investment, as well as cultural and economic standards that encourage future executives to remain in Chile.

According to the experts that developed this index, following the global financial crisis of 2008 many Latin Americans invested too much energy in attracting foreign executives looking for cheaper operating costs. These experts suggested instead that developing and retaining executive talent would provide superior opportunities for economic growth in the future.

In the Index, Chile was followed most closely by Mexico and Brazil, while the lowest scores in the Index went to Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. Chile is expected to maintain its position within Latin America until at least 2013, according to the study.

In an interview with The Financial Daily, Heindrick & Struggles’ Latin American regional director Manoel Rebello described Chile’s advantages in development of executive talent over other regional economies: “It’s a result of the country’s effort, of advanced regulations, of the government, of democracy, of legal framework. This is why Chile has a comparative advantage over other Latin American countries.”

Chile has also continued to seek foreign entrepreneurs with programs like Start-Up Chile, designed to attract young business profiles to the country to develop their businesses. By developing its own trade and finance industries, Chile has positioned itself as one the Americas’ finance hubs.

Given the importance of talent development and retention reported by the study, Chile’s position in this study as top in Latin America will be an essential part of its continued economic development, and its reaching President Piñera’s goal for development by 2018.