Investment in Latin America by U.S. private equity and venture capital firms has been growing for a decade and is at an all-time high, as contributing editor Danielle Fugazy writes in this issue's cover story, with photographs by Matt Greenslade. Investors are attracted to the region for various reasons, but mainly economic growth opportunities coupled with investor-friendly policies. Private equity and venture capital firms committed $10.39 billion to investments in Latin America in 2014, exceeding the previous record of $10.27 billion in 2011, according to the Latin American Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

Companies all over the middle market have been expanding to conduct transactions in countries including Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Jones Day serves as a great example. The firm recently brought aboard seasoned adviser Michael McGuinness as partner. The firm's expansion into high-growth areas, including Latin America, is one of the reasons Mergers & Acquisitions gave it our M&A Mid-Market Award for Law Firm of the Year for 2014.

McGuinness brings a wealth of experience in the region. Some of the notable deals he has advised on over the years include: General Electric's (NYSE: GE) $4.3 billion acquisition of the aviation business of Avio S.p.A.; GrupoSura's $3.6 billion purchase of ING's (NYSE: ING) Latin America pensions, life insurance and investment operations; and Anglo American plc's (LON: AAL) sale of a 24.5 percent stake in Anglo American Sur, a Chilean copper mining company worth $5.4 billion, to Mitsubishi. Just prior to joining Jones Day, McGuinness headed up the Latin America practice at Shearman & Sterling.

"Latin America is an important region from a long-term perspective, and it will continue to grow in importance," McGuinness says.

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