Recent developments at Brazilian lender, Bradesco have made Luiz Carlos Trabuco the most important person at the bank. The bank’s longtime chairman, Lazaro Brandao in early October 2017 announced that he would be vacating the high-stakes position to spend some more time with his family. Naturally, the Bradesco board appointed the next most experienced individual to take over from Brandao. This individual happened to be Luiz Carlos Trabuco who serves as the bank’s president. Given his strong track record as president, many are hopeful that he will be a brilliant chairman of the board.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco was appointed the president of Bradesco in March 2009. He was undoubtedly the most qualified candidate at the time largely due to his highly successful time at the helm of Bradesco Seguros. His immediate priority was to continue with the ambitious growth plan that had been initiated by his predecessor, Marcio Cypriano despite an economic downturn in Brazil. He, however, quickly implemented an organic expansion strategy while waiting to identify a viable takeover opportunity. His tenure would again be disrupted by a difficult economic climate, but the ever-resilient and innovative Luiz Carlos Trabuco would identify a shrewd strategy to maintain the bank’s profitability.
If there is one single conquest that could define Luiz Carlos Trabuco’s tenure as Bradesco is that between the bank and its biggest competitor, Itau Unibanco. For decades, Bradesco was undoubtedly the largest private bank in Brazil. This position was considered a source of great pride for the bank’s employees, shareholders, and customers. However, the bank lost the coveted position in 2008 when a merger created Itau Unibanco. Before the merger, Unibanco and Banco Itau had simply been mid-tier banks, but their union created a financial conglomerate of considerable size. Since Luiz Carlos Trabuco took over the reins at Bradesco only a few months after Itau Unibanco had wrestled the top position away from the bank, he felt obligated to restore Bradesco’s pride.
For years, Luiz Carlos Trabuco employed a slow organic growth strategy before the perfect acquisition opportunity presented itself to gain significant ground on Itau Unibanco. That opportunity came in the way of HSBC Brazil. With the permission of Lazaro Brandao, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi engineered the purchase of HSBC Brazil for a total of more than $5 billion. While the total cost of the acquisition was substantial, it did have great benefits for Bradesco’s drive towards becoming the largest private lender in the industry. By adding HSBC Brazil’s business to its own, Bradesco overtook Itau Unibanco in some areas including the branch network and the total number of accounts held. The bank also inherited a large number of high-value clients from HSBC Brazil. Hopefully, with Luiz Carlos Trabuco providing guidance as chairman, Bradesco will finally overtake Itau Unibanco in asset value and truly become the leader in its market segment.
Over the course of his decades-long stay at Bradesco, Luiz Carlos Trabuco has been the recipient of a number of highly coveted industry awards. He was twice feted by industry observers while he led Bradesco Seguros by being named the insurance personality of the year in Brazil for 2003 and 2007. Later as the president of Bradesco, his involvement in the HSBC Brazil acquisition got him named the entrepreneur of the year in the finance category by money magazine. A year later, his name was included in Forbes magazine’s list of top 100 chief executive officers in Brazil. True to his humble nature, Luiz Carlos Trabuco has not led any of these accolades get to his head, and he has always dedicated them to his staff at Bradesco.