Luiz Carlos Trabuco has had a more than 50-year career with Bradesco, the most important financial institution in Brazil. Over that time, he has proven to be an instrumental player in the bank’s rise to global prominence.
Now, Trabuco will be taking over from the outgoing chairman Lazaro Brandao. As the head of the bank’s board of directors, Trabuco will be mostly stepping away from the day-to-day operational aspects of running the bank that he was tasked with as CEO. Instead, he will be the bank’s new patriarch, developing broad strategy and overseeing the executive team, holding them to account if they cannot meet the specified goals.
As part of the transition, Trabuco will be required to appoint his own replacement. He has stated that the bank has given him until March of 2018 to make his decision as to who will ultimately replace him. He intends to fully take his time on the matter, a decision that he has described as being of paramount importance to the future of the company.
But even as Trabuco, who is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the history of the bank, takes over the chairmanship, some shareholders are not entirely convinced that the move is the best thing for the bank. Lazaro Brandao, who is now rapidly approaching his 93rd birthday, has served as the bank’s chairman for the last 27 years. Over that time, the company’s stock price has increased by a factor of more than 300 times, representing one of the most remarkable stories of growth of any corporation in the history of Brazil.
Brandao also served as the CEO of the bank between 1981 and 1999. He held the titles of both chairman and CEO, simultaneously, between 1990 and 1999, the only time in the history of the bank that one man has held onto both offices for more than a trivial period of time.
However, Brandao has explicitly stated that, this time, he is gone for good. He has expressed the desire to spend more time with his family. He has also stated that Trabuco is unquestionably the best man to replace him. Even so, many stakeholders are not fully confident that Trabuco will be able to fill the large void left by the departure of such a living legend as Brandao.
But Trabuco is no slouch, either. He has been widely credited with being one of the driving forces behind the bank’s remarkable ascent to prominence throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s. As the head of the bank’s PR and marketing department, Trabuco was able to salvage a rapidly failing brand that had been seared into the minds of many Brazilians as a hostile, rapacious corporation with parasitic tendencies. Trabuco was able to rip this image from the public mind, in its place creating a brand that is viewed as positively today as anything else in Brazil.
After his outing as PR man, Trabuco was appointed to head up the company’s failing financial planning division. At the time, the bank was following the communistic policy of apportioning from each banker according to his abilities to each client according to their needs. Trabuco recognized the profound error in this at once, moving to a ruthlessly capitalistic model that treated clients according to their value to the bank.
This caused an Earth-rocking explosion in the bank’s balance sheets, enabling it to begin making billions of dollars in new loans. For these efforts, Trabuco was eventually rewarded with an appointment to the position of CEO.
Today, he is widely regarded as one of the formative figures in the bank’s rise to the top.
For more, please read “Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi é o empreendedor do ano nas finanças em 2015.”