New York -- Executives from companies with business interests in Latin America will learn to successfully navigate complex human resource (HR) issues in an increasingly global marketplace at Mercer Human Resource Consulting's 9th Latin America and Caribbean HR Forum, October 26-28 at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove in Miami.
"Top business leaders will engage in thought-provoking discussions about critical HR issues facing companies with operations in the region," says Marc-Andre Paquette, Latin American/Caribbean region leader for Mercer. "The Forum's unique format -- part conference, part business forum -- will help participants gain insights about the region and its economic environment from Mercer's recognized thought leaders, who will share their real-life experiences in client case studies."
Drawing from their experience working with major companies in the region, Mercer's experts will take participants through successful programs companies have put into place to ensure that their "people strategies" support and drive business growth.
Presenters from Mercer's operations in the US and Asia will bring a global perspective to this year's conference. One of the break-out sessions will be devoted to the "China factor."
China's booming economic growth is having an impact on organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, be it through investment in China, commercial trade with China, or competition for foreign investment, according to Bruce X. Wang, PhD, a Shanghai-based Mercer consultant who will lead the session.
"China emerged as a fast-growing economy thanks to more than 20 years of reform and opening up to the outside world, and is now a leading trading nation," says Dr. Wang. "Its currency's decade-long peg to the US dollar has just been abandoned to allow for more flexible exchange rates in the future. Abundant labor has been one key factor of China's success, but how are companies in China -- domestic as well as foreign -- dealing with its human resource management issues?"
A special pre-conference workshop will explore the ways in which HR can add value in mergers and acquisitions, currently an area of intense activity in Latin America.
"Combining workforces is difficult, particularly in cross-border deals. It is critical that these complicated 'people issues' be properly addressed in order to ensure success," says Lawrence Woerner, Mercer's global leader of M&A Consulting and co-leader of the workshop.
Forum participants will be able to customize their conference agendas, choosing from 15 smaller, interactive sessions that focus on country-specific and key HR issues for Brazil, Mexico, South America's Southern Cone, the Andean Region, and Central America and the Caribbean. These workshops will address local HR, compensation, and benefit trends as well as political issues and economic indicators, including projected changes for 2006. Advanced sessions will be offered for Brazil and Mexico, providing deeper examination of the most pressing topics in these countries.
Other sessions will explore key HR issues of interest to companies across the region, including executive compensation, total rewards, compensation models, flexible benefits, health care cost management, and retirement issues.